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Change your Habits to Better Organize your Home and Manage your Time

Change your Habits to Better Organize your Home and Manage your Time

make-things-happenIn his article published on INC.com Can’t Kick A Bad Habit? You’re Doing It Wrong. author Nir Eyal explains how he beat his bad habits with what he calls “progressive extremism”. And while the majority of the article focuses on habits pertaining to diet and exercise, there is much that can be transferred into the world of organizing.  Now’s the time to change your habits to better organize your home and manage your time.


What is “progressive extremism”?

Eyal explains his method as one in which a person identifies small changes they would like to make and does so – one small step at a time. The key, he mentions, is to keep these changes small and to make them permanent. Don’t think of them as changes you’re making until your life is a little bit better – they have to be changes you plan on keeping forever.


How can this relate to organizing?

As professional organizers, we’re always reminding clients that maintenance is key to any home organization project. Whether it’s your kitchen, your closet, or your garage, the work of organizing is never really done. So, rather than thinking of purging, decluttering, and evaluating your lifestyle as something you do once, make it something that you do – forever. Schedule yearly, monthly, or biweekly times to look at your space and decide if you need to make any changes. Don’t just go through the process of decluttering, become a person who declutters.


Don’t verses Can’t

Eyal makes a great point in his article about the way that people respond to their goals when they label changes using “I can’t” verses “I don’t”. He references studies that reveal that people who are tyring to make changes by telling themselves that they can’t do certain things anymore. It makes people feel like they are sacrificing and drains their will power. Instead, he suggests, find an identity that integrates your changes but doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out on anything. He notes the difference between someone who can’t eat meat, and someone who identifies as vegetarian. Vegetarians aren’t missing out on anything because meat is something they simply don’t eat.


How can this relate to organizing?

It’s all about mindset. Rather than seeing yourself as a person with clutter, reshape your view of yourself as a person with a system. Buying duplicates of things or holding onto items ‘just in case’ is something that you simply don’t do. Instead of viewing yourself as the person who is always late, see yourself as the person who is dedicated to finding a time management system that works for them.


Happy habit changing and organizing!


Cris Sgrott

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