why are you keeping all the clutter?

Why should I organize?

Do you walk in the house after a long day at work and just sigh at your cluttered house?

Or do you walk into your work space feeling uninspired each morning because all you can think about is the mess in front of you?

Have you planned to organize one morning but do not know where to start?

Are you caught in a vicious cycle: as soon as you organize one room another one has turned to chaos?

Maybe you just need to prioritize, find motivation, and ask for help. Easier said than done, I know. But, if getting organized is important to you, here's how to get things started:

Prioritize

As with most goals in life, you want to strive for progress and improvement, not perfection. Most of us do not have time to achieve perfection in everything we do and still live a happy, fulfilling life. When you set goals related to organizing, make them achievable and attainable. When you make that progress, create a visual way to track it or remind yourself of all you have accomplished (i.e. stickers on a chart, a check list, etc.). Since you will never have more than 24 hours in a day, you may have to say “no” to some activities and tasks. As you list each goal, task, or activity, ask yourself if it is necessary, if it supports your ultimate goals, or if any other activity or person will be negatively affected if it does not happen. You may see your list shrink before your very eyes. If you are not sure how to narrow your list, search the internet, ask a friend, or consult a professional organizer.

Motivate

Do you start the day with the best of intentions to declutter your office, only to lose your drive because it is “just not worth it?” What IS worth it to you? What do you value? Why? These questions may not seem to have much to do with organizing, but they can be the key to your motivation. How much time do you spend on activities that relate to your values (i.e. spending time with family, exercising, eating healthy, etc.)? Most of us would probably answer “not enough.” Then why would you ever spend time on an activity not related to you values, like organizing? The answer: organizing allows you to focus more on your values. Organizing means less time searching for the other shoe, fewer arguments over who had the scissors and did not put them back, less time cleaning around the clutter . . . With less time wasted, you have more time to be with family, exercise, eat healthy, and pursue those life goals that really matter to you at the end of the day.

The next time you wonder why you would ever make time to organize, remember that organizing can be a means to an end. If you find a task that seems pointless, ask yourself how that task can bring you closer to what means the most to you. It is amazing how a change in attitude and knowing what is “in it for me” can motivate.

Ask For Help

Let's face it. Your daily chores and tasks aren't always fun and are often too much for one person. Solution: spread the responsibility among the whole household or your team. What is boring to one person may be fun for another. One person’s weak spot may be another person’s strength. Some people have time in the morning to help everyone get ready for the day, and others have more time at night to help everyone get ready for bed. Someone on your team may enjoy organizing your space and get a sense of calm from it. Don't assume everyone hates the same things you do. And, if by chance they do, you can outsource almost anything to a professional.

When you do ask for help, just remember to be specific – otherwise, be prepared for the chance that you might not get exactly what you expecting. Letting others pick what they want and find their own way, within reason, may even make them more willing to help – and make them more productive.

If you are not sure how to prioritize, want some ideas to motivate yourself, or are ready to ask for help, contact me any time.

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