Cleaning Challenge: Elements of an Organized Life

get organized

New Year Cleaning Challenge Day 61

What does it mean to be organized?

While the answer is different for every person and every household, there are four core elements of an organized life. Knowing the Core Four--and where you fall in relation to each element--is essential to craft a get-organized plan that will work for you.

Today in the New Year Cleaning Challenge, we'll meet the Core Four. Where will you focus your get-organized energies?

Today's Assignment:
Core Four Elements of an Organized Life

Say the phrase, "it's time to get organized", and a different goal may appear to every person who hears it.

One friend envisions scenes from a clutter-free, minimalist home, while another dreams of extra time in her day. Still others focus on improving the flow of daily life, or organizing workspaces when they think of getting organized.

So who's right? Surprise! All these definitions are correct; each point of view reflects different elements of an organized life.

As I explained in my most recent book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Organized, there are four core elements to an organized life:

  • Controlled Clutter
  • Robust Routines
  • Organized Spaces
  • Well-Managed Time

Looking at an organized home, you'll see evidence of all four core elements at work. Clutter is managed on an ongoing basis, while household routines handle cleaning and daily chores on a regular basis. Spaces are organized to support the work that goes on in them; time management keeps life moving each day.

Conversely, if you feel disorganized, it's likely that one of these factors isn't working for you the way it should. Allowing clutter to pile up interferes with cleaning routines, the usefulness of the workspace, and costs time spent searching for misplaced items.

When habits and routines aren't in place, a clean home will slide into disorder quickly. And even if your surroundings are organized and clutter-free, poor time management leaves you unable to make the most of them!

Today, review the list you made earlier this week, on Challenge Day 59. Can you identify which of the Core Four needs reinforcement?

Aiming your efforts at the weakest of these elements will speed you along the way to an organized life more quickly than refining an already-working one!

Know the Core Four--and know yourself--to move toward better home and personal organization quickly!