Maintenance Coaching

I had a delightful conversation with a client this weekend. We've been working together to organize her entire home and are very close to completion. She told me that she felt that she was "slipping" in some areas and wondered if I could give her some tips to help her maintain the progress she has made. I suggested that, in our next session, we could look at the areas that are becoming cluttered again, and I could coach her on some tips and new habits that would help in the problem areas.

"Yes! Coaching is exactly what I need. " she said. "Like, you could remind me that, if I would just spend ten minutes per day picking up after myself, I could avoid spending an hour doing it over the weekend. "

I giggled and said, "I believe you just coached yourself! The next time you find yourself falling into your old disorganized habits, remember that 10-minute rule."

You see, the secret to maintaining an organized house and office, is creating new habits. For example, after you have decided on a home for an item, put it back in its home every time you have finished using it. Or always put your keys in the same place when you arrive home. And my personal favorite, always take the mail to your bill-paying zone and sort it immediately into Trash/Shred/Bill/Read piles.

Heck, if you simply did a quick before-bed walk through of your home, picking up "homeless" items and putting them away, clearing out and wiping down the kitchen sink (my favorite FlyLady suggestion), and hanging up or tossing clothes into the hamper, you'd easily and quickly improve the calm, clean, orderly state of your home.

And if you have children, make a chores list and monitor that the chores are done regularly. Help teach them, through your example, good organizing habits that will serve them in school as well as the rest of their lives.

Trust that little voice in your head to remind you of the habits that will keep you on track. Push laziness aside in favor of results. Know that you will feel so much better if you "just do it" than if you keep stepping over clutter or piling unsorted mail on every flat surface of your home.

You, and only you, have control over your personal habits and the results that these habits reap. Make those results positive!

What habits have you found to be effective in maintaining order in the house?