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Simple Manifesto #41 – Have a place for everything


This is part of our series on The Simple Living Manifesto. We invite you to join us on the journey.

The 41st idea in the manifesto is:

Have a place for everything. Age-old advice, but it’s the best advice on keeping things organized. After you declutter. Read more here.

orderly shelves

orderly shelves | Photo by evelynishere

Now that we’ve decluttered, let’s get things organized.

There’s nothing like a wasting time searching through piles of stuff for the things you need. Whether it’s an important paper, a book, a DVD, a magazine, a favorite shirt or your set of keys. We waste so much time when things aren’t organized.

And personally, I’ve found that nothing stifles my creativity more than being surrounded by “noise.”

So let’s take some time this week and organize.

  • Spend 15-20 minutes today walking through your house. What sticks out to you most? What seems out of place? What do you see as repeat offenders?
  • Put as many items away as you can during your 15-20 minutes.
  • If you’re stuck figuring out where things go — ask someone in the family — or consider that you may not need it anymore. If you don’t have a place for it in your home — it may not be that important to you. Other things (that are obviously of more value to you) are taking up that precious space.
  • For items you can’t find a place for right away, try putting them in a large box and mark it with today’s date. If you don’t come back to those items within the next three months. Move them to your car trunk and take them to your local thrift store, homeless shelter or recycling center.
  • Repeat this for a few days until you find a place for everything. Be sure to get your family involved whenever you can.

Once you’re organized, keep it up. Don’t slack off because clutter quickly breeds more clutter.

I can go a month without leaving any dishes in the sink but as soon as that first one shows up — I don’t feel so bad about leaving my dirty glass, or plate. And before you have time to turn around, the entire sink is full of dirty dishes.

So keep at it.

  • Wash your dishes as soon as your done with them. If nothing else, put them in the dishwasher.
  • Make putting things back in their place a part of your nightly routine. Get the kids involved. Not only does it get them in a good habit, but its a good way to calm them down and get help get them in a mindset for bedtime.
  • Once the kids are in bed make a final sweep of the house to be sure nothing was left out. You’ll feel so much better in the morning when you wake up to a clean house — and even better if you can come home from work to a clean house.
  • Make your bed. It seems silly, but a messy bed seems to breed clutter and mess as well. Having a nice made bed in the room makes it that much harder to throw your clothes on the floor, or toss papers on the dresser.
  • Make it your family motto. Joshua Becker writes that the motto around his home is, “Everything has a home.” Make that your family motto as well. Remind your kids — they’ll be sure to remind you as well.

Finding a place for everything and remembering to put everything in its place doesn’t happen over night. Like any habit it takes some time. But we can do it! One mess at a time.

Join us!

Write a blog post about the point above and then share the link in the comments below…

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