Simple Monthly Habits to Get and Stay Organized

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I’m a huge fan of habits. When we form a habit, we lighten the pressure of having to repeatedly consider, choose, and decide both how and when to act. The past couple of weeks I’ve been discussing habits, talking about helpful behaviors to do daily and weekly. This week, I’m shifting my focus to simple monthly habits to get and stay organized. Since it is easy to lose track of monthly habits, I suggest you set aside a specific day to do them each month, such as the first/last day of the month, the second Saturday each month, etc.

Whenever you are trying to build a new habit, take advantage of tools that have been designed to prompt you to perform. For example, set an alarm on your phone to ring at a specific time on a certain day of the month. Alternatively, you can download a habit tracking app (e.g., Streaks for iOs, or HabitNow for Android), which can be provide a reminder on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and help you see how you are doing. These are particularly powerful for people who like to “keep a streak going.” A low-tech option is to hang a visual reminder(s). For instance, hang a list of monthly tasks on the inside of a kitchen cabinet, or simply write the tasks into your calendar.

The beauty is, once a habit is well formed, it will require much less effort on your part to remember to follow through. The process becomes somewhat “automatic,” making everything easier.

Here are a few monthly habits you may wish to try.

Monthly Habit #1 – Clear out the refrigerator

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Monthly Habit #2 – Clear your downloads folder

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Monthly Habit #3 – Delete Photos

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Monthly Habit #4 – Sort Accumulated Reading Material

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Do you have any monthly habits? I’d love to know what you do on a monthly basis!

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18 thoughts on “Simple Monthly Habits to Get and Stay Organized”

  1. A monthly habit I recommend is a financial review. This once-a-month habit helps you stay informed on your finances, meet your financial goals, and be sure you are on track with security.

  2. All are great reminders, they are essential to your every day living if you want a clean and clutter free space. The one that always gets me is the downloaded files. I do go through them once in a while but not as often as I would like. Thanks for all these great tips. I also agree on the monthly financial review.
    Janet Schiesl recently posted…My Thoughts on List MakingMy Profile

  3. Are you watching me? I literally cleaned out my fridge mere minutes before watching your post. (I tend to clean mine out before heading to the supermarket, to make sure I don’t duplicate something I already have at home.)

    I have my computer set to download everything to my desktop in order to prompt me to file it, but for some reason, any photo I send from my phone to my computer via Airdrop still shows up in the Downloads folder. I only had a dozen from the past 2 1/2 years, but had 400 from 2015! Speaking of which, thank you for the reminder. I delete photos often, but your prompt reminded me I don’t need the photos I took last month on my first visit to Buc-ees! LOL!

    Until the pandemic, I was good about tossing every magazine when the new one arrived, but I used to have 17 magazine subscriptions. Now, it’s just Real Simple, and I’ve lost track of the ones I’m interviewed in, so the pile has grown, awaiting my going through them. Thanks for the push! Excellent advice!
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Paper Doll’s Ultimate Guide to Tax-Smart Organizing: 2024My Profile

    1. I don’t think I get any magazines anymore, at least none to which I subscribe. For me, it is catalogs and the occasional journal that I plan to look at read, but don’t. I work with clients who still have large amounts of these. At some point, they can just become a burden, instead of a joy. That’s how we know it is time to let go and move on, right?

      The downloads folder was an eye opener to me awhile back. Now I try and keep on top of it. The first time, I had no idea they were even there!

  4. Great monthly decluttering ideas! I had not thought of scheduling a clean out of my downloads folder or my photos once a month. I am going to take these suggestions to heart as these are digital places that I have trouble staying on top of.
    I have a habit of cleaning my refrigerator every other week and I am such an avid reader that reading material does not tend to accumulate.
    Thank you for these great suggestions. I’m off to put an alarm in my phone for the downloads and photos!

  5. Great task reminders! I like the idea of breaking the refrigerator clean-out into weekly tasks. To make this task easier to remember, I like to do the clearing out the day before my trash day and my grocery shopping day, which are both on Thursday of each week. This allows me to remove expired foods and leftovers and wipe down the shelves before going to the grocery store the next day and stocking up again.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Business Affirmations to Achieve Your GoalsMy Profile

  6. I’m real good about cleaning out my refrigerator(weekly) and my reading material (monthly). But the downloads and pictures are very sporadic. I need to step up my game here and make a monthly schedule. The only other monthly schedule I have is working on my Zone Plan where I deep clean one zone of my house each month.

  7. Seana, these are GREAT monthly reminders! I especially love the digital cleanup, as I think once a month is more realistic for these tasks than once a week. Great job! I would also add other house maintenance things like changing out air filters (if yours are monthly), recharging/restarting devices, and checking your smoke detectors. Great article, thanks!
    Jana Arevalo recently posted…Get your FREE April Declutter Calendar now!My Profile

  8. These are so great! The fridge should be monthly but I fear it’s more like we do it quarterly. I’m hoping to change that, though. The photos one is another great one! My phone seems to always be at full storage and I really need to offload the photos once a month!

    1. Monthly can be a helpful window because it easily recurs. For example, every month has a 1st, and also a first Saturday. Great ideas to offload photos once a month!

  9. I don’t send many files to my Download folder. Usually I send them directly to the appropriate folder if I want to keep them, or to my Desktop if I only need to use it now. That said, I do use the Downloads folder from time to time, and I rarely think to clean it out.

    Thanks for this and the other great suggestions!
    Janet Barclay recently posted…The Successful SalespersonMy Profile

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