The Tough Aspect of Organizing

Decision Making 101

If you haven’t guessed already, decision making is an integral part of the organizing process. Making decisions quickly and affectively is an artform. Some people are really good at it, others struggle terribly. My job though is to help you get better at it, regardless of where you land on the decisions making scale. That’s why I never organize without my client present. Going through the organizing process and learning how to organize includes learning how to make decisions. The faster and more effciently you can get at making decisions, the easier the organizing process will be. Most of you have probably heard some of the common questions asked while organizing such as: 

  • keep
  • toss
  • donate
  • sell
  • recycle
  • give back to a friend/family member 
These are good and all, but basic. Some will end up saying “keep” to eighty percent of their stuff. How does that help when the room or office still doesn’t function? That decision was fast per se but not affective or productive.   
Why make decisions fast? Let’s think about this for a moment. Most home or offices have hundreds if not thousands of items in their garages, offices, kitchens, basements, etc. If we do the math with 1,000 items, using the three second rule is a whole lot more efficient than 3 minutes per item. That’s a difference of 50 minutes or 50 hours of organizing. Now you see my point. Who wants to spend fifity hours organizing (besides an organizer)? – not too many people I know. 
Why make the decisions yourself?  Choose to own the process. Some people try to push the decisions off on their spouses, friends and even the professional organizer. The responsibility is then shifted onto someone else. How does that help the situation? It actually doesn’t. It makes things worse. If you’re not strengthening and stretching your own “decision making muscle” you’ll never become stronger or productive when it comes to organizing. Enabling someone else may seem like a good solution to get the job done fast but in the long run, only you can make the decision on your own stuff. 
Making decisions should be directly related to your oganizing goals.  Now I know “goals” may sound scary or too organized but stop and think about it. If you’d like to use your second bedroom for a new baby coming or if you’d like to start a business and need to get your paperwork in order, that is the motivating factor (or goal) to help you make affective and productive decisions. 
At what things are you good at making decisions? Where do you need to improve?
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