Here’s hoping that your 2021 is off to an organized start! Getting organized adds so many benefits to our daily life…finding items easier, reducing anxiety and stress, spending less money on “lost” items, and overall freeing up time that can be spent on hobbies or with our loved ones. I know for many of you getting organized is a goal in the New Year and I want to help you see that goal come to life. My list of organizing do’s and do not’s should get you started on the right path!

Always ask yourself why you want to get organized. The answer will help you stay focused!

Do Ask Yourself, “What is my Why?”

The reasons individuals want to get organized isn’t cookie cutter. In fact, each person wants to get organized for a different reason. Spend some time thinking about your reason, your “why,” because when procrastination sneaks in (and motivation flies out the window), you’re more likely to stick with a project if you can think about and visualize your “why.”

Do Break Down a Project into Manageable Chunks

Rome wasn’t built in a day and most organizing projects aren’t completed in a day either. Unless you are simply cleaning out a junk drawer (which is a great project by the way), it’s important to remind yourself to take your time in order to achieve long term benefits. Often times I’ve heard clients say that they were overwhelmed with a project and instead of diving in, they found it easier to walk away. And guess what? That project sat and sat and continued to frustrate the client. Here are my suggestions: write down every project that you want to tackle in your home (including your end goal and timeline), prioritize them by writing a number next to each project, and finally write down three to five next steps to follow through on the project. I think you’ll find that this sets you up for success more than jumping in without a goal, plan, and/or timeline.

Before you start an organizing project, write down your goals, plans, and timeline.

Do Follow the Five Steps of Organizing

I’ve written a few posts that discuss the five steps of an organizing project, but let’s review them here for any newbies! First, sort items into categories and purge what no longer serves you. Skipping these crucial steps results in a space that is rearranged, but not organized.Once you have identified what you have and the volume in each category that remains after purging, you’ll be able to move on to the next phases of organizing which is assigning a home for your categories and containing the items in each category. Finally, you’ll want to think about various ways to maintain your space long term. Using labels on your containers is one way to maintain your space. I wrote a few blog posts that you can reference for more information. Find them HERE and HERE.

Do Not Reinvent the Organizing Wheel

Friends, look around and you’ll see organizing inspiration everywhere you look. A simple search on Pinterest or Instagram and a walk through The Container Store (or Target) will provide you with ideas to organize almost any space in your home. Even professional organizers look to these sources for new, creative ideas!

Organizing inspiration is all around you!

Do Not Forget Organized Living is a Journey, Not a Destination

I was asked recently about how to keep a space organized long term. Here’s the truth…yes, you can use fancy labels and labels are important, but in the end it comes down to this – you need to put in the effort, day in and day out, to keep a space organized. Staying organized takes the same thoughtful time investment that you gave to getting organized. It means being disciplined on a daily basis to put items away, go through the mail, return items to their homes, etc. I promise you though it’s worth the investment and it’s easier to follow through when you keep your “why” front and center in your mind!

Do Make Organizing Fun

What you say? Organizing isn’t fun you say? Yes, it can be fun and it will be fun if you make it fun! How you ask? Here are a few ideas:

  • Play Music
  • Invite a family member or friend over
  • Reward yourself
  • Make it a competition between family members
Make your organizing project fun and you’re less likely to procrastinate!

The important thing to remember here is your beliefs control your outlook and outcome. If you tell yourself organizing is boring, then it will be…so let’s look at it with a “glass half full” attitude and your overall experience will be so much more enjoyable!

Getting organized is the perfect way to kick off a new year, but you don’t have to do it alone. My tips will help you, but for some individuals, a trusted professional is the next step. If you feel a strategy session and hands on organizing services is what you need, reach out to me HERE and I’m happy to set up an exploratory phone call with you! Cheers to an organized 2021!

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