Worth repeating: Maintaining order

11 April 2019

I wrote this post in March 2015 and the words still ring true. Maintaining order once you declutter and create a home for everything is not complicated if you can follow the tenets below.

My office closet, part of the Clutter-Free and Awesome: 12 Pretty Organized Spaces article on iVillage

I love doing whole-house transformations. That’s when my team and I come in and create order in every room of a client’s home. We’re working side by side with the client, decluttering and organizing in ways that work for them.

So far this year, we’ve done four really rewarding transformations. The clients are thrilled at the end of the last session. But the proof of the pudding is whether they’re able to maintain the order.

I visited a client yesterday whose home we finished at the end of January. It still looked amazing, and that made my heart sing. It got me thinking about the basic tenets behind maintaining order. It’s really not complicated. They are:

  • Establishing a place for everything
  • Making a habit of putting things away in their place
  • Catching up quickly if backsliding occurs
  • Weeding constantly
  • Shopping mindfully and thinking about where a new item will be stored before buying it

If you’re able to follow those five tenets, you’ll have an orderly home. The trick is in owning no more items than you can comfortably store. When you have a number of belongings that’s appropriate to the storage space you have for them, then it’s easy to have a place for everything and put everything in its place.

In almost every one of my client organizing projects, decluttering is the first step. You can hire a professional organizer to help you declutter. Or you can do it on your own. (Here’s a short step-by-step series I wrote last year on decluttering.) Just don’t skip the all-important decluttering step when you’re creating and maintaining order!

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IHomework and follow up in order to maintain order foils me. I have fine organizational skills but do not maintain well. Amy suggestions?

Claire Hyman 08/15/2019 10:25 PM

Claire, I think it’s really about habits. If you can create small daily habits that help you maintain, then you don’t get that backlog building up. Example: Clear off your work desk every day before closing up shop (assuming you have one, but this could also apply to kitchen counter or any other surface). When you have only one day’s worth of stuff—and you have a place to put everything—it’s takes only a couple of minutes to pay away what you’ve brought out over the course of a day.

Janine Adams 08/26/2019 08:54 AM

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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Recommended *

  • Getting to Good Enough podcast

  • NAPO Golden Circle