Are you orderly or organized? Are they the same? In our busy worlds it is good to understand that these two things are related but not the same. Orderly does not always mean organized. Getting organized is creating systems and habits that play out long term. Being orderly is knowing where to find things easily. Getting organized takes time to get orderly. It may seem like an effort, but the payoffs are huge in reducing stress, anxiety, frustration, and wasted time. We will explore some tips to getting organized, the psychology and share some tips for you to have a zen day both mentally and physically.
Why getting organized is good for our mental health
Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, tells us that, “a habit gives people the ability to act without having to take the time to think about the action”. When working on getting your life organized, when things have a designated place it is easier to stay organized and remove the mental and physical clutter. By following routines, it becomes a habit, and the habit helps to accomplish the ability to find something when you need it.
Being organized can contribute to being calm, relaxed, and peaceful and creating harmony in your space and life. Think about tax time. Most people are stressed out by April 15 because the deadline is looming and receipts are not in order, medical expenses are not tallied, and donation receipts cannot be found. But if you take the time to systemize this every year, April can be a time to stop and smell the roses.
Take the time to do a tidy festival. Follow the KonMari Method and go through your belongings in her recommended order:
- Komono (Miscellaneous items)
- Sentimental items
Make decisions to purge or keep. Then find a match for what the item is and where it needs to be. It really is as simple as that. Being organized.
The 10-10 rule to being organized
Once you have decided on the possessions you will keep, now is the time to work on the 10-10 rule. Take the top 10 tips to stay organized. And when things start to get a bit unorganized – tackle 10 things to get back on track. For example, go around a room and pick up 10 things and put action to them and we circle around to the top 10 tips:
1. Touch an item only once: that can be dishes, laundry, or an email. It is more efficient to handle or action an item only once. Don’t put things down, put them away.
2. Throw it out: If you don’t need something – toss it either to goodwill or the garbage. Don’t hang onto something you might use “one day”.
3. Everything should have a place. Keep this consistent. Where does the dog leash get stored, where do your keys go when not in use? Find easy and logical places for items. It does not make sense to have the dog leash stored in the basement if you always take a dog out through the garage door.
4. Organize paperwork: Ultimately the only thing you really need to keep is records for taxes, your will, and sentimental items. Some people prefer to have hard copy records and if that is you, have a system to print and store documents in a proper filing system. However, if possible try not to print papers that just pile up. Think about having a systematic digital system. Either on your hard drive (with good backup protocols) or in the cloud.
5. Take 10 a day: Take 10 minutes twice a day to do a quick tidy up. First thing in the morning and before winding down in the evening. Empty the dishwasher, throw out the trash and recycle, tidy up surfaces and return things to their “place”.
6. Think before you buy: Stop clutter before it starts. When you want to buy an item think about where it will belong when it gets home. Will you recycle, upcycle or discard an item to make room for a new item? Could you borrow it or get it from a lending library?
7. Quality over quantity: Realistically, most people only wear or use a handful of items at a time. It is better to have fewer things of better quality.
8. Stay on top of digital clutter: We all live in a digital age and many people have more than one device. Decide which device is primary for specific things – like photos, emails, files, social media. Get a systematic digital map organized so that you are not repeating the same function on multiple devices. Consider cloud storage and synching if you have to have everything accessible on multiple devices.
9. Teach your kids (and your partner) to take responsibility for their own items: Many family units are not always on the same page when it comes to organization. Come to reasonable agreements on what the ground rules are in the house. After all, everyone has to live in the same space.
10: Fall and spring clean: These are both opportune times – the change of season – to go through and do a refresh of what you need and don’t need. Put away seasonal clothes and items.
Once you have decluttered and gotten organized, now is the time to take inventory for your insurance. The best way to do this is to take photos and or do a walkabout video of your home and contents. If you have collections contact your insurance agent for excess coverage.
Starting can be daunting, but start slow and steady. And if you want to get there a bit faster then consider hiring a professional organizer. Reliance recently interviewed Quincilia from SOS My Space on how to get organized after a home move. She has lots of great tips and can help bring harmony to your home.