“Put it away right away.”
That sounds annoyingly goody two-shoes, doesn’t it? Well, never mind that. This little mantra works for me!
I say it to myself to get me through those moments when I just “don’t wanna.” (Can you hear the whine in my voice?)
I say it when…
I’m tempted to dump the mail on the kitchen counter instead of taking, seriously, one minute to sort it into recycling, action, and filing.
I’m tempted to drop the action and filing items onto my desk instead of just slipping them into the appropriate files. Why? To save 20 seconds?
I’m tempted to leave the clean dishes in the dishwasher or the sink full of dirty dishes, when really I can have those dishes put away in about three minutes.
I’m tempted to toss a pen onto my desk instead of putting it back in the drawer. (Later, when I can’t find the pen in the drawer, I accuse all of my family members of stealing my favorite pen!)
I’m tempted to leave the folded laundry in the basket because haven’t I done enough already by washing it, drying it, and folding it? But if I leave it in the basket tonight, it’ll still be there waiting for me in the morning – so just put it away right away!
Every time you’re tempted just to be lazy and drop whatever it is wherever you are, say to yourself, "Put it away right away!"
Your home, office, or room (Hello, my teenage daughter!) will stay so much tidier and putting things away will become an ingrained habit, making it easier to maintain a less-cluttered environment.
Yes, you read that right. I'm not telling you to reach for the stars or aim for the highest peak, I'm saying your goal is to be average…at least when it comes to your housekeeping, and probably more than a few other things too.
Are you struggling with clutter and disorganization? Do you feel as if dealing with your stuff rules your life? You might think that, as an organizer, the goal I would set for you would be to get rid of it all and be a minimalist. Absolutely not!
Think of it this way, would a doctor tell an obese patient that her goal is to become anorexic? No way! Being excessively underweight is just as unhealthy as being overweight. The goal is to attain and maintain an average, healthy weight.
This is the same with your housekeeping and decluttering. While a few people today are embracing a minimalist lifestyle, that's not for everyone and can be just as burdensome as having too much. For example, some minimalists keep a list of their possessions and restrict them to a specific number. Doesn't that seem a bit obsessive? Isn't stuff still ruling their lives?
The goal for your home should be to create a comfortable, livable space that contains the things you need and love, expresses your (or your family's) unique personality, and is easy to maintain.
In other words, an average home.
Sounds like home sweet home to me.