3 Reasons for Persistent Clutter – Which one is yours? As a Personal and Professional Organizer I’ve observed that persistent clutter can be caused by 3 reasons: behaviors and habits that do not support decluttering and organizing, limiting beliefs and negative emotions that keep you from making positive changes, and technical obstacles such as not having systems in place or using systems that are not meeting your needs. In what ways do your behaviors get in the way of being organized? Pretend that you are an outside observer and notice which behaviors and habits prevent you from being organized. What about your beliefs? Do you believe that you are capable of change and creating new habits that make getting organized and staying decluttered possible? If not, that is probably a good place to start to take steps to debunk those limiting beliefs. It will also help alleviate negative emotions such shame, fear, and self doubt if you can observe small successes. Finally, are there technical obstacles that don’t allow you to be more organized such as having an effective scheduling or filing system? In future posts I’m going to share organizing tips for solutions and strategies. You can always call or email me with your personal organizing challenges!
Feeling Organized What does feeling organized mean to you? Think about how you feel when your space is organized and clutter-free. Imagine what an organized day feels like. I love to write about the benefits of organizing to motivate and inspire you towards that clutter-free lifestyle most of us crave. An organized life feels… Calm Productive Energizing Healthy, and Spacious. The disorganized life in contrast feels stressful, overwhelming and chaotic. The worst part of long-standing disorganization is that for some people it becomes the norm. I was just talking about this with a friend and describing how some people become accustomed to living in chaos and clutter and that making change is too scary for them to seek help. There are so many resources out there for you if you want to take the first step and make a change. NAPO (the National Association of Professional Organizers) is our professional organization. As a NAPO Personal and Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach I encourage you to explore their national website, and your local chapter’s website. Ask yourself if you are ready to start feeling organized and get out of chaos. Take baby steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you want to try it yourself, read an article or book that describes the organizing process.
Organization skills yield amazing personal and professional benefits. As Personal and Professional Organizer I help you stay on track by keeping you focused (and motivated) on the benefits of honing your organization skills. Organization skills include decluttering, organizing, managing and maintaining your space as well as your schedule. The benefits? So far I’ve talked about the ability to: Focus – with clarity and direction. Plan effectively. Track progress. Revise your course of action. Adapt to life transitions. Balance workload and priorities. Manage time realistically. Access information, items quickly. Maximize space and time. Create safe environments. 10 More Benefits! Save time – for important relationships (including yourself). Boost productivity – efficient use of your mental and physical energy. Enhance self esteem – your sense of control when you feel and behave more organized. Impact credibility – with others personally, professionally. Monitor spending, income, expenses – improved planning and decision making. Choose – how to use your available time with more intention. Delegate – allow others to do the things that you do not need to do, that they want to learn, that they are good at doing. Streamline – your processes and maximize your results. Schedule – time for all of the core areas of your life. Maintain – a healthy environment that is easy to keep clean.
The 50 benefits of organized people enjoy The 50 benefits of living your most organized life that I write about are only just the beginning! Organizing is a process of eliminating the things and the time wasters in your life. Clutter isn’t just too much stuff in your space, it’s also too much to do, and even too much to think about. The benefits of organizing result in eliminating the these things because they can cause stress and cost you your health and even your finances. Speaking as your Personal and Professional Organizer here are 5 more positive outcomes of organizing and productivity: Save time for important relationships and connections. Time saving strategies leave room in your weekly schedule for meaningful and self nurturing activities, especially your relationships at home and work. Boost your productivity in an energy efficient manner. Organizing and time management doesn’t mean working harder and longer. It means planning, streamlining, and producing excellent results by being efficient. Enhance your self esteem and sense of control. Wouldn’t you feel better by being more organized? Confidence comes from the inside out, and organizing from the outside in supports that confidence! Impact your credibility with others personally and professionally. Whether you are managing a family or an office staff, people are more inclined to respect and want to work with an organized person. Monitor spending, expenses, and income on a daily basis. One of the benefits of organizing is that you can see everything that you have, how you are spending, and then eliminate wasting money. Creating spending habits that align with your income is an empowering habit that will create a more organized life! To your success!
50 Benefits of Organizing Wouldn’t you love to enjoy any or all of these 50 benefits of being an organized person? Here are the first 5: 1. Focus more easily on what you are doing. How do you focus? Eliminate distractions such as media, phone, and multitasking in general. 2. Plan more effectively by having a system. Planning doesn’t take as much time as the time you waste by not planning! Spend 15 minutes at the end of every day (not before bedtime, please) reviewing what you accomplished, and what needs to get done for the next 2 days. On the weekend, spend this time making a plan for your week. 3. Track your progress on a regular basis. Write a “done” list and note everything that you get done. What are you spending too much, or too little, time doing? 4. Revise your course of action if needed in a timely fashion. Organized people are flexible. If you need to make revisions you will know sooner because you have a plan and are tracking your progress. 5. Adapt to changing circumstances more easily. Whoever said, “expect the unexpected” knew that life happens despite our plans. Organized people are willing to adapt rather than resist. Sometimes, the results are even better than you hoped for.
