Getting organized and staying organized are two very different things. Getting organized can definitely be a project, and it can be a long one or a short one depending on your goals. The process of cleaning out and decluttering never stops. You have to maintain your organization once you find the system that works for you. This is “The Organizing Cycle.”
Step 1: Decluttering and sorting.
This can be the most overwhelming step, so take this one piece by piece. Declutter and sort the areas that are causing the most stress to your life. Move slow and ask for help if you need it – sometimes a clear set of eyes can help you work through the process and minimize the overwhelm and stress.
Step 2: Creating a system that works for you.
As you organize and sort, think about your process for the way you do things already. Creating a new system often means creating a new habit, this takes time, but keep it simple. If you always go to the kitchen when you get home, put your mail sorting system in the kitchen.
Step 3: Adjust the system if its not working.
Often times we put in a system and it works at first but its not working in the long term. That’s okay! Notice what piece of the system/ process is not working and adjust. Maybe even change it completely. The process of organizing is a often a constant test of trial and error.
Step 4: Maintain the system daily, weekly, monthly.
Maintenance is a crucial step of the organizing cycle. It is what makes it a cycle. Once you organize, you are not done, things are still going to be coming in and needing to go out. This is where the maintenance comes in. This is the clearest step to see if the process and system you’ve created is working — are you able to maintain it? This can take time, you have to create new habits, and often update the system as you notice what works and what doesn’t.
Organizing is a cycle, it’s creating habits, and adjusting for your life. It ebbs and flows. Just keep moving through the cycle.