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People are taught how to cook, taught how to maintain a car, even how to sew, but very few people are taught how to organize. Just like anything else, organizing is a skill that can be taught, but there are common pitfalls that may set you up for failure before you even start. You have to start with a good plan and the understanding that your space will get worse before it gets better. My goal is to teach you how to avoid organizing pitfalls so you can set yourself up for success.
One of my favorite books to help you through your process is “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo, just in case you need some inspiration.
- Taking on too much
Start one room at a time and start small to build momentum, for example a drawer or a cabinet before taking on the whole room. We want instant gratification to see the success of our labor. If you try to organize your whole house at once, the piles become overwhelming and you’re more likely to quit.
- Not allowing enough time
It’s best to develop a plan and plot it out. I will usually do this on my planner and you can find one similar to the one I use HERE. Set realistic time frames to complete your organizing project. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and the stuff in your space didn’t appear overnight. Most likely you’re working this project in between work, caring for children, or other items on your daily schedule. Set a time frame of when you would like the space to be finished and adjust accordingly. It may be beneficial to plan it out to keep you accountable.
- No New Containers
This one should probably be the first thing to mention. Take everything out of your space, purge items that no longer belong there, then determine what needs to stay. It’s only when those steps are taken that you should think about purchasing anything new for the space. Plus you don’t know what size or how many containers you’ll need. All the pretty containers in the world will not make your space more organized unless you find out if you really need them.
- Immediately handle purged items
There’s nothing more daunting than seeing piles of stuff that needs to be trashed, donated, or sold. Don’t get caught up in a “pile relocation program” that moves from room to room. Instead, deal with those purged items first before moving to the new space. Plus if you make any extra cash from the items you sold, you can maybe purchase new containers for your newly organized space. Or treat yourself to a nice dinner for your hard work.
- Maintain the Space
Just because you organized your space, doesn’t mean that you can just walk away and expect it to stay organized after you’re finished with your project. Just like when you do any landscaping, you still have to prune, pull weeds, fertilize etc. Same applies to your spaces. You may even find out that a system you have in place isn’t working the best and you may have something that will work more efficiently.
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