Organizing requires patience Most of you would like organizing to happen as quickly as possible because time and patience are not abundant, right? As a Professional and Personal Organizer in San Diego I know that people want clutter and disorganization to be gone immediately. The reality is that organizing requires not only patience, it requires regular maintenance. Organizing tips, books and magazines are very helpful. They can help you get motivated, create a step by step process for getting it done, and suggest ways to keep it organized. The 3 biggest obstacles that I observe with clients are: Feeling overwhelmed. “I don’t know where to start!” Underestimating time. “I need at least a weekend to work on that area.” No system in place. “Where do I put it?” If you are busy and have a lot of responsibility, here are some practical ways that you can be more patient with yourself and with the process of getting and staying organized. Conquer overwhelm with patience and a plan. Accept that the disorganization didn’t happen over night. Are you willing to appreciate that some organizing is better than none, even if it takes longer? Be patient. Consider taking one or all of the following steps: List your priorities with as much specificity as possible. If this is difficult to do or you’ve tried before and it didn’t work hire an Organizer to consult with you, assess the situation and help you prioritize. Break down each priority into manageable steps. Schedule adequate time for each step. Again, if this is challenging, work with a Professional Organizer to help you create an action plan. Practice patience. Implement each step of the plan and celebrate your successes no matter how small (or large). If you find that you are losing interest, motivation, or it’s just… read more →
Personal Organizing Tips My personal organizing tips this month will guide you towards how to organize and use your time. I want to inspire you to be more present, in the moment and less self critical. Rather than set your sights on what you think that you should do, what’s on your to-do list, summer plans, and organizing for the 2015 tax season, you can take a moment to pause. Try to breathe, and to simply notice what stillness feels like before you decide to begin anything. This is the distinction between doing and being. I like the word “may”, it is gentle and encouraging. It is different than “should”. “May” feels like it allows for possibility rather than demanding something. So often I hear someone say, “I should (fill in the blank).” Or, “You should (fill in the blank).” It’s a habit that I grew up hearing and saying and am still practicing changing it. It feels different when we tell ourselves that we may want to use an hour to clean out a file or a closet. When I look at how to manage my time to schedule things I see it as an opportunity to consider what I may be able to do. Organizing tips – questions to consider about your time management and productivity: Do I need to do it now or at another time? Would I feel better if I at least did part of this now, and the rest, at a later time? When it is actually due? Am I the only one who can do this? What would really happen if it never got done? Organizing tips – questions about decluttering and organizing space: Do I need to keep this? If so, for how long? How and where does it need to be… read more →
San Diego Personal Organizer takes a mindful approach. Mindfulness, including the beginner’s mind, is described in Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This expert in the practice of mindfulness describes the beginner’s mind as “a mind that is willing to see everything as if for the first time.” (2013) He goes on to explain that the beginner’s mind enables us to be receptive to all possibilities, and become aware of our automatic thoughts and perceptions. In a previous post about mindfulness and time management I describe how the beginner’s mind applies to the work that I do. In this post let’s look at a different approach to reducing clutter and organizing space using a mindful approach. The benefits of organizing in a mindful way is to begin to see your space as if you are looking at it for the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice to look at how you want to use the space no matter what the room is called? Perhaps your dining room would make a better office space! What if you looked at the contents of the space and accepted that some of these things that we loved and used before, no longer serve us? Imagine the relief and lightness that you might feel when you release these unwanted items. Try this: • View one specific area in your home, office, even the trunk of your car. • Imagine that the space is completely empty as if you were just moving in. What is your vision for this new space? • Describe how you would like to feel when you look at and use that space. What would you put into it, and where would you organize the items? This mindful approach can help you to create a space that makes you feel calm or… read more →
Are you ready for organizing your life? How do you know when you are ready to organize? As a Personal Organizer I know when you are ready for organizing your life because I am trained to listen carefully to what you say and even what you don’t say. I can sense that you are ready from our first contact because of the things that you share and the questions that you ask. For instance, you begin by sharing why you called, what is driving you mad, and how you’ve tried to organize it yourself. You candidly use words such as stress, overwhelm or frustration. The person who is ready for organizing his or her life is not only focused on the problems or pain, she is already aware of two critical factors: 1. “I know the value and benefits of organizing and how it will positively impact me, my relationships, and increase my productivity.” 2. “I don’t have the time or interest in doing this myself.” You know that you are ready, too! You make the call and have your calendar in hand. Scheduling is one of the most critical organizing skills.
Personal Organizer’s Time Management Tips for Work-Life Balance As a Personal Organizer I help others to manage their time in order to have more of a work-life balance. Time Management is NOT about getting more done and cramming every minute of your waking day. Time Management is about achieving a work-life balance by creating time for activities that benefit your quality of life, well being, and your relationships. As a Personal Organizer who specializes in time management coaching I remind others that “your planner doesn’t know the difference between your personal and professional time commitments!” The Time Management coaching process starts with the assessment of what is working, and what is not working. From there, we create a weekly plan that is realistic and adaptable. Planning enables you to make decisions about scheduling and how to use your time effectively, this includes scheduling unscheduled time. Sounds great, right? Read on for more information. Effective planning requires you to organize: Your tasks and commitments, work with deadlines, and break the larger tasks into smaller, more management mini-projects. Let’s look at the basic process and steps for planning. Step 1: Write out each of your goals Step 2: Break them down mini goals or projects Step 3: Determine the action steps – everything that you need to do to accomplish each goal or mini project Step 4: Estimate how much time the goals and mini projects will take; schedule adequate time on specific days for each one Example of a DYI mini project 1. Goal: organize all photos into albums by groups (family or work), individuals (family and friends) starting with most recent photos by the end of June 2015. 2. Purge: discard photos that are duplicates or blurry. 3. Sort: create boxes for photos in each group or individual category. 4.… read more →