Whether you’re cleaning out your closet, filing papers or meal planning, all of your efforts to organize can fit into one (or more) of these four foundation activities: Prevent, Reduce, Create, Maintain.
Prevent– Most people focus their efforts on attempts to create new systems and storage solutions, but preventing stuff from coming into your life can be the most effective of the organizing strategies. Write out your own Prevention checklist (similar to the checklist below) to be referred to when shopping or bringing anything into your home. Also, maintaining your space and stuff will keep you aware of what you already own…and you’ll be able to find it when you need it or, even better, know before you run out of it.
Reduce– As I’ve said many times before, we have many methods for bringing stuff into our lives but relative few for cycling it out. Consider setting up donation practices for all family members. Create a “Keep Criteria” checklist to help keep everyone on track.
Create– This is the foundation activity that most people (solely) relate to “getting organized” but it is only one of four areas to focus on. This refers to individual organizing projects such as organizing the closet, kitchen cabinets, toy storage, family command center, etc.
Maintain– Maintenance is probably the most underestimated of the four foundation activities. For some reason, many people think this will auto-magically happen once they create the organizing storage and systems.
Is there an activity related to organizing that you’re not sure fits? Do you have any questions about what each of these means? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know.
Download the free printable by clicking on the image below.