There seems to be little doubt that millennials are great at making their digital lives work seamlessly but recent research suggests that they’re definitely not as good as their parents at getting and staying organized.

A recent survey conducted on behalf of SpareFoot showed that millennials have a harder time staying organized compared to baby boomers or Gen Xers.

About 46 percent of millennials said they were disorganized less than a week after getting organized at the end of summer. Only 34 percent of Gen Xers and 36 percent of boomers admitted to relapsing that quickly.

On top of that, another SpareFoot survey found that 59 percent of millennials said they had a cluttered home, compared to 51 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of baby boomers.

So what gives?

beautiful woman is expressing panic in her really messy room

Speculation is fun, but the more important question for me is helping young, tech-savvy adults keep their life organized and hassle-free.

For many people I’ve worked with, especially younger people, the idea of getting organized sounds like drudgery. It’s a boring, mindless, waste of time without much benefit.

If you feel like I’m talking to you, it’s time for a mind-shift.

When you have a pair of earbuds but can’t find them in your messy space, you actually don’t own those ear phones. What’s the point of saying you own something when you can’t put your hands on it when you need it?

If looking for a misplaced item has ever caused unnecessary stress for you or someone you care about, then you probably know that getting organized can benefit your life.

Being organized isn’t that different from having a smartphone loaded with the best apps and connects you to the internet wherever you go. Both save you time, maximize your strengths, and just plain make life easier.

You wouldn’t live without your phone, so why wouldn’t you want to be organized as well?

If you aren’t organized, you aren’t reaching your full potential.

Young student with laptop

Instead of thinking of getting organized as a mountain of hard work, think of it as a small task—as small as carrying your phone charger or knowing which app to use.

Here’s one small but mind-blowing concept you need in order to find and stay on the path to organization: put it away when you’re done.

Repeat that mantra again – put it away when you’re done.

Flexing a muscle will only build its strength.

Girl shows her muscles strength and power

Get used to throwing your clothes in a hamper at the end of the day (as opposed to on the floor). Put the dishes in the dishwasher as soon as you’ve finished eating. Deal with the mail immediately every day when it comes in with you. Put the cap back on the toothpaste and close the medicine cabinet after you’re finished brushing your teeth. Make your bed before you leave home in the morning.

I know these all sound small, silly, and mundane. But believe me, the number of people who’ve told me their lives changed by routinely doing these small things would surprise you.

If you get into the habit of taking the extra thirty seconds it usually takes to finish something, I promise you’ll be well on your way to having a much more organized, more focused, less stressed life.

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Peter Walsh
  • Susan Zanone

    Great article that actually applies to all of us. I know when I’ve let things go, doing the “no-brainers” like making the bed and putting a few things away actually give me the motivation and energy to tidy up some more.

  • Joyce

    I say just lazy.