How much would you pay to learn to be organized? I paid $60, but today I’m going to tell you the secret for free.
I remember when and where I learned The Key to an Organized Life. Ironically enough, the lesson involved a key – specifically, my keys. I was a poor college student, living in a house with about 20 other girls. And when I say poor, I mean “couldn’t afford ramen noodles” poor. So why was I willing to pay $60 to learn to be organized? Because I had to! You see, I had lost my keys (for the third time!) And I only had 2 keys! But I just wasn’t used to carrying keys around. Growing up, I never had my own house key or car key. (I don’t know why my parents never gave me a copy; sometimes they acted like I wasn’t responsible enough!) So there I was, standing outside the door of my house, banging on the door, hoping some other girl was home (it was a Friday night – my chances weren’t great). I ended up having to walk around the campus, looking for one of my roommates. After locating my friend and borrowing her keys, I walked back home, stewing over the fact that I would have to pay another $20 (third time, remember) to replace those stupid keys, and feeling like an idiot (really, there’s nothing I hate more than feeling like an idiot).
As I CAREFULLY placed my roommate’s keys on her dresser where she’d be sure to find them, I was struck by an epiphany – I should ALWAYS put my keys right here on my dresser so I know where to find them! And that is how I learned The Key to an Organized Life.
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE.
Seems so simple, too simple. But it’s not enough to know the principle, you must actively, consciously follow the principle. Three days later, after I got my new set of keys (the offices weren’t open over the weekend – aaargh!), I literally assigned a permanent place for my keys (the top drawer of my dresser). Then, every single time I walked into the house, before plopping down on the couch or running to the bathroom, I made myself walk to my room and set my keys in their designated spot. To this day, the practice continues. My keys are either clipped to my tote bag when I’m out and about running errands, or in the basket by the front door.
So that’s it, you ask? A place for everything and everything in its place is your big secret? Why yes, yes it is. However, nowadays I have more than just a set of keys to keep track of. I have two children and a husband (I actually don’t keep track of him – he’s a big boy). I have a nice house, a nice car, and all the trappings that come with those things. And I literally had to assign a place for everything I own. THAT is the hard part. But in future posts, I’ll share steps to make it easier (spoiler alert: DECLUTTER!)