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How to Use Quick, Easy Habits to Create and Maintain Outer Order.

Outer order contributes to inner calm

Outer order contributes to inner calm

And it’s far easier to keep up than to catch up, and with the right habits, clutter never accumulates.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Use Quick, Easy Habits to Create and Maintain Outer Order.

How to Use Quick, Easy Habits to Create and Maintain Outer Order.

https://gretchenrubin.com/2019/06/habits-to-create-and-maintain-outer-order

gretchenrubin.com

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Key Ideas

The Strategy of Convenience

Make it as easy as possible to maintain order:

  • Use hooks instead of hangers. 
  • Have abundant waste baskets.
  • Clear out everything you don't need, don't use, or don't love, so there's more room for what remains. When it's hard to put things away, we create clutter.

The Strategy of Clarity

Know exactly what you expect:

  • Have an exact place for items (keys, sunglasses, batteries, etc.)
  • Know who's responsible for what task. Avoid the  problem of shared work.

The Strategy of Scheduling

 Set aside time to create order:

  • Do any task that can be finished in less than one minute, without delay.
  • Make a list of all the tasks you’d like to accomplish, and once a week, for just one hour, steadily work on these chores.
  • Every time you transition from one stage to another, take ten minutes to clean up your space.

The Strategy of the Clean Slate

Take advantage of new beginnings to foster outer order:

  • Clear before you move. Moving is a great opportunity to clear clutter.
  • If you're not moving, make a mock move: Ask yourself, "If I were moving, would I bother to wrap this or would I give/throw it away?
  • Use beginning to create orderly habits:  when starting a new job, shape habits related to filing, tossing, archiving, etc.

The Strategy of Pairing

Pair an activity you like to do or must do with creating outer order:

  • Listen to a podcast while you're creating outer order (doing laundry, returning files to their places)
  • When tackling a big job, play fun music, have good food, ask a friend to help you  (pairing the task with enjoyable aspects makes it becomes easier).
  • Allow yourself to watch your favorite TV show only if do speed-clutter-clearing during the commercials. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Priming the Environment
Whenever you organize a space for its intended purpose, you are priming it to make the next action easy. This is one of the most practical and simple ways to improve your habits.
Ideas to prime your environment
  • To draw more: Put your pencils, pens, notebooks, and drawing tools on top of your desk, within easy reach.
  • To exercise more: Set out your workout clothes, shoes, gym bag, and water bottle ahead of time.
  • To improve your diet: Chop up a ton of fruits and vegetables on weekends and pack them in containers, so you have easy access to healthy, ready-to-eat options during the week.
Make bad behaviors difficult

If you watch too much television, unplug it after each use. Only plug it back in if you can say out loud the name of the show you want to watch. (Which prevents you from turning on Netflix and “just finding something” to watch.) This setup creates just enough friction to prevent mindless viewing.

Habit Stacking

One of the best ways to build a new habit is to identify a current habit you already do each day and then stack your new behavior on top - habit stacking.

Habit stacking is a spec...

Time

Clutter drains you of your time. If you live in a cluttered place, you will spend extra time looking for lost items: keys, money, shoes, tools, etc. 

And even when you’r...

Money
  • When you don’t have financial papers organized, bills can get lost, causing you to accrue fees for being late with the payments.
  • Replacing lost items and buying duplicates of those we didn’t realize we already had can carry a cost that adds up quickly.
Stress

Examples of stress clutter can cause:

  • Having guests over becomes an embarrassment or an event that takes all-day preparation.
  • Each room carries visual reminders of all the work that needs to be done in the way of cleaning.
  • According to the principles of feng shui, clutter drains you of your positive energy.

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