Happy 2016! Its time to make those resolutions last! The key to getting organized and staying organized is simplifying your life by creating habits that work for you, and continuously thanking yourself for making those habits stick!
Lets talk about the word "finish" and how being relentless about task completion can put you on the fast track to a more organized life. I struggled with finishing well into early adulthood. To me, putting away my shoes or clothes seemed unnecessary, almost like a painful form of punishment. I had this habit of letting things live wherever they landed. This went for clothes, shoes, car keys, purses, dishes, kitchen supplies, bath towels... you get the idea. I lived in piles of stuff and I couldn't find anything, ever. I was always rushed and always stressed because I couldn't find what I needed, which was perpetuating a negative feeling towards so many of my belongings. My thought process was that when I was done using an item, any further interaction with that item was completely unnecessary. Not being conscious of the way I was treating my belongings created a very negative cycle that put distance between me and the things that served me. This behavior was rooted in carelessness (with a touch of ADHD) and somewhere along the way I'd managed to confuse being "done" with being "finished". I began to realize that my life did not look like the life I'd aspired to. I wanted a tidy entryway, shoes I could find, accessories I enjoyed looking at, an inspiring workspace, etc. I realized that in order to have the life I envisioned I needed to start creating new habits. So, where did I start? At the end, of course.
There are a few physical spaces in our lives that can have a huge impact on the others. I like to think of these as sort of the building blocks to creating and maintaining a well organized, intuitive system in which to live from. Lets talk about some quick, easy ways to organize and maintain your workspace, entryway, and closet.
Tidy your workspace at the end of each day
At the end of the day you're tired and ready to get the F out of dodge. I get it. But leaving a messy desk behind today puts you on the fast track for frustration tomorrow. If you take the time to put away your pens, file your papers, and clear your coffee mug (think three minutes or less), you'll arrive at a desk that feels like a blank canvas. Warning: increased productivity ahead!
Create a landing place and use it responsibly
Hitting the couch, gym or fridge as soon as you get home oftentimes feel like priority over making sure your shoes land in the right spot. But, the amount of time it takes to place your coat on a hook, headphones in a bowl, and shoes neatly in their home (think 30-90 seconds) pales in comparison to the panic you'll feel when you're rushing out the door the next morning and can't find your keys. If you can be consistent in putting things away at the end of the day, the number of mornings you blame your tardiness on a subway delay will drastically decrease. You may even have time to stop for a smoothie!
Clothes deserve an organizational cheat
Deciding what to do with clothes at the end of the day can be challenging. Clothes just aren't as simple to categorize as things like scarves and keys. Some clothes should go straight into the hamper like socks, underwear, and workout gear. But, some things need to go to the dry cleaner or be hand washed. There are also things that you'll get several wears out of before cleaning, but that you may want to air out before putting right back into your closet. For things that need special care, I suggest dedicating a basket to these things that you take care of weekly or bi-weekly. For the things that you'll wear again before washing but that you feel need some time before going back in the closet, you can create an area for hooks near your closet or use a chair to drape things over. Whichever option you choose, be sure to put all of your clothes away at least once a week. Sorting everything you've worn at the end of each day will save you the daunting task of dealing with a huge pile at the end of the week. You'll end up with less wrinkles and easier hauls to the laundry.