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Don’t Just Get Organized, Stay Organized! 7 Concepts That Stick

Don’t Just Get Organized, Stay Organized! 7 Concepts That Stick
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    As Professional Organizers, we don’t just get clients organized, we also teach them how to stay organized. Here are some empowering home organizing concepts that we teach people every day.

    Be decisive!
    Everything that is on your countertop or desk right now most likely represents decisions that have not been made. Clutter results from putting off these decisions for later. Your ability to get and stay organized is directly related to your ability to make decisions!

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    Give everything a parking spot.
    Quick—can you tell me where your underwear is? I bet you can. Most people have a special drawer for their underwear, and most people know exactly where their toothbrush is, because those things have a specific home. Virtually everything in your home can have its own parking spot so you can find things quickly and easily. Whenever possible, use a label maker to label the parking spot—just like reserved executive parking spaces!

    Plan ahead.
    A few minutes of planning and preparation can save hours of time and loads of frustration. Think ahead, anticipate… What will you need? What issues may come up? What do you already know now that you could proactively do something about before it becomes a problem?

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    Assume laziness is the norm.
    It’s just human nature – we want to do things with the least amount of effort possible. Assume that people are going to be lazy when you create an organizing system, and work with habits that your family has instead of trying to change them. Make things easy to see and choose. It’s all about having visibility to your items! You want your system to be Visible, Easy, and Obvious. (“VEO” is Spanish for “I see.”) Use labeling whenever possible to make it very easy to find things and put them back. Avoid lids, doors, extra steps, and anything else that makes it take longer or require more effort.

    Put things right where you need them.
    We professionals call this concept storing things at the “point-of-use.” Put the laundry soap next to the washing machine, and put the pot holders right next to the stove or oven.

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    Have duplicates when it makes sense.
    Since you are storing things at the point-of-use, sometimes you have several points-of-use and it makes sense to purchase duplicate tools. For example, you need some scissors in your home office, and you also need some in the kitchen.

    Batch up your tasks.
    Sometimes it’s easier to do one type of thing multiple times– that is why the assembly line was invented for greater efficiency in production. Think ahead about anything that you can do in batches like this, such as phone calls, filing, or correspondence.

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    Lorie Marrero is a Professional Organizer and creator of The Clutter Diet, an innovative, affordable online program for home organization. Lorie’s site helps members lose “Clutter-Pounds” from their home by providing online access to her team of organizers. Lorie writes something useful, funny, interesting, and/or insanely practical every few days or so in the Clutter Diet Blog. She lives in Austin, TX, where her company has provided hands-on organizing services to clients since 2000.

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    Last Updated on January 2, 2019

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

    Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

    Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

    1. Just pick one thing

    If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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    Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

    Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

    2. Plan ahead

    To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

    Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

    Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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    3. Anticipate problems

    There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

    4. Pick a start date

    You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

    Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

    5. Go for it

    On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

    Your commitment card will say something like:

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    • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
    • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
    • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
    • I meditate daily.

    6. Accept failure

    If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

    If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

    Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

    7. Plan rewards

    Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

    Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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    Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

    Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

    Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

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