Finish The Cycle- An Organizers Favorite Mantra To Live By

Several years ago, Peter Walsh coined the phrase “Finish the cycle”. He encouraged everyone to look at all the tasks we do as having “cycles”. This is my single most favorite organizing mantra. Its drilled into my brain and I use it all the time with my clients.

So what exactly does this mean? Everything we do has a cycle. For instance, laundry:

1. Sort it
2. Wash it
3. Dry it or hang it to dry
4. Fold
5 Put Away

You can use this method in all areas of your home and life. It not only saves time but handling as well. My second favorite organizing mantra is OHIO- only handle it once.

Here is another example for you. This weekend I decided to donate an old digital camera. Here was the cycle:

1. Get out Camera
2. Get cords and accessories for camera
3. Retrieve manual and software
4. Put together in zip lock bag (I didn’t keep box)
5. Delete camera software off the computer

Clutter begins when we don’t have a home for something or have a break down in between point A and point B. Its a quick and easy fix to throw something down vs put it away.

When you don’t “Finish the cycle” and toss things aside, this can cause a multitude of problems. By creating piles vs homes for things, you lose the clarity in your space. Everything becomes jumbled up vs put in a proper space. It also contributes to poor time management.

So instead of throwing your coat over the chair, take those few extra steps and hang it in the closet. If you live in a multi-level home, make sure that every time you go upstairs and downstairs, you have something in your hands. Don’t waste the trip!

The same thing can be said when you go to other areas of your home on the same level. Before you leave a room, look and see if anything needs to go with you! When I leave my office this morning, my tea cup will go back to the kitchen.

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