You know that lovely feeling you get when you’ve just organized your shoes, cleared out the filing cabinet, or streamlined your vintage doily collection?
*insert whiny voice* Why does it never last? Why must entropy rule? Why do you invariably end up right back in clutter and disorganization?
The answer is that backsliding is actually not inevitable.
By using my simple ‘OCI-OGO‘ magic formula, you’ll be able to preserve all the gains you make any time you declutter or organize anything.
Even if you haven’t started decluttering or organizing yet, you can still use OCI-OGO. It will stop current clutter from getting worse, which will make the job easier when you do get around to it.
Warning: This strategy is life changing. Once you know it, you can’t un-know it. You can’t go back. So decide now if you want to read on, because once you do, you’ll owe it to yourself to use OCI-OGO.
My Magic OCI-OGO Formula
OCI-OGO stands for One Comes In – One Goes Out.
This means that every time something new comes into your home, car, handbag, briefcase, closet or life – something old goes out.
Here are some examples:
- When you buy a new item of clothing, you donate or discard an old one from your closet.
HINT: Only have enough hangers for your existing clothes – that way you’ll have to get rid of old things to make room for new ones.
- When you buy new shoes, you donate or discard an old pair.
- When the kids receive a new toy, they give an old one to a child who doesn’t have as much as they do (what a fabulous habit to teach kids!)
HINT: Have a donation basket for kids’ clothes and toys and encourage the kids to make contributions.
- When you receive the latest magazine in your subscription, you automatically put the previous one in the recycle bin (‘But I haven’t read it yet!’ you say. Do you want to feel pressured to read everything, or to be happy and calm? Let it go.)
- When you buy a new book, DVD or CD, you donate an old one to the library.
HINT: If you buy a lot of books, DVDs or CDs, have a dedicated library donation box.
- When you file your latest statements or papers, you discard, archive or shred out-of-date papers from your files.
HINT: File papers in reverse chronological order so you can easily remove the oldest ones from the back.
- When you buy a new cosmetic, you toss out an old one.
HINT: Make-up has a shelf life. Use it, and then be happy to lose it.
- When you receive a gift, you find something you no longer use or love and give that away.
- When you buy a kitchen gadget or utensil, you donate or discard at least one old one.
HINT: Having fewer, but more useful, utensils will make it easier to find what you need and use what you have.
When the kids get a new backpack, drink bottle, game, or whatever, they discard or donate an old one.
You get the idea.
And the idea is simple: the net amount of stuff in your life never grows. How cool is that! You get to enjoy new things without any increase in disorganization or clutter. You keep stuff flowing through your life rather than letting it become a quagmire of crap. It’s the end of entropy!
Now doesn’t OCI-OGO sound like a good way to live? Decide to become an OCI-OGO-er today.
[Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34053291@N05/3248446340/ / CC BY 2.0]
4 thoughts on “My Magic Formula For Staying Clutter-Free For Life (Or: How To Avoid Organizing Entropy)”
This is great, but recycling or repurposing is better than discarding.
just tried explaining that to Ben aged 12, he had a hard time throwing two pairs of old runners out this morning, he got new hikers and runners last week.
very good way of getting organized!
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