Tips for Incorporating Organizing Habits into Your Evening Routine
"Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived."
Many times when I hear people talk about starting or working on their organizing journey, the focus is usually on the process of getting things decluttered and neatly organized. As important and rewarding as that stage is, it’s really just the beginning.
GETTING organized is one thing. STAYING organized is something else!
Staying organized requires commitment and consistency. But like with any habit, this takes a little work in order for it to ‘stick’.
But it can be done...and done without it being one more thing for you to stress about!
One of my biggest personal organizing hacks is my nightly routine.
Now I know what you’re thinking...a nightly routine usually has to do with beauty and relaxation, right?!
That’s true, but I like to think that whatever we do each evening directly impacts how our next morning and day go.
So if you’re trying to have a more organized home and live a more organized life, it’s only right that your evening routine reflects your intentions.
After a long day of work, caring for kids, trying to stick to your fitness goals, or whatever it is that you do each day to be and stay awesome, the last thing you want to be bothered with is a long list of organizing tasks.
No worries! My nightly routine organizing hack is sweet and simple 🙂
Make Your Rounds
The first step of this easy nightly organizing routine is to take a quick lap around your house and look for anything out of place.
If you’re familiar with the DeeCluttered philosophy of organized living, you know that one of the things I stress the most is the need for EVERY item in your space to have a ‘home’ - somewhere that it lives and it can always be returned to when not in use.
So in this step of the nightly routine, you’re looking for things that have run away from home 😉
Look for shoes that were kicked off by the front door...clothing that was taken off while watching TV in your living room...toys that tagged along to dinner in the kitchen.
If it doesn’t ‘live’ in that space, pick it up and hold onto it until you make your way to the space where it belongs.
A little note here...because I’m also all for being productive and efficient, I need to emphasize the ‘hold onto it’ part of that last sentence. Don’t waste time, energy, and steps running back and forth around your home putting things back in place (unless that’s how you’re hitting your daily step goal and closing those circles! lol). Use a laundry or storage baskets to collect items if it tends to be a lot!
Don’t Aim for Perfection
Let’s face it…
At the end of a long day, who really cares about things being perfect?!
Well, sometimes I do but it’s something I’m working hard on loosening up about! 😂
So don’t be like me! When putting things back where they belong after making your rounds, focus more on getting things back to the general location of their ‘home’ and worry about perfecting the organization of that area when it comes up on your organizing/cleaning schedule or to-do checklist.
This takes the pressure out of what should be a part of your day when you’re winding down and getting in the mindset of rest and sleep.
Review Your List...and Celebrate Your Wins!
Now that you’ve addressed your space, it’s time to focus on your productivity.
Another organizing and productivity principle I like to emphasize is that to-do lists are a MUST!
I personally love them because they keep me on task, save me when my memory fails me, and remind me that while I may have soooo much to do on any given day, I get soooo much done too!
So the second step in my nightly organizing routine is to take some ‘me time’ to review my to-list and celebrate my wins.
This is something that can be done in combination with other evening habits like catching up on a show or having a glass of wine. Just take a few minutes to reflect on what you accomplished and give yourself a pat on the back for knocking out those things that made your day a productive one.
Celebrating milestones that keep you organized, productive, and making progress towards your goals is super important for staying motivated and on track with those big dreams you have.
It may feel like your goal is weeks, months, or even years away from being reached but acknowledging those smaller wins along the way makes the journey more enjoyable and less overwhelming!
And while you’re celebrating your wins, make sure to take note of anything that may have been left undone...that’s going to set you up for the third and final step in my nightly organizing routine.
Make Your Plan
Ever heard the 7 P’s?
If you’re a military kid like me (or have ever been a member of Greek life on a college campus lol), you’ve probably heard it plenty of times!
‘Prior Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance’
Or some pretty close variation of that.
Step 3 in my sweet and simple nightly organizing routine is making a strong plan for the next day - whether that be a simple to-do checklist, an outline in the form of a block schedule, or a super detailed hourly schedule in a planner.
Whatever form you prefer, making a plan sets you up for a more productive, successful next day.
So what should your plan include you ask?
Remember step one of this nightly routine? Start there!
Think back to your mental notes about which spaces in your home needed the most attention when it comes to getting them back to their organized glory.
Add those organizing tasks to your list or schedule.
Then think back to step two. What was left undone on your checklist or schedule today?
Roll those items over to tomorrow’s list of tasks (or assign them to a later date if need be, but do that right now so they aren’t forgotten!).
Just think, tomorrow you’ll be even closer to those big goals you have!
Finally, add in any time-sensitive or date-specific tasks you need to get done. Think getting trash collected and out to the curb for trash day or an appointment or a work or school deadline.
And just like that, your evening organizing routine is done!
It shouldn’t take you any more than an hour to do. If it is, check to make sure that you aren’t spending too much time on step one (getting caught up in organizing and cleaning vs. just neatly returning items to their ‘homes’) or step three (thinking of EVERY. LAST. THING. you could possibly cram into your day and putting it onto your list or schedule).
Getting this routine down may take you a little time and discipline - which is what habits are all about, right?! - but I promise that this will help you keep your space in order and your productivity and motivation high day after day!
Comment and share what you think the biggest benefit and biggest challenge of this nightly routine would be for you. We can chat and work it all out 🙂