Here are some comments I frequently hear:
“My house is a disaster”
“My kids make the mess faster than I can pick it up”
“My husband dumps everything all over when he comes in”
“I don’t even know where to begin”
If this sounds like something you might say, here is my advice:
1. You can only control what you can control. Many times we get frustrated because we are trying to set up a system and the people we live with won’t “get on board”. This can be very difficult! The secret is to first make sure that YOUR spaces, wherever they may be, are organized. You begin by ensuring that you can always find what you need to find – that you have put the things you are responsible for in order. Believe it or not, even in the busiest of households or workplaces, this represents a lot of stuff, and probably most of your time.
2. Chew in bite-sized pieces. How many times have you gotten motivated to clean something out, dumped it out all over the room, gotten interrupted, and then didn’t have the time to finish the job? The result: a bigger mess than when you started. This is very discouraging! When you are trying to decide where to begin – start small! Don’t organized “the kitchen,” organize the “junk drawer”
… now just as an aside, I must say that there is no such thing as a junk drawer. We don’t buy junk and keep it in drawers in our kitchen! What you have is tape, pens, paper clips, scissors, whole punches, coupons, screws, post-its, etc. Each drawer should be organized to hold these items… get rid of the “junk” mentality!
3. Kill the pain. When you are deciding where to begin, focus on what is driving you crazy. Is it the table when you first walk in the house? The pile of shoes that always ends up all over the floor? The mass of business cards that never got filed? Just ask yourself “what in my life makes me feel badly about myself?” or “what makes me feel like a failure (and the mirror doesn’t count here…)?” THIS is probably a good place to start.
At the end of the day, getting a whole home or office organized has to take place in steps. When taking the first steps to organizing a space, try to focus on something small, that is really bothering you, and that you have the power to change. Getting good results early on will give you the energy to keep going, and may even draw others in your life to be interested enough to try it themselves.
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