When we find ourselves in a mess, it would seem that the main reason is because we have just put things anywhere and lost our system (if we had one to begin with). A system goes hand in hand with a habit. But which comes first??
I find that either can come first. If you create a system you can then form a habit to go with it, but that might be difficult if it is a system that is quite different to your normal habits. Creating a system based on you habits is much easier to maintain.
Think back now or for the next 3-5 days make a mental note of your routine. When you collect the mail/washing/shopping, what do you do with it? When do you do the dishes/read emails/walk the dog? If you have an area in your life that seems unorganised you will most likely have issues before you do these things, that are based on the things you do, after you do these things. What I mean by that is, if you went to walk the dog you would have to find his lead. But if you haven’t put it in a place you can easily access/remember it, you might put off walking the dog or be unhappy that you had to spend time looking for it, before you could go out to walk him. Essentially you’ll probably feel disorganised and annoyed.
If you have these problems it's most likely that a routine/habit/system has not been formed where you do the same thing each time. So think about your current routine. When you have come home from walking the dog what do you normally do? Do you usually walk through the front/side door/garage? Do you just put the lead down where ever you can? Walk now through that same path. Can you make this into a routine?
Can you do the same thing each time and place a hook or a receptacle of some sort for the lead?
If you nearly always take the same path it won’t be such a huge change for you to take the new system on. Try to create systems so that they are close to your normal habits so that when you do them you feel happy about following through on your new system. This makes it more sustainable and more fulfilling. If you start a new system and it goes by the ways side after a while, have a look at what you are doing now instead, perhaps you can change your system to suit. We are not robots, our lives change. Systems are not written in stone, they are adaptable to suit us for time we need them.
Enjoy making some new systems to make your life easier.