Most people want to be more organized. However, when the reality of taking the steps to get there is in front of us, we often feel overwhelmed. The question I get asked most often is how to get started on organizing.
Like anything else, that first step is the hardest. Whether you’re unsure where to start, or afraid of putting in all that effort and not being successful, we often get stalled before we ever really get started.
Whether you are wanting to organize a room in your house, the papers that come home from school, a routine in your life, or your whole house, here are 5 tips to jump start your organizing efforts:
Choose the area that bugs you the most. Is there a spot in your house you can’t stand looking at because you wish it were neater? Is there a time of day that drives you insane every single day? Focus on that first. Your motivation for working on it will be high, since you probably have a strong desire to fix it! Focusing on just one area or aspect of your day makes the task of organizing seem less overwhelming and more manageable.
Start with the end in mind. What is your end goal? Is it to reduce the clutter somewhere? Is it to make a space more usable? Is it to make a part of your day run more efficiently? Determine what you want out of your efforts before you even start, so when it comes time to make difficult choices – like whether to get rid of items or cut an activity from your schedule – you have a guide in place to help you make those choices.
Break your project up into sections or steps. How can you divide your organizing project into specific steps or tasks? Not only does this make it seem less overwhelming, but you get small successes along the way to keep you motivated. For example, if you want to organize your kids’ playroom, create steps such as sort toys into keep, donate, and trash piles; sort the keep pile by type of toy – cars in one pile, Legos in another, etc.; put toys into bins; label your bins. In addition, creating smaller steps makes it easier to do a little at a time, rather than feeling like you need to have a whole day available all at once.
Enlist help. Who can you go to for help – your kids, your hubby, a friend? People who have a vested interest in your organizing efforts are perfect helpers. Whenever my kids start complaining about not being able to find specific toys, I know it’s time to organize the playroom. I make it their choice what stays and goes, but everything needs to have a home. Since they help to find those homes, they know where to put toys away and where to find them again. Sometimes it can be helpful to have an “outsider,” like a friend, help you make choices about what things should stay or go. A friend doesn’t have the same attachment to your things and can be more impartial when making some decisions.
Make it maintainable. How can you maintain the organization once you’re done? Make sure however you organize something – whether it is a routine or a closet or anything else – you have an idea in place of how to maintain that organization. When I wanted to clear up the clutter just inside our back door area, I hung two hooks at kid level for their coats, and I placed bins underneath for hats, gloves, etc and backpacks. Then for about a month, every day when we came in, I told the kids “Coats on hooks and bags in bins!” Now it’s an immediate habit and the system is working for us!
Weren’t those some really great tips from Beth on how to get a jumpstart on Organizing?
I know I will be putting them to use especially when school starts up again. I’m so happy Beth had the time to come hang out with me this week!
Have you done any organizing to help get your Summer in order?
What tips do you have on making your changes last?
Don’t forget to come by tomorrow and see my BloggerBFF Tenns from New Mama Diaries as she shares the importance of Branding. Don’t forget spread the word that the party is over at MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter this week!