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5 Habits to Help You Keep Your Clutter-Free New Year’s Resolution

By: Staff Published: February 20, 2015

Keeping that New Year’s Resolution to get organized can be challenging, but it really amounts to changing your habits. What if you could naturally think more like an organized person? Here are five new habits from professional organizer Lorie Marrero to help you keep that resolution and maintain your space better.

1. Follow “The Boy Scout Rule.”

When scouts go camping, they try to leave the campsite and trails better than they found them. Apply this same rule to any space, whether it’s your bedroom or your desk, and ask yourself, “Have I left this place better than when I found it?” When you’re walking out of a room, make a habit of turning back around to take a look.

light grey closet

Make a habit of putting everything back where it belongs. Featured: SpaceCreations in Cool Gray

2. Wear “Clutter Goggles.”

It’s easy to have “clutter blindness” and overlook what needs attention. Imagine you have “Clutter Goggles” that allow you to see what is out of place. Then when you’re practicing the Boy Scout Rule and you turn around leaving a room to look, you can see what’s left on the counters or left on the floor. Notice what’s out of place and take just a few seconds to put something back in a drawer, hang up some clothing or straighten up. When you come back into the room the next time, it’s going to feel ready and feel better.

3. Consider your “Future Self.”

It may sound a little crazy, but think of yourself as two different people – your Present Self and your Future Self. Your Present Self is the best friend of your Future Self and wants to help her out! As you walk through the kitchen, think, “There are dirty dishes in the sink. I bet if I do those dishes my Future Self is going to be so much happier when she walks through here later. She’s going to be exhausted at the end of the day, and she’s going to be so happy to have a clean kitchen!” Do lots of favors for your Future Self and as you do, you naturally keep everything much more maintained. You both win!

wall wire storage

A tidy kitchen is possible when you do just one more thing — like placing items back in the pantry — before bedtime.

4. Do just “One More Thing.”

When you think you’re done for the day and you’re tired, whether it’s an organizing project or your work day at the office, find just >one more thingyou can do to give you a head start for tomorrow. Maybe that’s just sitting down to make a “to-do” list for the morning, or making one more phone call, or emptying that dishwasher before you leave the house. Whatever that one more thing is, it can give you an edge and make you more efficient and productive.

5. Practice the “Heisman Habit.”

You may have seen the Heisman Trophy in college football. The player depicted on the trophy is fending people off with his outstretched hand as he runs with the ball, as if he is signaling them to stop with his palm up. You want to have that same attitude about what crosses the threshold into your home. Consider your shopping habits and refrain from buying things that you don’t need. Also, take care about what you accept from other people as hand-me-downs, how much junk mail you’re getting, and anything and everything else that’s coming into the house. Mentally stick that hand out, palm up, and think about fending it off! If you can minimize the inflow, you can keep things from accumulating.

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