You’ve decided to organize your space and that’s great. After all, the first step is admitting you have a problem. I’m mostly joking 🙂 Check out this blog where I address many of the awesome motivations for getting organized. Now, let’s break down the process.
Getting organized requires a CONSTANT EFFORT. Slow and steady really does win the anti-clutter race. Clutter tolerance seems to run a cycle like a fever. Every so often, the clutter will become intolerable, sparking short-lived but intense anti-clutter efforts. Piles will shift, boxes will fill, “stuff” will be stashed…. Then, the fever breaks. The clutter tide then flows back in and confusion and chaos redouble because all those piles and boxes (likely, with no labeling system) are no longer in “familiar” places.
Just as clutter amasses gradually and over time, the effort to combat it must occur over time. Ideally, you can start with a good half-day to a day work time but that’s just not realistic for everyone. If you have a ridiculously busy life, schedule and commit to 15 minutes a day and FOLLOW THROUGH. Even more beneficial, scheduling two four-hour work sessions twice a week. Scheduling and following through will bring your goals of getting organized out of the stratosphere and into the real world. By committing time to decluttering, your motivation will strengthen and others will embrace the goal of a clutter-free home.
Next, you need to do is decide WHERE to start. It is essential to select one single area in which to begin, the smaller, the better. Most of all, and I cannot stress this enough: do NOT attempt to do everything at once. If you attempt to, it is almost a guarantee you will fail. It is much better to make positive progress in small steps.
Why do you want to organize your space?
- If it’s because of stress, you need to identify the trigger. This could be where the most stuff amasses like the mudroom, kitchen counter, home office, or the guest room that has become the “catchall” of your family. Another possibility is to start in your bedroom because it’s the first space you see in the morning and the last place you see at night.
- If it’s because your space is embarrassing, you certainly want to start somewhere more public so you can gain kudos from others. This will usually be your entry area, front closet, living room and/or kitchen.
Speaking of others, if you are in a family setting, clutter accumulates due to a number of reasons. Adults have a tendency to leave personal items wherever is convenient, like purses and bags by the door, newspaper on the kitchen table, laundry on the couch. Children also have their own issues, dragging playthings to every recess of the home and taking over the dining room table with school work. A lack of housekeeping routines further exacerbates the situation. To truly understand why the clutter and disorganization occurs, it’s important to evaluate your space and habits and those of your family.
If you think it’s time to call a family meeting and lay down the law, think again. Draconian measures can only be enforced if the enforcer stays on the job and leads by example. Instead, you need to build credibility with your family before recruiting them to join in. By mastering your own clutter challenges, and finally installing those wire shelving units you’ve been wanting to install for the longest time, you will become familiar with the process of change you’re asking them to undertake and motivate them to become involved.
To successfully organize your space, understand these four very important steps: