"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.