10 Organization Habits You Need to Establish Before Age 30
We're all about training your brain into healthier daily routine. Establishing patterns of productive behavior make life all the more manageable. This is especially true when it comes to being clutter-free and organized, a habit it pays to practice early and often. Life in your 20s can be frenetic and, for lack of a better word, messy. That's all the more reason to develop thoughtful rituals around your personal organization. Eliminating physical clutter within your home has a tendency to leave room for positive change in all areas of life.
To ensure we're getting into all the right grooves, we called in a pro. New York–based professional organizer Tova Weinstock, a.k.a. Tidy Tova—whose mission is to teach people how to live a less disoriented lifestyle and better interact with their space—is here to share her tips for establishing good housekeeping habits when you’re young, laying the groundwork for a truly organized life.
“Believe it or not, research has shown that making your bed in the morning is correlated with greater productivity and overall happiness. Starting your day off right will train your brain to keep up good behaviors throughout the day. Don’t underestimate the power of a made bed.”
“If you live in a small space, it’s important to maximize all potential storage areas. Use the space under your bed to house larger or less frequently used items like suitcases or seasonal clothing. Store your smaller belongings in containers with clear tops so you can see what’s inside and access them easily. The backs of doors are ideal for hooks and hanging bags or scarves and belts.”
“A hook by the front door or a small dish in the entryway are perfect places to keep your keys between uses. Get in the habit of storing them in their safe spot as soon as you enter the house and you’ll save yourself from strife and wasted time searching when you’re ready to be on your way.”
“When it comes time to undress, think of three choices that you have: launder, hang, or fold. Apply these to your clothing before it has a chance to hit the floor and slowly create a mound in your room. After all, that clothing won’t take care of itself, and a larger pile means you’ll eventually have more to deal with.”
“You’ve got lots to do all of the time, and the days of convincing yourself that you’ll remember all of those tasks is over. Write out those to-dos, and refer to your list. Explore various methods, from a pen and paper to desktop stickies to apps like Wunderlist or Todoist. Remember to keep your tasks short and attainable, breaking major goals into smaller steps.”
Public Supply Dot Paper Notebook ($10)
Science says writing things down by hand is better for your brain, so stock up on notebooks.
“It’s time to hone in on what’s really worth saving. Curate your collection and try to corral all of the items in one plastic storage bin. Instead of chucking everything into one pile, divide the items by type, and store the various collections of love letters, meaningful birthday cards, and old ticket stubs in labeled plastic folders.”
“Avoid dreadful paper piles by filing papers as soon as they enter your life. Instead of neglecting your mail, deal with it daily, immediately recycling any junk and opening the rest. If action is required, store the paper in a tray or folder you’ve designated for ‘active’ papers (think bills or upcoming events).”
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“In the world of incoming emails, it’s easy for things to get out of hand. To avoid losing track of messages that warrant a response, reply in real time as soon as you see the email. Phone apps such as Gmail make this a breeze. Also, take a couple of seconds to unsubscribe from any spam to help fend off unwanted inbox clutter.”
“To prevent ever being stuck without a product that you’ll want (think toothpaste or milk), maintain an awareness of what you have, what you need, and what you’re going to need soon. If something is running low, write it down and replenish as soon as you can. Finish up an item before you jump to open up a new one, and avoid doubles in your medicine cabinet or fridge.”