Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life March 2011 – Vol. 10 No. 3
Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding. ~ Harvey Mackay
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3 Steps to New Habits I think it’s safe to say that those of us who consistently perform uncluttering and organizing activities are more organized than those of us who do not. So how do we get into the habit of uncluttering and organizing?

Stanford University’s B.J. Fogg, Ph.D. says, “Forget the myth of 21 days or just one habit at a time. Here’s what works.” He’s referring to the findings of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Here are the three steps he recommends to develop a new habit.

Step 1. Make it tiny.
To create a new behavior, you must first simplify the behavior, Make it tiny, even ridiculous.

A good tiny behavior is easy to do – and fast.

Examples: Floss one tooth.
Walk for 3 minutes.
Do 2 pushups.

Step 2. Find a spot.
Find a spot in your existing routine where this tiny new behavior could fit.

Put it *after* some act that is a solid habit for you, like brushing your teeth or eating lunch.

One key to a new habit is this simple: You need to find what it comes *after.*

Step 3. Train the cycle.
Now focus on doing the tiny behavior as part of your routine every day or cycle.

At first, you’ll need reminders. But soon the tiny behavior will get more automatic.

Keep the behavior simple until it becomes a solid habit. That’s the secret to success.

That’s it.

“But wait!” you say. “What about the full behavior? The tiny habit is not enough.”

The good news is that your tiny behavior will naturally expand to the bigger behavior.

Just keep your tiny behavior going. Eventually, without much effort, you’ll be doing the full behavior. Life lesson: Believe in baby steps.

Steps (through “Believe in baby steps”) excerpted word for word from: http://www.slideshare.net/captology/3-steps-to-new-habits So. What tiny behavior will you incorporate into your routine to help you get into the habit of uncluttering your life?

Here are some ideas off the top of my head:

Hang up clothes you will wear again *after*
you take them off.
Toss one item of clothing that you have not worn in more than a year into a donations box
*after* getting dressed each morning.
Return an item to where it belongs *after*
using it.
Toss the newspaper into the recycling bin
*after* reading it.
Put bills to pay into a “Bills to Pay” folder
*after* receiving them in the mail.
*After* doing dinner dishes, remove 3 items from your kitchen counter and put them away.

Can you think of other tiny behaviors that you fit into your everyday routine to help you create the habit of uncluttering?

Favorite organizing products and resources

As a professional organizer for the last 10 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources.
Every month, in this column, I share my favorites.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to two organizing products that turn doors and walls into storage space.

The first is the Simply Stashed hanging organizer that you can use to organize crafts, kid stuff, cleaning supplies, pantry items, socks and underwear and more.

The second is Gear Pockets, another hanging organizer designed to organize sporting equipment in the garage.

See both of these hanging organizers* at: http://www.christydesignsonline.com/

Just for you my valued reader, Christy is offering a 10% discount. Just enter the coupon code UNCLUTTER at checkout.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, visit www.unclutter.com/favorites

Shameless promotion: Never forget a birthday again About 4½ years ago now, I discovered that I could send greeting cards from my own computer for a fraction of the cost of store-bought cards.

I just select a card from the card catalog – or create a really unique card by uploading my own photos to the cover and inside. I then type my message in my own handwriting and with my own signature (bet you’re wondering how I do that), and click send.

The cards are printed, stuffed, stamped and mailed for as little as 62 cents plus postage.
And I can send the same card to 100 people as quickly as I can send one card! (Think invitations, wedding thank yous, holiday cards, etc.)

I love that I no longer have to run to the store to buy cards or stamps. I love that I get email reminders about upcoming birthdays and anniversaries so I won’t forget special occasions for the people I care about. And I love that I can add a gift or gift card. Talk about simplifying your life!

Okay, enough said. If you want to see how it works, I’ve set it up so you can send a card on me to someone who needs to hear from you. Just go to www.sendoutcards.com/kuper (Just so you know, I liked the service so much, I signed up as a distributor so I earn a percentage of all the cards and gifts everyone sends. Would it be okay if you earned an extra paycheck each month? Email donna@unclutter.com or watch the opportunity video at www.sendoutcards.com/kuper to learn more.)

News you can use: More organizing tips from Donna 20 minutes to a clutter-free home Prevention magazine

Clean sweep Better Homes & Gardens

You’ll also find more of my spring cleaning tips in the April issue of Real Simple magazine.

That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.