Taking the First Step
Over the past few years I've worked with numerous clients helping them get various areas of their homes organized. Organizing solutions and systems vary according to each person, and are tailor-made for every individual, family and home. However, the basic process of getting organized remains the same, no matter what area of the home or office is involved. While everyone works at their own pace and makes decisions based on very personal criteria, getting any space organized requires working through a specific process each time. To clarify these steps and make the process easier for my clients, I have created the IN ORDER system for getting your home or office organized. Over the next several months, I will discuss each step of the IN ORDER system. When you consider your next organizing project, break it down into these steps and the process will be much less intimidating and flow more smoothly.
The first two steps of the IN ORDER system - IN - deal with the mental and emotional preparation that getting organized requires. The second part of the system - ORDER - addresses the actual physical steps of organizing.
I = INVEST
Getting (and staying) organized requires investing your time, energy and sometimes your money in the organizing process. How many times have you opened the door to that overstuffed closet, or shuffled frantically through the papers on your desk or kitchen counter and said, "I've just GOT to get this organized someday?" Completing an organizing project means making the commitment to begin the process, sticking with it until it's done, and then following through with regular maintenance of your organizational system, whatever it is. Getting any area of your home or office organized will never happen until you decide that you've finally had enough of the negative repercussions that disorganization causes in your life. Enough wasted time and energy searching through the piles. Enough lost money because of late fees, expired gift cards, and misplaced invoices that never get sent. Enough of the stress and negative energy caused by the piles of clutter in your living environment. It could be just one area of your home that you just can't get going on - home office, household paperwork, kitchen, closet. Or it could be many areas. Whatever the size of the project, make the commitment to tackle it today. Take that first step and make an appointment with yourself on your calendar. Choose a specific date and time to begin working on your project - say, next Saturday from 9 am to noon. Then, follow through and keep that appointment!
It's often helpful to have an objective opinion and an extra set of hands to move the organizing process along. Having the assistance of a non-judgmental friend (note the emphasis!) can be helpful. Getting organized alone can be overwhelming, which is why so many of my clients call me in. An experienced, compassionate, non-judgmental, expert organizer can make the process move along more quickly and more easily. While you must make the initial investment to hire a pro, in the long run, your organizing goals will be reached more efficiently and in less time. I can help you make decisions, offer resources for donation and disposal, and set up new organizational systems that you may not be able to accomplish on your own. If you're looking for guidance in a more casual, group setting, and would like to learn about the IN ORDER system personally, please come to one of my complimentary "Get Your Home IN ORDER" seminars next month or throughout the fall.
This is an investment in the quality of your life that cannot be brushed aside any longer. Treat your organizing appointment time as you would any important commitment that has significance in your life - a business meeting, a doctor's appointment, a conference with your child's teacher - and don't cancel just because you're not feeling inspired. When your appointment time arrives, turn off the phone and the computer, get a sitter for the kids if they are too young to help (and I mean REALLY help!), shut out all distractions and get to work. It will probably be necessary to block out several appointments on your calendar to get through the whole project, but getting started is the hardest part. As you get going, you will gain momentum and begin to feel the positive effects of your organizational efforts. It's amazing to my clients and to me how the shedding of physical stuff and the ongoing process of getting a space functional can create such a lightness of spirit! I had one client stand on the curb, clapping her hands as I drove away with my car packed to the brim with items going for donation. She told me later that not only shedding some stuff but also reveling in her newly organized space was "better than therapy!" That feeling can be yours, too, if you make the decision to invest yourself in the process.
Next month: N = NEED