There is no place like home, it is where we feel safe to be ourselves and comfortably indulge in the habits that make us feel good to be home. While some habits are worth the indulgence, there are others, like habits of disorganization, that tend to negatively impact our quality of life. Habits of disorganization cause clutter to build up and can lead to major disruptions in your everyday life. Having an organized home requires your habits and mindsets to shift in order for you to get long-lasting changes. I’ll help you to identify five of the most common habits of disorganization and provide you with some helpful tips on how you can begin to adopt healthier ones and live in a more organized home.
A common misconception that people have about getting organized is that the process is mostly about purchasing the right organizing products for the area you hope to transform. While this can be one of the more exciting steps towards addressing your organizing challenges, it does not completely eliminate them if the habits that contributed to the clutter in the first place are not corrected.
To identify your habits of disorganization, evaluate how you currently live. What habits do you have that could explain why your clutter constantly builds up? I’m here to tell you that home organizing is a skill that can be learned, but first, it requires the shedding of old habits and the formation of new ones to support the lifestyle you aim to create. Before you can transform your home from its disorganized state, you should note the habits that lead you there.
“Organizing is a skill that can be learned, but first, it requires the shedding of old habits and the formation of new ones.”
It is a challenge to maintain a home that is in a perfect state of order simply because things are constantly being moved around with our day-to-day activities. One of the most common reasons you would find clutter lying around the home is because items are not being returned to their rightful place after their use or, it lacks a home altogether. Think back to a time where you found yourself unsure of where to place something you plan to put away, only to find yourself shifting it to another location. It later became clutter elsewhere in the home, am I right? Not taking the time to create a home or to return your belongings that lie around the home will have you shifting around clutter instead of eliminating it.
Living in an organized home requires consistency and intentional effort to develop good organizing habits and skills. Treating the process as a one-and-done activity will likely lead to a quick breakdown of the organization you create. There are many factors that may explain why keeping your home tidy is a challenge for you, however, evaluating the way your family handles the home’s maintenance could reveal why clutter constantly builds up.
Things are constantly being added to our home so why shouldn’t we monitor what goes out with the same frequency? When more things are coming in than what is being eliminated you may find that certain areas of your home begin to overflow with stuff. A jam-packed cabinet or shelf is a sign of a purge needing to happen. When organizing any area of the home, I always advise doing a purge. It is an important phase of the organizing process that gives you a good idea of the contents in the area and makes it easier to decide what is useful and needed and what is not. Frequent and consistent purging means that clutter is less likely to build up and as a result, you are able to maintain a tidier home.
Life comes at you fast and every day we find it increasingly challenging to balance our time. A lot of distraction and too little time will quickly leave you with a load of unfinished tasks around your home and bigger messes than you anticipated. You may find yourself stuffing things wherever there is open space with the promise to tackle it later but this is simply a delayed decision making. The time never comes around easily so the mess remains and ultimately grows. If this sounds all too familiar, you may need to be more intentional with your time because it may never present itself without your intentional effort. While there may be valuable explanations for your poor focus, slowing down and taking some time to get clear on what your organizing goals are can help you navigate your focus.
The desire to be organized will vary from one person to the next and this is true even if you live in the same household. While there are many reasonable excuses to put off home organizing chores, the lack of time and desire to deal with your clutter does not eliminate the need to do it. Habitual procrastination is simply delayed decision-making and only allows your level of disorder to grow. For instance, if you avoid folding this week’s laundry, you can expect that next week’s load will pile on too. While putting things off and showing up in other areas of your life is sometimes necessary, habitual procrastination is intentional and it can lead to major frustration. It is important to dig deeper and question your reasons for procrastinating if this is a common practice of yours.
“Your procrastination can lead to major disorganization in your life, and ultimately a bigger job at the end of it all.”
If you identified with any of these five habits of disorganization, you are not alone. If you would like to live a healthier and more organized lifestyle but struggle to get there it’s important to remember that it is an on-going process and keeping your habits in check can eliminate quite a bit of your frustrations along the way. Living in a disorganized home can be debilitating. Your entire lifestyle suffers when you fail to address the cause for your disorganization.
For this reason, I like to encourage others to view being organized as a lifestyle. I say this because of the way the mind works, when you adapt something as a lifestyle, you have an understanding that it requires some form of commitment and change in your habits and behaviors to receive the benefits of that lifestyle. In home organization, when you spend the time to identify and accept the role your habits play in your current state of disorganization, you will begin to see a clearer path towards creating the lifestyle you desire. Read my article on “The mindset for organized living” if you would like to learn more about the mindset shifts that pair well with the tips about good organizing habits that I mentioned in this article. I hope that you feel empowered to break your habits and create the lifestyle you desire through home organization.
When we think about home organization, the mindsets needed to create a peaceful environment are often not at the forefront. A lot of focus is placed on the final transformation and the ‘how to’s of getting organized. While seeing a beautified space come to life from chaos is without a doubt one of the more exciting parts of home organization, true transformation happens when you approach organization as a lifestyle. Lasting results are best achieved by being intentional, developing good mindsets and healthy habits that pair well with the systems in your home. I will be breaking down 4 key mindset shifts you should adapt if you are looking for a long-term solution to your organizing challenges.
Think about what you currently say about your home. Are your thoughts mostly positive or negative? Do you secretly believe that it is unlikely for you to truly live organized? What does an organized home even look like in your opinion?
It is likely that finally completing some outstanding tasks and getting organized has been a long-standing goal of yours but it still hangs over your head. Maybe you have tried to achieve order before and found that even after putting in your best effort you still struggle to stay organized. If so, it may be time to do a mindset check.
Our mindset in anything we do will largely influence the outcome we receive, so ask yourself, what does being organized mean for your current stage of life?
A conscious step towards changing your desired lifestyle is realizing that you have the power to do something about it. You do not have to live in clutter, an organized home is possible but, it comes with change. Organized living requires you to develop healthy routines and habits to support its growth.
In order to stop living among your chaos, your entire family needs to be on board with the home maintenance. Way easier said than done right? I get it. While the desire to be organized will vary among family members having generalized rules and systems in place gets everyone involved because they become responsible for their own belongings. Enforce these rules and hold each other accountable so you can all see that there is a shift in expectation.
An organized home requires maintenance and it is worth the time and sanity you gain back. Ever recalled a time you saw, let’s say, a perfectly organized closet and thought, 'Wow!' Only to question, 'how is it possible to maintain that level of order?' What you may not immediately realize is that the key to keeping these organized spaces looking tidy is maintenance and habits. Even then your entire home may not be in a constant state of order, all at once. For this reason, it’s important to note that your skills will grow as you go.
You want to get your home organized and habits tuned enough that your home is usually a quick reset away from order. In order to do that you will need to regularly maintain your spaces. Draw your focus towards the solutions to your particular challenges one space at a time and work your way throughout your home.
Your skills will get better with practice. I’m a firm believer in doing what works best for your household even if that looks different from what you originally had in mind or how it compares.
When creating systems, you want to focus on how well they eliminate your organizing challenges rather than how perfect it looks. Your systems should allow the space to function well and be presented in a way that looks and feels beautiful to you. Remind yourself of that goal often and prioritize learning over perfection.
When your home is organized, your mind can find calm easier. It also works the other way around, when your mind is clear on what the organizing journey looks like for your home, you and your family can take the necessary actions to make that transition.