For years my mom has followed certain guidelines when it comes to organization. Whether it is a closet, a room, our garage, whatever, we follow the A, B, C, and D system of ranking items to be organized. Mom got this idea from an amazing woman named Lorie Marrero. She is the creator of The Clutter Diet. In her book and on her website she explains the A, B, C, and D system in depth and my mom was an early member of The Clutter Diet forums.
Why am I telling you all of this? Why am I writing about ‘How To Keep Your Room Clean’ on my personal finance blog? Why? Well, take a look at the picture below and you will see why:
Before you start judging me, I do have an excuse. First of all, the above picture may have been taken without my knowledge and I would have cleaned up if I had known you all were coming over. Second, my new bedroom is a lot smaller than my old one. We moved a couple of months ago and I just haven’t gotten the hang of getting organized in my new space.
That’s when I thought about calling Lorie and getting her best tips for teens on how to keep your room clean and other general organizing tips. We were able to talk recently and I figured that I’m probably not the only teenager out there having trouble keeping my room clean.
The first thing that Lorie and I spoke about is time management. She encourages people to think about it as choice management rather than time management. We really have to manage our priorities and our choices – not just our time. Here are her tips:
*You always have a choice. You can nap or watch Netflix or work on something that is productive. It isn’t like anyone MAKES you watch tv instead of doing your work.
*You have to decide your priorities for yourself. Yes, as teens we often have parents and other adults telling us what our priorities SHOULD be, but only we make the actual choice in the moment.
*Take ownership of your own life no matter your age. Lorie explained that this means you need to stop looking to external motivators like teachers, parents, or your boss, to get you to do what you need to do. Do it yourself.
As far as organization goes Lorie has some very good practical tips. Let me start by explaining the A, B, C, D system. An A item is something you use everyday so you wouldn’t put it at the back of your closet. B items gets used regularly and a C item not quite as much. D items are things you rarely use such as Christmas decorations. If you categorize all of the items in a given space in this way you quickly see how you need to organize everything.
This seems like second nature to me since we have been doing this for so long in our family. But Lorie also told me that it’s the daily maintenance that is the real issue for most teens. She suggests spending a few minutes every single day just on these maintenance items. Here are her ideas:
*Hang up clothes. (Ugh! This is my worst problem!) Lorie suggested using hooks on the wall or even laying them over a chair as long as they are neat and NOT on the floor.
*Put away clean clothes. (Also an issue for me. Does anyone else leave their clean clothes in a basket in their room for a week? Anyone?) We talked about the fact that it actually only takes just a few minutes. If you set your timer you could probably get all your clean clothes put away in five minutes or less!
*Shoes. (Also a problem for me because I leave them all over the house and then can’t find them when I need them!) Lorie just suggests that you gather them all up regularly and put them where they belong.
*General Organization. You have to be able to see your stuff. Try to make sure that everything is visible. If you can’t see it you probably won’t use it.
*One In and One Out Rule. If you are cramped for space like me then you need to implement this rule asap. If you buy a new pair of shoes then one old pair needs to be thrown out or donated to Goodwill. Lorie is an ambassador of Goodwill’s Donate Movement. She wanted to remind all of us how important it is to donate our good used items to Goodwill. It’s a great way to get rid of clutter in our rooms and help others at the same time.
*Being organized saves money and time. When we know what we have and use it regularly there is little chance of buying something we already have or don’t need. Obviously, if we can find everything we have that’s a huge time saver instead of wandering around the house looking for your tennis shoes because you don’t know where you left them.
These are great tips that I am starting to implement so I can do a better job at keeping my room clean. Many thanks to Lorie for taking the time to speak with me and give me these tips that are so helpful!
Are you good about keeping your room picked up and looking nice or is it a challenge for you? I would love to hear your ideas about how to keep your room clean so be sure to leave a comment!