Tag Archives: putting things away

Are You Putting Things Away to Stay Organized?

One of the single most important habits that will help you stay organized is to put things away

This is what can happen when things aren’t put away. You lose the use of your kitchen table.

all the time. Putting things away after use is insurance that you will be able to find those things again when you need them. It also keeps your home feeling good, clear of the clutter of things left out in the open.

Everything is alive with energy, positive or negative. A jacket might have positive energy because you love the color, fit and style. However, the energy of that jacket changes when it’s thrown over a chair instead of put away in a closet. It takes on negative energy because it has landed where it is not supposed to be because it’s irritating to see it out of place. It’s energy is similar to that of litter — irritating and therefore negative.

This is what is available if you take the time to regularly put things away. Which space would you choose?

You may know it’s better to put things away, but you keep leaving things out. What are the reasons that you do that? Following are some common reasons that things don’t get put away.

  • It’s easier to leave things out and/or not put them away.
  • You tell yourself you will do it later. But, do you?
  • You think it will take a lot of time to put away.
  • You tell yourself that there are other more pressing things that need to be done.
  • You think putting things away is tedious and boring.
  • You are unaware that you’ve left things out because your attention has shifted to something else.
  • It’s a habit to drop things without thought.
  • It’s a habit to leave things out.
  • It’s not easy to put things away because where they belong is too full of other things.
  • The item doesn’t have a home, a place where it can be stored.

What does it cost you to not put things away regularly?

  • You can’t find things when you need them.
  • You create a space that over time feels chaotic and uncomfortable.
  • You attract criticism from others.
  • The negative energy of the space causes increased irritability between family members.
  • You waste money because you buy things you already own but can’t find.
  • You are less productive because you can’t think clearly in a messy space.
  • As your space becomes more cluttered, negative energy increases and your self-esteem dips. You feel bad about yourself and your space.
  • You create negative energy blocks that distract you from what it most important.
  • You create negative energy that blocks good things from coming to you.

Can you really afford to wait until “later” to put things away? The longer you wait to put something away, the harder it will be to make yourself do it. Make putting things away after use your “must do” habit to keep your life more peaceful and productive.

If despite your best efforts you cannot seem to develop the habit of regularly putting things away, it’s time to seek support to change your behavior. A coach can help you tease out what is preventing you from making the change you want, and can provide support and accountability as you try on new behaviors. Schedule a free 30-60 minute Back on Track phone coaching session to explore how you can develop new habits to keep you organized and on track with your goals.

Staying Organized: The Power of Putting Things Away

“I’m too tired.” That was the response of a speech attendee when I asked what kept people from putting things away on a regular basis. 

For years I’ve navigated through spaces littered with clothing, papers, and objects that had not been put away. I was curious about how that happened because not putting things away would be difficult for me. My mother taught me the importance of keeping my room neat and our house neat. It was no big deal for me because I did it every day and there was never any big mess to deal with.

Dropped items are the bud of a clutter nightmare.

Dropped items are the bud of a clutter nightmare.

I’ve heard the “I’m too tired” response over and over again from clients. This time instead of being understanding and sympathetic I asked the class to look at the reality of the energy that would be expended by hanging up their clothes every night. “It takes seconds to hang up or fold clothes and put them in a drawer,” I said. Seconds that could prevent a clutter nightmare from forming or from getting any bigger.

I guess the real questions are, “What do you want?” and “What are you creating?” Going for the immediate gratification of dropping things where they land instead of putting them away gives you a short term reward while creating a long-term problem. If you want your space and your life to be more peaceful, your space must feel peaceful. A space with the litter of life shouting from all corners screams of negative energy and creates feelings of overwhelm and self-contempt.

If you have difficulty making yourself put things away and maintain order, clearly your tired self is winning over the self who wants a peaceful, comfortable space. What if you felt tired and put things away anyway? How would that change the feeling in your space? What would your efforts do for you? How would your energy be affected?

