Get organized to organize
Get organized to organized! Would you ever host a special event or take a week long trip without making a plan? I hope not! Would you feel confident walking a half marathon if the furthest you walked was 1 mile? Call me crazy but you’d be better off training, first. Getting organized is no different, you need to create a plan that includes 3 critical elements:
- Vision – clear, specific vision of what you want the space, area or room to look like. This includes the function of the space and how it is to be used.
- Goals – specific, detailed actions that will ensure that you achieve your vision.
- Timeline – realistic deadlines to get your organizing project done.
Make a list
Get organized to organize by making a list of your organizing priorities. That’s right, put it in writing. If everything feels like an organizing priority you will feel overwhelmed or stress. Asking yourself the following questions will help you to sort out your priorities:
- What area or room is stressing you (or someone you share it with)the most?
- What area or room do you tend to avoid going into, using or enjoying?
- If you organized a specific area or room, in what ways would it improve your life?
Once your list is complete and in order of priority, highlight the top 3 projects. This is the beginning of your plan and now it’s time to set a realistic deadline for each project. There is no hard and fast rule. Some organizing projects are big enough in scope that you might have to allow several months to get them done.
My “1-At-A-Time Rule” is essential when it comes to prioritizing and completing projects. Start with the project that is at the top of the list, work on that 1 only. Do not be tempted to work on the next 2 until the first is completed. The benefits of organizing using the “1-at-a-time rule” include:
- Focus – minimize distractions, avoidance, procrastination
- Motivation – Increased motivation to get it done and get to the next project
- Positive reinforcement – A sense of completion and success
Take stock of what you will need
Get organized to organize right down to the details. Create your organizing tool kit with all of the necessary tools and supplies that you will need to get your project done. If you are missing something, add it to your shopping list and get it before you being the project. Your tool kit might include:
- Bags, bins, containers
- Markers, labels
- Tape, scissors
- Measuring tape
- Cleaning supplies, paper towels
- Shredder, letter opener, paper clips
- First aid kit
Remember to wear comfortable clothing including closed toe shoes. Have water and snacks on hand. Depending upon which space you are working in you may want gloves, a face mask or knee pads. Adequate lighting and ventilation is also a must.
Get organized to organize by scheduling uninterrupted time to organize. Make a commitment. This next step for getting organized is to intentionally block off time to work on the steps to get it done. As your San Diego Personal Professional Organizer I recommend that you schedule no less than 1 hour and a maximum of 3 hours, especially if you plan to do this on your own. Write the time into your calendar on a specific date where you know that you will not be interrupted or rushed. TIP: Remember to leave at least 15 minutes to clean up at the end of your scheduled time.
January 20, 2014Ask your San Diego Organizer, “how do I get my office organized?” Here is what I would tell you: don’t just declutter! That won’t work because without putting your system in place the clutter will return. After you gather and sort (what to purge, what to keep) you want to make decisions about use and ... Read more
January 17, 2014Do you find yourself looking at the pages of a magazine and imagine living in a space like the one on the page? Do you love looking at a model home and imagine living in one just like that? When you walk into someone’s office and see a clear desk top do you fantasize about ... Read more
January 16, 2014As a Professional Organizer, Time Management Coach and Image Consultant I ask a lot of guiding questions. The reason…to empower you to clarify your vision and make decisions that enable you to achieve it. If you plan (rather than hope) to stay organized, I would ask you questions such as these: What is your vision or ... Read more
January 16, 2014As a Professional Organizer I get great satisfaction from 2 things…helping clients to make decisions that enable them to clear clutter, and the reactions and comments that they offer afterwards! “Wow, I didn’t realize how spacious this could be, it looks so much bigger now!” Often, the client wants to clean the space, first. The ... Read more
January 15, 2014It’s not uncommon when someone calls me and says that they spent a lot of time organizing and clearing out their space and within a short amount of time, the sense of being disorganized returns. I call that “yo-yo organizing”! How frustrating when you set aside time, sort things, purge items, buy bins and containers, ... Read more
January 14, 2014What characteristics should an Accountability Partner (AP) demonstrate? If you really want to stay organized you might want to use this checklist to help you decide which AP is right for you: Respects confidentiality; trustworthy Is judgment-free Able to listen more than they speak Able to reflect back to you what they heard you say communicates clearly and succinctly verbally ... Read more
January 13, 2014We all start out with great intentions, ambitious goals, and then life happens! Have you every considered having an Accountability Partner (AP)? If you are already clear about your goals, let’s look at what the role of your AP might be: Understands your goals Establishes a system for regular, ongoing communication Helps you stay motivated and follow through Asks ... Read more
January 10, 2014How are you doing with your resolutions so far? Don’t be too hard on yourself (or surprised) when only 10 days into the year you find yourself off track. Rather than starting ambitious resolutions on a specific date you might think about what I call, “Creating Optimal Habits”. What that means is focusing on 1 ... Read more
January 9, 2014Procrastination? Decision paralysis? Perfectionism? These are some of the behaviors that get in the way of effective time management and organization. Don’t worry though, there are strategies for working around them, and overcoming these behaviors. Of course, the first step is to become aware of what you are doing and acknowledge it. That doesn’t mean ... Read more
January 8, 2014For some of us, having a checklist and being able to cross off each item, provides a feeling of accomplishment. Using a visual to guide us through a process can be helpful especially when we are trying to create new habits. We also know that writing things down enhances memory. You can send for my ... Read more