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Helping You To Know The News > The Habits of Organized People

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (last edited Mar 09, 2010 04:53AM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments According to msn.com, these are the ten habits of highly organized people:

1. Walk away from bargains
Just because you can buy a cashmere sweater for $20 or three bottles of ketchup for the price of one doesn't mean you should. "Ask, 'Do I have something similar?' and 'Where am I going to store it?' before making a purchase," advises New York City professional organizer Julie Morgenstern, author of Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

2. Make peace with imperfection
Efficient people give "A-level effort" to the most important projects (say, work assignments or a kitchen redesign), and for the rest they do just enough to get the job done, says Renae Reinardy, PsyD, a psychologist who specializes in hoarding disorders. Maybe you give yourself permission to bring store-bought cookies to a school bake sale or donate a bag of stuff—unsorted!—to Goodwill. "Trying to do every task perfectly is the easiest way to get bogged down," says Reinardy.

3. Never label anything "miscellaneous"
You put a bunch of things into a file or box and write this catchall across the front. "But within a week you've forgotten what's in there," says Morgenstern. Instead, sort items into specific groups—"electric bills," "lightbulbs," and so on.

4. Schedule regular decluttering sessions
Rather than wait until an industrious mood strikes (we all know where that leads), have a decluttering routine in place—whether it's spending 15 minutes sorting mail after work or tackling a new project every Sunday afternoon.

5. Stick with what works
"I have clients who will try every line of makeup, every cell phone—it's exhausting," says Dorothy Breininger, president of the Delphi Center for Organization. Don't waste time (and money) obsessively seeking out the best thing.

6. Create a dump zone
Find a space to corral all the stuff that you don't have time to put away the moment you step in the door, says Breininger. Once you're ready to get organized, you won't have to hunt all over the house for the dry cleaning or your child's field trip permission slip.

7. Ask for help
"The organized person is willing to expose herself to short-term embarrassment and call for backup," says Breininger. Which is to say, that elaborate four-course dinner you planned? Change it to a potluck.

8. Separate emotions from possessions
It's healthy to be attached to certain items—a vase you picked up in Paris, your grandmother's pearls. But holey concert tees or cheap, scuffed earrings your husband gave you years ago? Just let them go.

9. Foresee (and avoid) problems
You wouldn't leave the house on a gray day without an umbrella, right? People who appear to sail through life unruffled apply this thinking to every scenario, says Breininger. Have a cabinet packed with leaning towers of Tupperware? Organized folks will take a few minutes to short-circuit an avalanche before it happens. (In other words, rearranging that cupboard now is easier than chasing after wayward lids as they scatter underneath the fridge.)

10. Know where to donate
It's easier to part with belongings if they're going to a good home. Identify a neighbor's son who fits into your child's outgrown clothes, or choose a favorite charity. "It will save you from searching for the perfect recipient every time you need to unload something," says Morgenstern.


What do you think? Where are you on this issue?

message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments For one thing, I'm pretty sure I'm not an organized person, as I have a habit of being in organized chaos, but that doesn't count.

3. I label most things that.
4. That happens rarely and spontaneously.
8. Hard to do.
9. I react as I go along..
10. There's this big red box nearby for miscellaneous donateable items!


message 3: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17320 comments Mod
I feel like Sweeter might have recently read this article. He just created a "dump zone" for me to set down my two purses, schoolbag, lunch sack, keys, hat and gloves so I don't shed them throughout the house in the afternoon.

message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1107 comments THAT's what I call caring.

message 5: by Youndyc (new)

Youndyc | 1255 comments I have a dump zone. I tried to break my husband into that habit, but he never seemed to get it.

Making peace with imperfection has definitely hit my skills list, though not consistently.

#8 I've got pretty well down pat.

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Wait, isn't a dump zone a "miscellaneous" area?

On #7, I'm very good at asking for help. I think it creates an opportunity for friendship, because then those who help you know they can ask you to reciprocate.

message 7: by janine (new)

janine | 7715 comments i live in organized chaos. organized to me, chaos to everyone else.

message 8: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24099 comments Mod
Excellent list in #1.

