Do you often find yourself rummaging through your house looking for that one item you know you saw just two days ago? Do you sometimes think that if your head weren’t attached to your body, you’d lose your mind? Well, I know I have and I am here to tell you that these questions have an answer—organization! Unfortunately, this answer is not always so simple. Getting organized can be overwhelming and frustrating. However, I can tell you, from my 10 years of organizing experience, that the end result is ALWAYS worth it. One of the questions I am faced with by almost all of my clients is, “Where in the world do I start?” Well, this is a great question! Diving into organization without a strategic plan is kind of like driving somewhere new without directions. Both are usually not so successful.
Here are seven simple secrets to help you answer the question, “Where in the World do I Start?”
- Motivate- Just like everything else in life, your attitude towards getting organized determines your success. If you are constantly telling yourself ‘I can’t do it,’ then you probably can’t do it. From this point forward, tell yourself, “I CAN do it!” Think about how great you will feel emptying out that box that has been taking up the whole back half of your closet for the past year. Pretty good, huh? Dream about all the free time you will have simply because you won’t find yourself spending hours mindlessly searching for things.
- Choose a starting point- any starting point! Can’t decide where to begin? Well, just by getting started you are on your way. Your starting point really does not matter; the important part is that you start somewhere.
- Think about what’s really bugging you the most- I usually find this to be the best motivation to getting organized. If you can’t stand the fact that you can’t see your desk because it’s covered with papers, start there. Or, if you are constantly irritated that you can’t park in your garage because it’s filled with boxes, start there.
- One thing at a time! It is important to focus on one thing at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself with the impossible. To help with this, I advise you to utilize my favorite tactic—making lists! Start by making a list of the things you want to organize whether it is your garage, your closet, your pantry, etc. When you’re done with your list, choose only one thing to be your ‘major’ goal. Next, break your ‘major’ goal down into ‘mini’ goals. Now, one at a time you can focus on achieving each doable mini goal. If you need some extra guidance to get you going, refer to my blog post, How to Organize Any Space in 4 Easy Steps to help you through the process. Before you know it, your ‘major’ goal will be conquered. Make sure to cross each area off of your list once completed. Such a sense of satisfaction in that!
- Abide by due dates- This tactic eliminates the possibility of procrastination and telling yourself, “Oh, I’ll get around to it when I have time.” Unless you make time you aren’t going to have time. Apply them to each of your ‘mini’ goals.
- Reward Yourself! After each ‘mini’ goal you conquer, treat yourself. Your reward can range from a cookie to a new pair of shoes, I recommend tailoring it to personal preference. Make it enticing and be sure to only reward yourself when you deserve it (aka when you fulfill a ‘mini’ goal)! Make a chart to organize your goals, due dates, and potential rewards and display it somewhere where you will see it every day.
- Recruit an accountability partner- Recruit a friend or family member to remind you about your organization goals and due dates. Give them a copy of your chart and ask them to gently encourage you a few days before due dates, check up on your organization progress, and be your cheer leader!
And if that isn’t enough to get you going, contact your favorite professional organizer to guide you to your well deserved success!