I recently did an interview on Orgjunkie.com for their Summer Organizer Spotlight. She asked if I had an organizing mantra for myself and my clients. I said "Put it away. Now."
Obviously it helps to have a place to put "it" away (see H is for Home & Habits), but for the majority of items that we use on a regular basis there is a place they belong. A coat goes on a coat rack or in a coat closet. The dishes go in the cupboards. The clean laundry goes in drawers and closets, the dirty laundry goes in a hamper. The toys go in the toy box. You see where this is heading. If you return an item to its home immediately after you are finished using it (or when its cleaned and ready to be stored) you won't have other items piling up behind it.
Now, when you don't put it away things start to back up. If the clean laundry is still in the laundry basket, where does the new clean laundry go? The dryer? Then where do the clothes from the washer go? No where? You could throw them on the floor of your laundry room but then are they still really clean? And all because you didn't want to take the 5 minutes it would take to put the clean laundry away in the first place.
Of course we do run into problems when there is not a place to put everything. That is when we need to evaluate what we need to contain our possessions better and to determine the usefulness of what we are keeping. See how this is all starting to work together? I'm sneaky like that.
UP NEXT: Q IS FOR QUIT MAKING EXCUSES