"Only Handle It Once" (OHIO)
- Deal with finding a home for objects as soon as they come into the house.
- Do not store items you plan on making a decision about later.
- While organizing make a decision about an object once and stick with it. - Do not retrieve items from the trash or donation pile when you begin to second guess yourself. Simplify decision making - Limit choices (Keep, Sell, Donate, Trash) - Make clear decision rules for each choice. (keep 10 hole-free plastic bags, throw away dirty bags, recycle remaining bags)
- Use broad categories for these rules instead of many specific ones, ("gift wrap items" instead of paper, lace ribbons, small, medium & large bows). Organize and file systematically - Place like things together in a designated place. (grain products in one cabinet, bottled and canned goods in another) - Use broad label headings when filing. (house, cars, medical, insurance, job, education). - File only important papers. Buy and keep "just enough" - Desired items will be on sale again. - If you run out, it is not a disaster. - Discard items you do not use anymore.
- Do not fill space because you have it.
Focus on functionality - Select a manageable target area to organize that you can complete in one day. - "Excavate" the target area by sorting into your broad categories.
- Organize the objects that remain systematically. - Use the area only for its intended purpose.
- Maintain the clear area.