Guest Post: Written by Kelly Moore, owner Moore Efficiency Solutions Denver, CO.
Getting organized in the New Year is on many of our minds as we plan our resolutions. We make ambitious plans to “stay on top of things” so that we can stress less and accomplish more. Yet the resolution to finally “get organized” can be full of pitfalls and setbacks. If becoming more organized is on your list of resolutions this year, check out these tips:
Begin the Battle. One of the biggest barriers to becoming organized hits many of us right off the bat: “Where in the world to start?” The garage? The attic? The kitchen? The office? The answer? Start where it will have the most impact for you on a day-to-day basis. This will keep you motivated and energized to tackle more organizing projects as you reap the benefits of your hard work. Consider where you spend a significant amount of time. For many of us it is likely a location such as the kitchen, your office, or a family room.
Maintain Your Focus. Managing your time while working on an organizing project can be tricky. Have you ever set out to organize your home office, say, only to look up at the clock an hour later because you got distracted looking at your old high school yearbook? Sometimes good intentions quickly evaporate as we become distracted during the organizing process. Try this trick: Set an egg timer for 10 minutes. Begin your organizing task, and when it goes off ask yourself, “Am I still doing what I need to be doing or do I need to re-focus?”
Don’t Go it Alone. One reason organizing on your own can be overwhelming is because you can lose perspective on the things that are and aren’t important. If you are someone who tends to hang onto things “just in case,” consider asking a friend or hiring a professional organizer to help you wade through your possessions. Someone without an emotional attachment to your things can help you make decisions about what you really should keep and what’s just taking up space. It might be hard to believe, but you probably won’t miss that 80’s cocktail dress in your closet that’s 2 sizes too small.
Go Easy on Yourself (and Your Kids…and Your Spouse). What can ruin your feeling of organizing accomplishments faster than anything else? Walking into a recently organized space only to find that your kids (or spouse) have foiled your efforts! Before you say or do something you regret, remember organization is not a going to happen overnight. It is a lifestyle that takes time to become habit. Communicate and reinforce your expectations to your family. If you expect your kids to hang their coat and backpack in the entryway, be sure to do it yourself and be prepared to remind them when they forget. If you want to be organized in the long haul, be patient with yourself and your kids – good habits take lots of practice.