Many mornings, when I am ready to walk out the door to greet the day, I go through a ritual that may sound familiar. Where are my keys? What about my wallet? I’d call my husband to ask if he had any insight if I knew where I left my phone. In the past I have found my keys in the door lock from the night before, so I start there. No luck. My dresser? The kitchen table? While I am looking for my keys I stumble across my wallet on the floor next to the couch. The look on my kids’ faces when I ask about my phone suggests they used it, and then it magically appears on the counter I swear I checked earlier. But where are my keys? I’m going to be late…
Being physically organized is great, but one needs to be committed to staying mentally organized as well. In fact, organization of our physical environments is closely tied to how we organize our thoughts. We are in luck, because we are creatures of habit. With a little discipline and some retraining, we can prevail.
What works for me is to have a dedicated place to set my keys, wallet, and phone when I walk in the door. The secret is to designate a place close to the door you typically enter through. If you choose to designate an area in your bedroom to avoid clutter in the common areas, you run the risk of getting sidetracked and finding your keys the next morning in your freezer. Find a nice table if you can. Buy a decorative dish, or shop around for an artful cubby to hang on your wall. I have seen them with hooks, slots for mail and even a small blackboard to leave notes for family members.
Whatever you decide to do, stick to it. Drop your keys, wallet, and phone in the same place every time you come home, without compromise. If you do that for twenty one days, you will have formed a new habit and saved yourself lots of frustration.