Napkin Creating Habits Instead of Making Resolutions

7 Habits for a More Organized You

We’ve been thinking a lot about building habits, as they are the key to getting and staying organized.  We just entered a new year, a time that leads us to make resolutions and set goals. The truth is, you can make all the resolutions you want, but if you don’t create the habits to support the systems, you’ll be untidy, faster than you can say Happy New Year!  Everyone here at OBE wants you to reach your organizing goals. We’ve seen how building habits is the number one life hack to help you stay organized.

The concept is, when you create a habit from a new behavior, with repetition, that behavior becomes automatic. Think about the hundreds of actions we take every day without thinking about them. Brushing your teeth, making your coffee, getting in the car. You don’t even think about it. You automatically do these things without thinking about them because they have become habits. To stay organized we need to form good habits to keep those spaces tidy. Sticking to good habits over time will build phenomenal long-term results (on the flip side, repeated bad habits over time will do the opposite– yikes)!

Today we’re sharing 7 habits that will make your life more organized and productive. These are easy changes you can start using today. Let’s get started and set yourself up for a more organized you, all year long!

1. Make Your Bed Each Morning

Neatly folded towels on a bed in a hotel room showcasing the meticulous habits of the staff.

We’re starting with the low hanging fruit because starting with the easiest tasks builds confidence and consistency which leads to creating good habits. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of making your bed every day. Studies show that accomplishing a task first thing in the morning, like making your bed, sets the tone for your day. Completing a task also triggers the release of dopamine, known as the accomplishment chemical. We get it, it’s easy to skip making your bed. I mean, you’re just going to get into bed again that night anyway, so why bother? Trust us, making your bed is a gateway to other good habits. If you’re not already a bed-maker, we challenge you to try it for 30 days, and see what happens.  We have a feeling you’ll appreciate the benefits! More than creating a tidy bedroom, you’ll start your day on a positive note by accomplishing a task bright and early. You’ll create a peaceful space, which sets you up for success all day long.

2. Ten Minute Tidy!

A hand holding a stopwatch, measuring habits, on a green background.

If making your bed is a habit that sets you up for the rest of the day, tidying your home at the end of the day is the perfect bookend for success. Having a neat house before your head hits the pillow puts you in the right mindset for keeping the rest of life organized. That feeling of waking up, going downstairs, and being greeted by a living area that is clean and picked up is one of the best feelings!  Here’s how to do a 10-minute tidy. Put some good music on and set a timer for, you guessed it, 10 minutes. Then, with focus and determination, pick up items around the house and put them away. Get the family involved! Make it a game. If you don’t have 10 min – do 5 min. The point is to consistently show up, so you create the habit. You’ll be amazed at the results.

3. Complete Your Tasks

A habits checklist with a green marker on it.

Jumping from task to task – before they’re completed keeps you in the untidy cycle. We call this task jumping, “zig-zagging.”  We all live busy lives, juggling different roles and responsibilities. Maybe you’re making lunch for your kids and as soon as you give them their plates, you realize that you forgot to respond to that email. So, you head to your computer, answer the email which somehow turns into pinning a couple of things on Pinterest – and you forget all about the mess you left in the kitchen from making lunch!

If this sounds like you – you aren’t alone! The habit here is to retrain yourself to complete one task before moving onto another one.  Keep a notepad out and write down the task that popped into your brain. Complete the job you’re working on, then move to the task you wrote down. We also love Alexa or Google home to help you remember tasks. Because, let’s face it, if your hands are full of peanut butter and jelly, it’s hard to write something down. Staying focused on completing one task at a time will make a huge difference in your productivity!

4. Follow the One In, One Out Rule

Donating Clothes - One In One Out Rule

This one is pretty self-explanatory – if you bring in something new, remove something old. If you master this simple habit, you won’t accumulate unnecessary items and clutter. Your items will stay balanced, and clutter won’t creep into your home. If it feels like you are constantly organizing, reorganizing, and moving things around your home – the issue might just be that (truth bomb coming…) you have too much stuff. After you do a good edit, follow the one-in-one-out method and keep the clutter out!

5. Stay on Top of Paperwork

Woman Opening Mail Letters Organization

UGH!! Paperwork is the worst. It accumulates quickly and without a system in place, it’s a slippery slope to chaos! Our tip for you? Start with the mail. Here’s how to create the habit of handling the mail immediately. Put the junk mail in the trash or shredder right away and open the rest of the mail and put it where it goes. Try using clear paper trays – one for action, one for events, maybe one for each person in the family, whatever works for your life. The system will vary for each person and family, but the key is to have a plan in place for all the papers that come into your home – from mail to schoolwork and whatever else finds its way in the door. Once the mail system is in place, maintaining all that paper will be much easier! Now all you have to do is focus on building the habit of using that system, putting all that incoming paperwork in its respective home. 

6. Take Things One Step at a Time

A woman is forming new habits in her new home.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. See where we’re going with this? The same thinking applies to decluttering your home. Organizing your entire house is a huge task, one that can feel overwhelming and even paralyzing. So, break things down into manageable chunks. Start small, and you’ll gain the momentum to transform your space. Check out our recent blog post Start Small When Organizing Your Home for more information on how to tackle those small spaces. You’ll get there, one step at a time!

7. Ditch Comparison

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

The last on our list, but arguably the most important rule of living a more organized life – go easy on yourself! It’s easy to compare our progress to others. Trouble is – everybody’s life is different. We each have different lifestyles, responsibilities, energy, focus, ways of thinking and of course, amounts of stuff! Your life is unique and special, and creating habits that support how you live will make it more likely that you actually stick to these habits.

Living an organized life doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Especially when you build new habits, slowly and consistently. Keep things simple and once you’ve created the new habit, you’ll be on your way to a more organized life.

For more organizing inspo, follow us on Insta. If you’re in So Cal and interested in organizing services, please reach out to us!

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