What is stopping you from getting organized? What is it? If you know organizing can save you time and money, provide a peaceful, calm environment and improve your relationships (because you’re not stressed out and grouchy) then why in the world are you not organized?
What is stopping you from getting organized?
Most clients and people I talk with say they are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
Yep! It is overwhelming and starting is the hardest part.
You know when you want to lose weight and the first day you workout it seems like its not going to make a difference. What good did it do? What will it hurt if you eat just one cookie? The road ahead is so long (have you ever driven across Kansas) it seems like it will never end.
That is what organizing one drawer feels like. What good did that do? You turn and look and the whole house is one big mess. It seems impossible, like a long road that never ends. It is easier to give up.
The drawer will probably be a wreck in a few days anyways. Why bother?
Start organizing by just starting
Anyone that has lost weight, ran a marathon or learned a new skill has done it by STARTING.
I laced up my tennis shoes and stepped on the treadmill.
You say no to one piece of candy (oh, it is so hard!) and yes to some yummy vegetables.
They practiced and practiced even when it seemed they would never be good.
When I help someone that is overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to start we just have to pick an area, grab one thing and sort it into a category.
This is what Lisa and Nathan had to say about their basement,
“Our unfinished basement was, quite simply, a hot mess and we just did not know where to start or how to visually put it together. Even though we are both “naturally organized,” this area has never worked and morphed into a disaster area over the last 9 years.”
Six simple steps to start organizing
1. Decide on one small area
Pick a drawer or a shelf. Choose an area that is not totally out of control. When I first start working out I’m not wanting to wake up the next morning unable to move so I start with light weights or a short walk. My suggestion would be the kitchen towel drawer or the cups/glasses cabinet or one drawer of your dresser.
Empty out the space first. As you empty it, pick up one thing & SORT it into a category. Continue until the area is emptied and everything is out and sorted into categories! Wipe down, vacuum and clean the space once it is emptied.
Now that you have category piles, go back through each pile and PURGE. Get rid of what you can. If you don’t use it or love it get rid of it. If it is ratty and stained get rid of it.
4. Assign a home
You now have all the things you love and use remaining. Your task is to ASSIGN HOMES to these. The cabinet or drawer you just emptied could be the home. If the item belongs in a new location move it to it’s new home.
5. Set limits
We have limits for ourselves so that we keep our stuff under control. SET LIMITS by using containers and shelves and drawers. A drawer is a natural limit. Once the drawer is full you know you need to purge again. You could also set a limit in a drawer by using drawer dividers or baskets.
Set a plan to MAINTAIN what you’ve worked so hard to attain! Labeling the space helps everyone in the family know what belongs there. I use this label maker from Sam’s Club. Routine cleaning and organizing will keep your spaces purged and tidy.
21 Day Organizing Challenges
My 21 Day Organizing Challenge can help. There is one assignment per day – a little task that is doable. The areas to organize are already chosen for you! You have support and encouragement to keep going.
“As a teacher working 50-60 hours a week, and a mother of two very active kiddos, I would get overwhelmed about what to do first and where to even start. Tracy broke this challenge into bite size bits that I felt good about accomplishing each day. It gave me the confidence to start doing other small organizing projects. I have loved this challenge and would do one every month of the year if it were offered. Thanks so much!”
~ TS, Challenge Participant (who finished all 21 challenges!)
Set your timer and start
Still overwhelmed about what to do first and where to start? Choose one drawer, one shelf inside one cabinet…set the timer for 15 minutes and GO!
By adding accountability through a friend, social media, family coming in town staying with you, my 21 Day Organizing Challenge or a professional organizer you will increase your chances of success!
What small area will you choose to organize? Make it public by sharing it in the comments.
FREE ORGANIZING DOWNLOADS
Download these articles on each step of the organizing process to learn more. Totally free.
- Assign a home
- Set limits