Week after week I give a lot of advice on getting organized. We can organize just about anything but if we continue doing the same things we've always done, we will be met with nothing more than frustration and shame. Here is a crash course in how to be organized. Implement these one at a time. Patience pays off.
Habits of Organized People
Know how you work best and use those principles to organize. Reduce steps, reduce lids, create systems to cater to your preferences; know how you prefer to live and work. Most of all, know your priorities and goals.
Being organized is not the goal.
The goal is so much more than pretty containers. Striving to be organized for organized sake is a recipe for disaster. Be organized to enjoy the benefits of it. An organized life makes room for focus and peace.
Expect to fail.
People fall off the organizing wagon every single day – that doesn't make them disorganized. The difference, however, is that organized people accept this as part of the process and simply start again.
A place for everything, and everything in its place.
If something doesn't have a place to live, it will always be out of place. Each shirt needs a hanger or a space in a drawer. If there isn't enough room to store all of your shirts, reconsider what you have. If shoes don't have a place to live, they will wind up in the middle of the room or even worse – lost.
Get the items out of your head and onto a list or calendar. Leave your mental resources free to think about important things, happy thoughts, and complex issues instead.
Use routines in your day to take care of the boring, repetitive, and generally undesirable tasks. A little accomplished regularly and well will free up large amounts of time and stress because these tasks aren't left to pile up. Make sure dishes are washed before bed, school clothes for the next day laid out, etc.
Follow through – don't delay.
Tasks aren't considered complete until the cleanup is complete. This includes meals, wrapping gifts, and homework. If it takes fewer than two minutes, do it now.
Be a team.
Work together to accomplish big tasks by dividing to conquer. Establish who will do what. When everyone makes a commitment to the home and the team then works together as a unit. Just make sure everyone knows what is expected of them individually and are taught how to do it the best way for your household.
Don't own a lot of stuff.
When the need is gone for an item, so should be the item: gone. Only keep what you value or use.
Trust in the future.
Trust that if you need something in the future, you will be able to buy, borrow, or acquire what you need when you need it. Saving just in case
really needs to be a thinking style that lives in your past. Have on hand items that are useful and necessary. Band- aids, toilet paper, and baking soda fall into this category, not a collection of punch bowls or the plastic measuring up you received as a gift when you go married (thirty years ago) and that barely survived a few too many trips into the microwave.
Your things don't contain souls.
It is not that you are asked to be heartless in regards to your things. Some things do indeed make us feel strong emotions. Simply be rational enough to know that things represent and don't actually become what we are sentimental about. Grandpa is not in his cowboy hat. Your youth is not trapped in that old homecoming mum.
It's better to have a tree than a forest.
Quality over quantity, my friend. Keep the "best" one instead of all. Rather than hang on to every piece of construction paper with a dash of colored crayola you child brings home from school, keep the ones with drawings of your family or a handprint made into a heart for Valentines. Be selective
Being organized is a choice.
Simply stated, you can't force someone to be organized – and that includes yourself. There are multiple paths to a happy, fulfilled life, and being organized is just one path to that goal. Harboring resentment for not being organized only clutters up your time and mind.
Have a Neat day!
Jennifer Snyder, Certified Professional OrganizerÒ
Neat as a PinÒ Organizing Experts, Owner
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