PREVENT (Stage 6 to Getting Organized)
Stage 1: Clarify what you want Stage 2: Let Go of what doesn't work for you Stage 3: Sort like with like and then let go of more Stage 4: Organize in zones to improve access & create space Stage 5: Maintain the systems you create or don't create them
Stage 6: Prevent
Don't let it in the door!
You've put in a lot of work on your organizing project. You've created the space to enjoy your things and you've put in the time to maintain what you have. But what about new items? How do you bring in new items and prevent your hard work disappearing under clutter again?
Be aware of behaviors and habits that increase the potential for clutter.
Do you pick up 'bargains' at garage sales?
Do you take freebies or informational fliers at fairs/expos?
Do you use shopping to relax? Or maybe enjoy the rush of finding more bargains?
Do you bring home those cute little bottles of shampoo and soaps from your hotel room?
How does clutter enter your home and life?
Ask these questions before you buy or take it:
Will I use it?
Do I really want it?
Where will I put it?
Do I have the room for it?
When will I put it away?
How will I remember I have it?
What can I let go of so I can bring this item in?
Why is it important to have it?
What is the real cost of bringing it home? (space, energy, time)
Keep a copy of these questions with you so you remember what to ask.
Before you bring another item home, ask one or more of the questions, and make sure you are consciously deciding to bring it home. Don't fall into old habits and behaviors.
Awareness and intention are what's important for prevention.