This past weekend I helped launch the North East Regional Conference for Professional Organizers (NERCPO). I got to meet and share with more than 50 professional organizers from all over the region. We had a great time, and I enjoyed learning from colleagues and experts alike. Since attending an organizing conference may not be at the top of your “to do” list, here are some tips that you might find helpful for getting and staying organized.
When approaching a project, tell yourself, “Yes, I can do this!” No voice influences us more than our own, so use that inner voice to help you succeed.
When you are first beginning an organizing project, be sure to work in an area where you can enjoy a quick payoff. Success breed confidence, which helps us keep going.
Remember that motivation (wanting) is different from activation (beginning). If you are having trouble getting started, be sure to focus on fixing the right problem.
“How To” Organize…
Your home should be a source of joy and refreshment. Showcase what you love and get rid of the rest.
Define what should live in a space, and then label it. Let the size of this space provide a natural limitation on how many/how much of an item you can keep.
Remember to consider what might be missing from you space… something that is relevant to the tasks you perform in this area, but which you may be inconveniently keeping somewhere else.
Organizing is a skill. To some it comes naturally, and to others, it is learned. Anyone can become more organized by practicing new strategies.
Staying On Track…
Don’t be an “Italian road builder,” who builds a road that winds and twists around every mountain. It may seem easier in the moment to quickly stash an item in the nearest location, but in the long run you are likely to waste time and effort straightening out a twisted mess.
Always have a notepad (paper or electronic) nearby where you can “park” important items that pop into your head. Quickly record them so you can return to the task at hand. If you struggle with insomnia, keep one by the bed as well.
If you are easily sidetracked, consider putting on some soothing background music. This may help to occupy the part of your brain that otherwise would be distracted by nearby stimuli.
Stay hydrated. Even a 1% drop in body fluids can significantly impact your productivity.
If organizing a whole room seems overwhelming, put “blinders” on and focus on one specific area, such as a cabinet or a drawer. You don’t have to fix the whole room at once.
Stick to your strengths. We all do some things well and need help with others. Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to bring in someone with expertise. If finances are an issue, consider bartering your talents.
Changing your mindset can be powerful. Move away from the “I must do” and “I should do” and recast your vision to “I want to” and “I will do.”
* * * * *
Organization breeds freedom, a benefit worth pursuing. Do any of these tips resonate with you?