So you've organized your space, now what? How can you ensure your new system doesn't fall apart? Maintenance is key, but can be easier said than done. We're breaking it down and sharing 5 ways we maintain our own spaces that you can practice in your home.
1. Give every item a designated home
Nothing in your home should be left floating. Ensure that each category has a designated shelf, drawer, bin or basket to prevent clutter from building on tables, countertops and in between baskets. If you bring something into your home that doesn't fit into any category, take the time to create space for it. That may mean adding shelves or even decluttering to make more room.
2. Update labels as needs change
If it's clear where something belongs, it will prevent items from being placed where they don't. Add labels to everything. They don't have to be big and in your face, but should make it clear what is stored where. Change them out should you ever reorganize to ensure the label reflects what is inside. Remember that just because you know what is in a particular bin or basket, doesn't mean the rest of your household does.
3. Put things away as soon as possible
Maintenance is a huge part of staying organized. Make a habit of returning items to their proper home whenever you see something out of place. Doing this throughout the day or as a reset before bed will prevent clutter from building over time. Try walking your house with an empty basket to collect anything that needs relocated and put it all away right then.
4. Shop with available space in mind
Another important practice is to never purchase something you don't have room for. You wouldn't place a king bed in a tiny bedroom and similarly shouldn't buy bulk or back stock for a house with limited storage. Consider what you have room for when shopping and if needed, declutter and adjust to make room for what's important to you. Sometimes it's as simple as getting rid of expired items to make room and other times it involves making the hard decision and telling yourself no.
5. Declutter frequently
Avoid letting items accumulate that are no longer of use to you and make room for the items you truly love. Organized people do this on a daily basis. You may not be that tuned in to editing and that's totally fine, but in order to avoid huge projects later, try to declutter at least monthly. Take stock of expired food, stained linens, broken toys, old makeup, outdated clothing etc. A great practice is to keep a donation bin somewhere in your home or garage. Once it's full, take it to your nearest donation center.
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the NEAT team