S.I.M.P.L.Y. Organized Six Steps (pt 6 of 6)
We are finally to our last step. You should see great results by now. So far, we have explored step #1 Start with a Purpose, step #2 Identify Your Stuff, step #3 Move It Out, step #4 Plan Your Space and step #5 Labeling Everything. Our next step is:
Y – Your Personal System
This is the final step in the 6-step S.I.M.P.L.Y. Organized system and is the final key to assuring long-term success of all of your hard work in organizing your space. This step will look a little different for everyone because it is unique to you. There are a few main things that you need to consider as you begin to establish a system to maintain organization: 1) Your 10 Seconds, 2) Personal Bodyguard and 3) Systematic Maintenance Plan.
So what does ‘Your 10 Seconds’ even mean? Well, you own your time. You can choose to do what you want, when you want, with your time. Many of us choose to spend some of our time working at a job because of the benefits it affords us financially. Many of us choose to use some of our time exercising because of the benefits it affords us physically. Many of us choose to spend some of our time enjoying social activities with friends and family because of the benefits it affords us emotionally. You need to choose to spend some of your time now putting things away for the benefits it will afford you later.
When you walk in the door from work you can choose to take 10 seconds and put your purse, keys, and cell phone in the same place every time. When you are trying to figure out what to wear to go out to dinner, you can choose to take 10 seconds and hang up that item you decided not to wear rather than tossing it on the chair. When you are finished reading that book you can choose to take 10 seconds and put it back on the shelf where it belongs rather than on the table. It is your 10 seconds. You can choose to do what you want, when you want, with your time. However, when you choose to put things away immediately you will use far less time in the long run than you would have if you let those items pile up. After awhile of piling up you will be FORCED to choose more like 30 minutes to 3 hours of cleaning up rather than choosing your 10 seconds.
Choosing to do put it away now in your 10 seconds is very easy to say but very difficult to follow through with. It is easier to toss your clothes on the bed or the chair rather than to hang them up. However, once the clothes pile up, it will require you to take much more time out of your busy schedule to tackle the whole stack. If you will begin the habit of putting things where they belong immediately, rather than placing them in the most convenient place, that habit will help you to maintain your newly organized space. Remember that it only takes 30 days to create a new habit. Start today by using your 10 seconds effectively.
Something else that will help you maintain your clutter free environment is to be your own Personal Bodyguard. Just like the President’s personal bodyguard would protect the President from incoming people, information, and potential attacks, so too, you will need to be your own Personal Bodyguard. You need to protect yourself, your family, your house, and your time against incoming attacks. Protecting yourself against incoming attacks of mail would include immediately placing into the recycle bin the junk mail that you receive each day. Protecting your closet from an incoming attack would include the next time you are in a store and eyeing a nice sweater, asking yourself if you really need that item, could you do without that item? Protecting your time from an incoming attack includes scheduling and limiting your email and Facebook time each day. These things may seem silly but I assure you they will help to prevent the quick buildup of clutter in your life that you will inevitably encounter if your habits don’t change. Remember the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Your habits got you into this mess so you must change your habits. (Spoken with all love and support possible!)
The final phase of this step is the Systematic Maintenance Plan that you will nee to enact. This usually includes scheduling about 30 minutes each day and an hour or two each week restoring order to the areas that you have already organized. This is really catching all of the things that your Personal Bodyguard missed and do it in a systematic way. As you work through organizing your entire house, these designated maintenance times will need to lengthen as you will have more spaces to restore back to their newly established order.
This step is to assure long-term success. You must establish a system that will work for you to keep clutter at bay and to maintain your organizational system. I don’t mean for just for the next 3 days or 3 weeks, but that will work long term. It must meet your needs, so feel free to change the system as often as required to get the results you are looking for. But, whatever you do, don’t go back to your old habits of putting things anywhere or you will quickly become disorganized again.