You’ve set a goal for this year to get organized! You’ve decluttered a few key areas in your home! That’s great progress and definitely moving in the right direction!
But, are you starting to think, it’s one thing to GET organized, and another to STAY organized?
Are you starting to worry if all the effort you are spending to GET organized is going to be a waste? How do you maintain a constant level of organized??
It’s actually pretty simple. Just 1 good habit.
Once you develop this habit and consistenly apply it, you will keep clutter under control FOR GOOD!
Ok, so one habit does sound easy, but habits are so hard!
Merriam-Webster definition of Habit as a usual way of behaving; something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way
Habits are things we do without really thinking about them. They are routine and have become almost automatic in our subconcious mind. When a habit is formed, it helps us operate more efficiently and use less energy because we have trained our minds to just do the thing.
As you set new goals for yourself, you need to take time and examine your habits to see if they are aligned with your goals. If habits align with goals, then you are SET! It’s just a matter of time to meet those goals. However, if you have habits that are not aligned with your goals, then you’ll feel like there are barriers you’re fighting against that make achieving the goal harder.
Getting organized starts with first developing habits of getting rid of things you don’t need (or clutter), then stop bringing new things into your home that become clutter.
The ONE HABIT is: ALWAYS BE DECLUTTERING.
Consistently get rid of things you don’t use or need. Make this a daily practice; especially if you are still working through decluttering your home.
Your turn. So, let’s take a few minutes to really examine your current habits. Make a list of no more than 3 habits you do regularly that are NOT aligned with your goal of getting and staying organized. Download a free worksheet below to get started.
Shopping. Was that on your list? How about accepting things from others that you MIGHT use one day? Did that make the list? Both of these examples are habits that bring more clutter into the home and are are NOT aligned with your goal of getting and staying organized.
Now that we've identifed a few habits that need to be aligned, how do you CHANGE a habit?
Habits start with a trigger or cue. Something happens that automatically causes your mind to take action. To change a habit, you must identify the trigger that starts the reaction in your mind. Then, purposefully CHANGE the reaction to the trigger. As you continue to purposefully change the reaction to the trigger, a new habit will form.
For example, you shop because you want some “me” time, or just get out of the house! What is the true trigger? Are you bored, tired, or frustrated? Get below the surface and really identify the trigger here.
Now, think of responses or actions other than shopping that are aligned with your goals.
Your turn! Look back to your list of habits. Take a few minutes to really dig deep to identify the triggers of the habits on your list. Then brainstorm a few options for response like the examples above.
From here, you put the new response into practice.
Keep track of yourself over the next few weeks. How many times did you experience the trigger or cue? Were you successful in changing the response? YES?? Then make a note of this success! You are one step closer to your goal!!
If you want faster adoption of the habit, then think of adding a negative consequence when old response happens. For my clients that are in heavy declutter mode; I ask them to adopt this rule in their home:
For every ONE item that comes in the house, TWO must go!
So, if you slip and buy that new top at the store, then TWO tops in your closet must go! this helps put a value on everything you bring in the home. Is that one new top worth losing two? Stay true to this rule by immediately placing 2 items in the Donate box the minute you get home.
I’d love to hear the ideas you brainstormed and how successful you have been at changing your response to trigger! Leave a comment!