Organizing Maintenance

We were fortunate to have had such a mild winter, but aren’t you happy spring is here?  I am.  I especially like all the vibrant colors of spring, but we couldn’t have those colors without a few rain drops.  As we enter the month of April with all its rain showers, I want to talk to you about faulty windshield wipers.  Specifically, how I see those wipers as being just like the lack of maintenance in the process of organizing.


Like Faulty Windshield Wipers

We all know what it’s like when our car windshield wipers don’t work; they leave smudges and streaks; they create vision problems; we have to keep spraying and cleaning; they’re frustrating.  Those smudges and streaks are like pockets of clutter and piles of stuff.  Those vision problems are like stress and its side effects.  The constant spraying is like our procrastinated efforts to organize.  And the frustration is just that, frustration.

Skipping, ignoring or slacking on the maintenance part of the organizing process is like faulty windshield wipers.  The clutter and piles mount, causing stress, and it’s all just frustrating.  We have to maintain the order once we’ve established it, or disorder and clutter creep back into our lives and space.

Maintaining order takes time and some self discipline, but the key is to not give up or let the situation get out of control.  My top 5 maintenance tips are…


1.  As soon as you enter your home give yourself 5-10 minutes to put whatever you brought home away.  You do this with your groceries, why not with everything else?
2.  Attach new organizing habits to existing routines. For example, before brushing your teeth at night, put out your outfit for the next day.
3.  Reduce daily.  For example, immediately toss junk mail, recycle food storage containers, and re-purpose unmatched socks.
4.  Keep papers and mail vertical.  This helps prevent piles from starting and growing.
5.  Ask for help and delegate.  Who says you have to do it all alone?

Please share with me what works for you.

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