The only one I am really good at is walking away from bargains. I am very, very good at that. I acquire very, very little stuff.

message 9: by Cheri (new)

Cheri | 795 comments I lived in a 924 square foot house for 30 years. It is amazing how much I don't need. I never accumulated enough stuff even for a yard sale.

message 10: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24099 comments Mod
I don't really have enough for a yard sale either, unless I threw in half my wardrobe and 2/3 of my shoes.

message 11: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7073 comments Garage sales are the spawn of the Devil. I HATE organizing a garage sale. Especially with my mother, who is convinced everyone is attending simply to shoplift her valuable items.

message 12: by Carol (new)

Carol | 1679 comments Wish I could help, Cynthia! Someone else's garage sale is a breeze compared to doing your own. Plus I want to see your mom shaking down the customers.

message 13: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 7073 comments She tails them like a bird dog. And when they ask to use her bathroom, borrow her phone or try on an item of clothing in her house she says no way, Jose.

message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan | 6406 comments So what does it mean if the majority of that list does not apply?

message 15: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24099 comments Mod
What do you mean does not apply? Does that mean you are not able to do the majority of those things?

message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan | 6406 comments I mean in most cases I can do #1 but if it is a pair of shoes...
#2 - is nearly impossible if it is something I am doing myself because I am a bit of a perfectionist.
#3 - When there are other hands "helping" it is impossible to track down certain items that have been put away for you.
#4 - I don't schedule. I just do it on an as needed basis.
#5 - I am pretty much on the same page with this one but every now and then I get curious about something new and try it.
#6 - I use to have one of these and it became a giant pile to organize.
#7 - I hate to ask for help.
#8 - I am incredibly sentimental.
#9 - This applies.
#10 - I should donate more.

message 17: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3389 comments Every now and then, I decide to re-organize something in my house - tools, kitchen utensils, mail, office supplies, linens, clothes, cleaning supplies - and I always feel better afterwards (and wish I'd done it sooner).

message 18: by Meels (new)

Meels (amelia) The mister is a purger, so nothing gets too cluttered around our place except the two areas he isn't allowed to touch: my closet and my craft room. They both build up until I can't stand it anymore, then I sort them...it works for me.

message 19: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 488 comments I need to study this thread.

RandomAnthony wrote: "9. Foresee (and avoid) problems
You wouldn't leave the house on a gray day without an umbrella, right?"

I wouldn't? Really? This article doesn't know me very well.

message 20: by Susan (last edited Jan 06, 2013 07:37PM) (new)

Susan | 6406 comments Don't feel bad, Riona. I never use an umbrella. I don't mind the rain. That being said, there was one time when little and I were at the store and a very nice gentlemen held his umbrella over us on our way to the car.

If you are out there, guy with umbrella, your kindness made me smile that whole day!

message 21: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 488 comments I actually recently got an umbrella that folds up super tiny so maybe I should just keep it in my purse all the time. Not like I have enough stuff in there already, right?

I don't really like using an umbrella much though. I'm afraid of other people with umbrellas--I always think they're going to poke my eye out. Watch where you're pointing that thing!

message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 6406 comments Yes, watch out for the pokey ends!

I do have a small umbrella in the bottom of little's stroller. Though I think the bee keeper dude that came to the house may have broke that, now that I think of it.

No matter. I need my hands free for jazz hands during my rain dance.

message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan | 6406 comments Good point, Bdubs!

Little has the most fabulous rain slicker. It is crazy cute. I need to find him a pair of rain boots so we can puddle hop.

I go rogue. It is fun for the moment but my hair looks a hot mess afterward.

I use to have to hold an umbrella over my girl dog when it rained or she would not go potty.

message 24: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 488 comments BunWat wrote: "A rain slicker works a whole lot better for me than an umbrella. How am I supposed to juggle a couple of grocery bags and car keys and a dog leash AND an umbrella? The umbrella just becomes an an..."

Maybe I should get a rain slicker. A bright yellow, hooded one! All I have is a trench that desperately needs to go to the dry cleaners. I think one of the cats took a nap on it.

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