If organizing was simple and straightforward, we would all live in perfect homes. Here are some common pitfalls we have seen that hold people back from achieving organizational bliss.
Zig zag organizing
Have you set out to organize one space but find yourself minutes to hours later working in another area all together? Zig zagging from room to room, putting items away or doing small tasks in other spaces amidst your current project, distracts you from the project you set out to do.
• If you are working in your office and need to bring something to the kitchen, rather than doing it now, place the item in a bin with other items that need to go elsewhere in the home. You will save time and energy by doing the relocating at the end of your organizing session.
• Use bins or boxes to anchor yourself to the task/area you set out to organize. Take the time to label your bins “put elsewhere,” “donate,” “recycle,” and have trash bags handy while you work. (Believe me, there is nothing worse than getting your bins confused and then having to re-sort.)
• Save 20 minutes at the end of your organizing session to empty these bins. Use this time to move items from the “put elsewhere” bin to other areas of the home, bag up the donations and place them in your car, and remove the recycling and trash.
Taking on too much
Choosing a project that is too big for the time you have allotted for the day will most likely end in a bigger mess than what you started with.
• Choose a task to focus on that is achievable for the time you have. Instead of setting out to do the entire kitchen in 1 hour, work on the pantry, fridge and freezer, or a few drawers.
Inability to let things go
We often get tied up with decision-making when faced with sentimental items.
• Remember why you started your project in the first place! This will help motivate you to make decisions on what to let go.
• Define who you are in the present. Keep items that serve you now.
• Take pictures of items you want to remember but don’t necessarily need to keep.
• Keep one representative piece of a category or collection and let the rest go. Find a place to honor and display that piece.
• Find peace in the fact that someone else can benefit from the things that are no longer serving you. By donating unneeded items, you are helping yourself and others.
Attempting to buy the disorganization away
We are often lured by marketing ploys. It seems easy to organize when an ad promises that a product will single-handedly take the pain of the disorder away.
• Don’t buy anything until you have sorted, purged and consolidated items. Only then will you really know what products you need to purchase. Wait to buy and you will save time, money and avoid even more clutter.
Liz Bremer, CPO