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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
Glue

    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 November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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