In my organizing business, I have recently noticed a lack of motivation to put things away, even after everything is organized and put away correctly. I believe that it is one thing to get uber-organized and another to keep it up. The best of systems will not last unless clutter remedy strategies are in place and utilized.
The decreased motivation is for many reasons: lack of clear vision about goals and dreams, moving forward with life challenges, mood challenges, mainly anxiety and depression, an overly busy schedule, not enough help or support, and a misunderstanding about keeping a house or workspace up. Another thing I've noticed is a trend in time-saving tips that do not save time. For some time now, one of the tips I've seen turning up is about not Turning clothes inside out before hanging them. One of my clients shared a tip going around that you can save time by taking things out of the washer or dryer and hanging them up as they come out, even if they are inside out. The biggest problem is that it does not save time at all. Eventually, you will want to wear an article of clothing from your closet, and guess what you will put in the time you think you saved by turning it right side out. Also, the bigger problem is you will not see if there are stains or tears on the right side of the clothing until you've put it on and are admiring yourself in the mirror. Now you will be late for work or your morning meeting. Another client shared that instead of having somewhere to hang her delicate clothes, a tip was to hang the wet clothes all over her apartment, without hangers, over furniture, countertops, shower doors, and anywhere they could be placed. While this works to get the clothing dry, running around scattering wet clothing is comical and time-consuming. There are so many over-the-door hanging apparatuses and easy-to-use drying racks that fold up when you're finished. Why wouldn't you employ some tools that will save you time, steps and protect you from walking into a home full of strewn clothes? The fewer steps and processes to laundry, the better.
Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly manual labor is always involved in maintaining a well-organized and clutter-free space. We all make daily messes, yet putting things back where they belong regularly consists of willing yourself to pick up and put away things that have been scattered about. There is no mystery why beautiful, valuable shoes, clothes, toys, papers, receipts, and stuff pile up and turn into a cluttered mess. You're not keeping up with the putting away part.
Here are 8 simple tips to remain perpetually organized:
1. Categorize every single thing you own into broad categories.
2. Fine-tune all categories into sub-categories to help you find things more accessible.
3. Contain every sub-category separately. Do not lump things together in drawers or shelves, cabinets, or closets.
4. Have a home for every sub-category based on how often you use items and where you use them.
5. Will yourself put things away when you take them out of their home.
6. When new items come into your space, figure out immediately where they will be placed.
7. For new items coming into your space, such as purchases, mail, gifts, or packages, open them immediately, discard the boxes, envelopes, and bags they come in, and figure out where they will go.
8. Always put things back where they belong, and when you don't have time, have empty space or baskets to put them into in the meantime until you have time to distribute out-of-place items.
Also, read or listen to The Clutter Remedy: A Guide To Getting Organized For Those Who Love Their Stuff by Marla Stone. Stone, a former social worker, and psychotherapist will help you declutter your emotional self first and has revolutionized organizing any space possible with clear and concise criteria for keeping what you value most in your life and rooms.
Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of