While you may know that purging and organizing are wonderful ways to take back your life, you may not realize that to stay in control of your life longer there’s something else you need to do. You need to maintain the order by staying neat every day.
Purging gives you the satisfaction of knowing you can get rid of things in your life. Organizing gives you satisfaction in knowing where you have stored your stuff. But being neat daily will give you the motivation in small satisfying chunks that will continue to build a wonderful lifestyle with little upheaval.
Extreme home organizing action in your life does not need to take place unless there is a major event that occurs like a new child being born, a new marriage, downsizing, etc. Read about the times in your life to get organized post I shared. Being neat day in and day out gives you the glue to keep the systems you already have in place longer and more effectively.
But how do we get into the habit of being neat? You may be wondering. This may take some time to figure out. Each person is different. Each person has their own values and priorities that need to be looked at to determine what will help the neatness habit stick. Below are tips on how to stay neat after organizing.
Observe your actions throughout the day
To start to give yourself time to observe. Yes, observe what you do each day. Do you just throw clothes down on the floor when you have a perfectly good laundry basket? Do you pull something out and leave it on the table when you are finished with it? Do you place your recent purchases on the floor without putting them away? By making yourself aware of what you do each day will give you an understanding you need to move forward and make changes.
Now that you know what habits you created that may not help you stay organized. We need to go into the process of changing the habit. Let’s determine a list of rewards that being neat will give you.
Rewards to give yourself for being neat
- You will be able to know where all the things are in your home.
- You will have time to enjoy your life instead of picking up after it all the time.
- You don’t have to organize anything often. You already have them organized.
- You will have down time to relax. People think that staying neat takes too much time to do each day. It actually spreads out the time throughout the day, weeks and months.
- You save that all precious time in your day.
- It helps you portray a clearer picture of who you are to others and reduces any unjustified judgment by others.
What reward is most important to you? Can you think of other rewards not listed above? What will force you to make neatness a priority in your life? Keep that in mind by writing your reward down and read it every day. Make it your lock screen on your phone. Add it as an image to your work computer. Tape it to your mirror so you can see it each morning.
If you need more tips on how to make a habit stick, visit these posts from other experts.
18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick
6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick
3 Ways To Make New Habits Stick
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Now it’s time to do. Every minute of each day, think to yourself, where does this item I am holding go? Where did I take this item from? Where is this item's home? All these questions will remind you to 1. Put away the item and 2. Reinforce your new habit to stay neat. Keep doing this consciously to make sure it becomes a habit. Will you stay neat from now on?
Remember: when describing a person as neat they can be described negatively and there are some negative connotations associated with being "too" neat. However, when you look at the definition of "neat" in the dictionary, there are two meanings that represent a person who is neat. One meaning of neat is to be a cool or awesome person. The other is describing a person who is tidy, wellformed, or well done. Aren't both of these definitions wonderful? Wouldn’t you want to be described this way? I sure would. I hope this inspires you to stay neat in your life.
Let's continue the conversation. What reward will you give to yourself when you stay neat for one week? Please leave a comment below.
I like to talk with my clients about getting things back to square one. That looks and feels different for everyone, but it's the place their environment looks and feels most supportive of them. What doesn't look neat to one person might be just fine for another. Neat is a range.
I think you are right that awareness is the first step to creating change, or new habits, of any kind. ow often do we go about our days without giving much though to what we are doing and how it could be better?
Restoring order in my space just gives me peace. I always reset before I leave a space: the bathroom, the table, the kitchen. I like walking back in and having everything ready to go.