7 Steps to Getting and STAYING Organized
- Observe Your Habits
- Create Your Vision
- Build a Support Team
- Start Small
- Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You Need
- Purge, Purge, and Purge Some More
1. Observe your habits. Try this exercise before you begin any kind of organizing project. Spend a day observing yourself and pay attention to the little things…like where do you put your keys and mail when you get home. Do you throw clothes on the floor instead of hanging them back up? Take note of where you put (or not put) things when you are finished using them. The first step to un-learning bad habits is to notice that they are there.
2. Create your vision and write it down. Ask yourself these questions:
- What would my organized home look like? Get inspiration from your favorite magazines or catalogs.
- How do I want this space to feel? Sample list: uncluttered, relaxing and peaceful.
3. Build a support team. Ask a few friends to hold you accountable for your new organization goals. Call a friend and let them know that at 9:00 am today, you are going to spend twenty minutes organizing your closet. Have them call you back after twenty minutes to see how it is going.
4. Start with small, specific projects. One reason we often fail to be organized is that we set unrealistic goals. For example: “Today I’m going to clean out and organize my entire office!” Instead, set a goal to spend 1 hour sorting through old files and deciding what needs to be shredded, recycled, or filed. Take it one drawer at a time! I like to use the SPAM method, which means setting goals that are: Specific, Positive, Action Related, and Manageable.
5. Give yourself more time than you think you need to complete a task. Another reason we give up on being organized is that we make poor estimates of how long something will take. For example, you may think it will only take 15 minutes to organize your closet but in reality, it may take 4 hours! If it seems overwhelming, break the task into smaller parts and schedule time to complete them. For example, Saturday from 10:00 – 11:00 → organize clothes and Sunday from 3:00 – 4:00 → organize shoes. Give yourself more time than you need; things always take longer than you think. Set a timer to keep you focused.
6. Purge, purge, purge. Get rid of everything that you don’t love (or don’t use.) Haven’t used it in a year? Toss. Don’t absolutely love it? Toss. When our homes are filled with things we don’t love, need or use…it becomes clutter. And clutter just weighs us down both physically and emotionally.
7. Maintain. Finally, spend 10-15 minutes putting things back where they belong. I like doing this twice a day: once in the morning and then again in the evening. Make being organized a priority and more importantly, part of your daily routine.