1. “I don’t know where to begin so it’s easier to not begin at all.”
There are two approaches you can take here. Either begin working on the space that is bugging you the most, or pick something small and simple like one shelf or one drawer.
Normally, when I organize with clients, we start in the space that is causing the most trouble and most frustration. Also keep in mind which spaces are used more frequently. If you start in those areas you’ll see a greater impact because you and your family are using those rooms more often.
2. “I’m disappointed in myself for not staying as organized as I have been in the past or should be.”
Quite often, there are events, changes or situations in our lives that create more clutter and more mess than usual. This is a common frustration people have and it is so common that organizers even have a name for it: situational disorganization.
Ask yourself what event, change, or situation changed your capability or desire to keep things organized. Once you know that answer, you can see why it would have been hard for you to stay organized. The next step is to start doing something about it and of course, set realistic expectations.
3. “I never know where to put everything while I go through it.”
Not having room to sort through things can make things difficult. What we typically do is create an open space where we can sort through things.
In a bedroom, try clearing off the bed and making your bed. Now you’ll be able to sort through clothes and shoes by making piles on the bed.
If you’re in a kitchen or dining room, gather the contents laying on the kitchen or dining room table into a laundry basket or box. Your table will become a clean surface where you can sort the paper or pantry/cabinet contents.
4. “I need to know first what I’ll need to complete the organizing project.”
Actually, you don’t. Even organizers don’t know every tool or product they’ll need at the beginning of an organizing project. As you go through the organizing process – sort, purge, assign a home, containerize, and equalize – you will start to see what you’ll need. Make a list and then you can shop for what you need instead of overbuying and bringing things home that you don’t really have a use for.
Organizing products don’t solve our piles of clutter. Implementing systems and solutions and going through the process of purging is what really matters.
5. “I start projects but then I get overwhelmed.”
In order to prevent overwhelm, it’s important to not bite off more than you can handle. Decide how much time you have to devote to your organizing project. If you only have an hour, perhaps only go through the clothes hanging in your closets and leave the shoes, folded clothes, and accessories for another day. In an office, only go through one filing drawer instead of all four. Organizing projects can always be broken down piece by piece.
6. “I can follow a system, but it’s not always easy to set up the most efficient system.”
Setting up an effective, productive system is probably the most important job an organizer has to do. That’s our specialty and that’s why people hire us. We know what systems are available for you and we can customize a system to fit your need, space, and situation. There’s a lot more creativity in organizing than you might think.
7. “Staying organized is easy for me; my challenge is finding the time to do it.”
With anything we want to get done or accomplish, it always takes time. And people often say they don’t have the time and can’t make the time. Here’s my honest opinion (it might offend you): we make time for whatever is a priority to us. So if organizing is your top priority, you will find the time by putting off other things or rearranging a schedule or commitment.
8. “I buy boxes and bins, but end up still disorganized.”
That’s not surprising. Bins and boxes and neat organizing products don’t make us organized. We have to manage our clutter and stuff on a daily basis by making decisions: keep, toss, recycle, store, to do, etc. The bins and neat products just help our system stay intact. We still have to work the system to stay organized.
9. “My home still feels disorganized, even though I’m hyper-organized.”
Step back a moment and ask yourself what more needs to be organized and why. Sometimes we’re unrealistic in our organizing goals and may not realize we really are “ok” at this level of organization.
10. “Nobody follows the systems I put in place.”
In order to make systems stick and work, it’s best to have the people using them be involved in their creation. It can be compared to getting dressed in the morning. You have an idea of what will be comfortable and what fits, so naturally you choose your outfit – someone doesn’t dress you. Well, same with an organizing system – in order for it to be useful and a good fit, the person using the system should help create it to tailor it to their personality and lifestyle.
Do you have emotions about organizing that I haven’t mentioned? Please leave a comment and I’ll cover it in a future post.
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