Getting Started on Your Organizing Adventure

You’ve made yourself an appointment to start organizing your bedroom. But you keep finding other things to do: You clean the kitchen sink, you put in a load of laundry, you even reconcile your bank statement. You’re tired of procrastinating but don’t know how to put yourself in gear.

Here are some suggestions for getting past procrastination and on to pro-activity:

Don’t just prepare your space – Prepare yourself

  • Gather everything you’ll need for your organizing appointment before you start organizing: Water, paper and a pen for jotting down (rather than acting on) stray thoughts.
  • Be well fed before you begin, and pay attention to your diet:  Too many simple sugars and not enough protein wear down concentration.
  • Accept that distractions exist and deal with them before they interfere. Get a babysitter, put on some good music earplugs, turn off the phone and put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your front door.

 Don’t try to do everything at once.

  • Do your set up (gathering boxes, markers, etc.) at a separate time from your actual organizing.
  • Set concrete organizing session goals: I will clear, clean and organize the top shelf of the linen closet.
  • Prioritize by zeroing in on one area of one room. An area should be small enough to complete in one session.
  • Learn what your emotional triggers so you aren’t derailed when you encounter difficult memories. Get support if you need it.
  • Utilize your good days and bad days to accomplish tasks that you feel prepared for. Know and accept your personal limitations.

 Work systematically

  • Keep and organizing notebook and list each organizing project by task. Check off each task as you complete it. You’ll experience the satisfaction of a job well done and be able to track your progress.
  • Get a routine going. Schedule regular decluttering sessions. If you can’t do long appointments, work in 15 minute increments.

 Recruit a buddy

  • Ask for help if you need it. Hire someone to help with the heavy lifting, or trade time with a friend.
  • You’re more likely to show up for and stick to your organizing appointment if you’re working with someone.

 Variety is the spice of life

  • Avoid doing the same organizing tasks day after day.
  • Mix it up: If you have paperwork sorting along with other decluttering, do paperwork one day and tackle other organizing tasks another day.

 And finally …

  • Make sure there is balance in your life. You can’t organize 24/7.
  • Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Give yourself credit for enjoying life and wanting to play.
  • Reward your efforts – No matter how small!