Once and done? Not really, but that's ok!
Updated: Sep 6
Upkeep for Your Organizing
After you’ve spent a bunch of time organizing your living space (or enlisting someone else to accomplish the task for you), you will undoubtedly be giving yourself a big pat on the back for a job well done. At some point, though, a scary thought may enter your mind: “How am I going to keep things this way?” Don’t fear! Here are some tricks that you can use to keep your newly organized space looking fantastic.
Take It Out, Put It Back
One of the easiest things that you can do to keep your organized home looking awesome is to consistently return items to their storage location immediately after you finish using them. Everything in your wonderfully organized home has a place to go when not in use, but surely your kitchen counter doesn’t have extra room for all those extra non-kitchen things that you’ll be “putting away later”. While this may seem like a hassle for some, this habit is easily formed in a short time and will save you lots of time that would have been poorly spent moving your displaced items out of the way (over and over) so that you can do other things.
One In, One Out
We all love a good deal, maybe a vintage find or some sort of awesome item in the perfect colour for your newly tidied space! Once you've reduced your clutter and cleaned up your home, one of the main things that can quickly transform your house from calm back to clutter is having more things than you have room to store. Following the principle of "one in, one out" helps you in a couple of ways. First, you won’t accumulate duplicates of items in your home, since whatever things you’re replacing will be leaving and you'll know where you put them. Second, you’ll be making better decisions about what you need to buy, as every new item that you bring into your home will need to compete with what you already own for your limited storage space.
Re-evaluate Often, Re-home if Necessary
In spite of all your efforts to organize everything into the right places, you may find that some items never seem to get put away no matter how good your intentions are. This may be a sign that you didn’t pick the right home for your item in your first organizing attempt, likely because its new home is nowhere near where it is used. Successful organizing factors in volume control, appearance and functionality. For example: if you find yourself always leaving your flour container out on the counter instead of putting it away, you might want to see if there’s an item in a closer storage location in your kitchen that could be switched out with the flour, and moved somewhere else.
Still No Home? Cull The Herd
You may eventually notice that you have several items that you still cannot find a suitable home for. In desperation you may be thinking: “maybe I should store my sweaters in a tote under the deck in the back yard”. If you get to this stage, you should probably do another honest assessment of which of the items in your home you need/want to keep. At the end of the day, unless you move or renovate, the storage capacity of your house is not going to change. While it may be hard to part with those things that are unnecessary but “still in good shape”, or the ones that you "don’t use but cost a lot of money when I bought them 20 years ago”, you’ll be much happier living in a home where everything fits. Clutter can lead to ongoing stress that hangs over your head like a rain cloud.
No professional organizer will ever say “once you’re organized, your worries are over”. Home
organization is both an activity and a behavior change; after all, the things in your home don’t disorganize themselves. Ongoing maintenance of your living space is work, but will be less so if things are well-organized (meaning every item is wanted/needed, every item has a home, and every item is stored near where it is used whenever possible). With a little effort on your part, you can keep things in check and bask in the inner calm that comes from organized living.
As always, if you find yourself in need of some home organizing assistance, Make Time Innovations is here, in the Slave Lake area, to help. Home organizing can be a difficult and emotional experience, and we have the know-how to make it happen, with minimal pain and maximum results.