Today is the day! You’ve been thinking about this all week. It’s Saturday morning, the kids are gone, the husband is out, and you’ve finally got the chance you have been waiting for: it’s just you and your clutter and it’s time to get organized! You have a renovation plan for every room of your house and you know exactly where you’re going to begin.
You start in your closet. You’re loving it, you’ve got your eye on the prize. You are pulling all of your clothes out and purging EVERYTHING! Then…your husband walks through the door. What? Why is he home early? You glance at the clock annnnddd… it’s been six hours. WHAT?! All you’ve accomplished is editing an “organize time” playlist, flooding your room with clothes and shoes, and filling a few donate bags! How did that take so long?? You feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated. DON’T! You are not the only one! I repeat, do not let your disorganization defeat you. It’s overwhelming for any normal human person to tackle their entire home at once. Making a few tweaks to your game plan can majorly help you finally get organized!
Your first mistake: thinking too big. The anticipation, the entire home reno, the limited time frame… sllooooww dooown. If you aren’t going the professional organizer route and are DIYing your project, you’re going to need to think small. It can be tough to do. When you get on a roll and have that coveted motivation to organize your house, you have to take advantage of it, right? Sort of. You’re setting yourself up for failure, thus depleting your motivation stores that way. Make small goals at first. Go for a smaller space to begin with like a closet, a laundry room, or your kitchen cabinets. And get on it! Don’t wait until the “opportune moment” or pencil in an organizing day a week and a half from now. Doing this builds anticipation leading to high expectations and gives your mind time to think bigger and bigger.
“Well I think I could probably finish the closet in an hour, no more than two, so why stop there? I could probably finish my whole room. But that won’t take too long because that’s relatively organized already. So two and a half hours tops on my room and closet… I could do my bathroom and linen closet too….. ” been there? Yeah, me too. Instead of scheduling an organizing day, get to work on your space immediately and set a realistic end date goal, like before the in-laws get to town or before hubby’s birthday party. This way you remain motivated without the anxiety of putting a specific time constraint on yourself. Work on the project a little bit everyday or at least a few times a week. You don’t have to spend hours on the space everyday, just as much time as you can spare.
The next fatal mistake: trying to take on too much! If you just want to reorganize your clothes or cleaning products, great! Keep it at that. If your space needs some home improvements, begin with simply organizing. Organize your things in the space as if no home improvements are to be made. Once everything is placed optimally, you can see the space for what it really is and improve it accordingly and specifically for your things. Doing this also makes both tasks seem much less daunting. Remember the tried and true KISS principle. Keep it simple, stupid! (I don’t think your stupid.)
Lastly, never only allow yourself a certain amount of time. Again with the scheduling. Scheduling and planning is great and a small amount of planning is great! But when it comes to organizing your things, time constraints make it much more difficult that it already is. Think about moving into a new home. You’ve got all of your stuff packed up in boxes and when you begin unpacking, it’s more than just unpacking. It’s a trip down memory lane. It’s seeing all of your things as if it were the first time you’ve seen them. It’s seeing all of your things for everything they mean to you and remind you of. When you reorganize, it’s a very similar experience. You can’t put a time frame on memory lane.
You’re not the only one overwhelmed by your disorganization. By starting small, making realistic goals, staying focused, and working little by little, you will be able to get your clutter cleared…or you could just call in a professional. Either way, there are options! Keep Calm & Organize On.