Making yourself invest a few minutes a day to maintain order can be a tangible way to take care of yourself, ground yourself, and help you connect with your personal power. It’s a way to communicate to yourself that you matter. 

You are not separate from the space you live in. If it’s a mess, so are you. If it’s well maintained, you’ll have more access to your own wisdom, energy and feelings of well-being. Those are pretty good results for investing a few minutes per day to put things away!

Staying Clutter-Fee: Postponing Instant Gratification

sleeping womanWhen you’re tired at the end of a long day, it’s much easier to come home, drop your coat, keys, bags and whatever you carried from the car, plop down on the sofa, and rest than it is to put things away to create a new order. After all, putting things away is more work.

If you recognize yourself in the description above, have you ever noticed what happens in your space when do the drop and plop routine over and over again? Unopened bags and mail accumulate. You lose sight of your keys. And, gradually over time the order in your space melts down to an overwhelming mess. The worse the mess becomes the more overwhelmed you become, and the less inclined you are to take action to restore order.

Another option is to resist the urge to drop and plop. Delaying immediate gratification of your need to rest by even 15 minutes accompanied by important maintenance behaviors like hanging up your coat, unpacking your bags, putting things away, and sorting mail could pay off more than you realize.

When you follow through on a new commitment to settle in at home in a way that does not create new clutter, you are likely to experience more pleasure from the rest you eventually get because your space remains orderly and is a place of supportive positive energy. And, your actions will ensure that your environment does not become a source of stressful, negative energy typically associated with clutter and visual disorder.

It’s your choice. Drop and plop or invest 15 minutes or less to maintain order each time you come home. I challenge you to make that investment for at least 30 days. It takes 21-30 days to form a new habit. Congratulate yourself each day you successfully resist the urge to drop and plop. Notice how your space feels along the way. Awareness of the improvement in the energy in your space will show you that those few minutes every day are well worth the effort!

Putting Things Away: The Aspirin of Staying Organized

What can happen when you don't put things away!

Are you a person who routinely puts things away when you’ve finished using them? Or, are you a person that uses something and leaves it where it landed when you were finished using it? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess which person would be most challenged with staying organized. Regularly putting things away as you move through your day is one of the most important behaviors necessary for staying organized.

 What is the benefit of putting things away?

  • You restore visual order. An orderly space is peaceful and feels good. It has positive energy.
  • You snuff out a bud of clutter. Anything left out of place immediately creates a negative energy that will attract more of the same. Once one thing is left out, it’s much easier to leave other things out.
  • You’ll be able to find the item when you need it.
  • You maintain order in your space and a sense of control in your life.

Why doesn’t a person put things away?

  • You were never taught the habit of routinely putting things away. It is a habit to use something and leave it where you last used it. It is also a habit to use something and put it away!
  • You have attentional issues that keep you bouncing from one task to another, leaving object litter in your wake.
  • You haven’t created a home for the item. There is no place to put it away.
  • The home you created is not convenient enough given how often you use the object.
  • The home you created has become so cluttered that putting it away is a hassle.
  • Putting things away seems boring to you.
  • You are rushing and putting an item away will take time you don’t think you have.

I could go on and on with reasons why people don’t put things away. Whatever the reason, you pay a heavy price when you neglect to regularly put things away. Over time you create your own nightmare of clutter and chaos in your space.

Putting things away is a behavior over which you have complete control. It can take only seconds to do if you’ve created convenient homes for everything. Being faithful to the behavior requires self-discipline, but it is one of the best ways to stay organized and directly correlates with feeling in control in your life.

Watch yourself today. Are you taking those extra few seconds (yes, seconds, not minutes) to put things away when you are finished using them? Remember, your peace of mind, stress level, productivity and success are affected by what you choose to do. Make putting things away a priority every day! If regularly putting things away isn’t a habit, make it the next habit you acquire in your effort to stay organized, manage stress, and have the life you really want.