Ready, Set, Get Organized

Has this wave of crisp, fresh, fall weather inspired you to make a big change? When we feel the urge to change or improve our life or our home, it often results in large organizing or home maintenance projects. Change is a natural and important part life. But now you have a really, REALLY big job ahead of you and don’t know where to begin.  You’ve acknowledged the need for change and have learned to sort into Keep, Toss, Donate, but you’re still stuck.  Whether it’s a mountain of paper in the office or a heap of clutter in the garage, moving forward requires thoughtfulness and a plan before you dig in.

Get motivated.  List your reasons for wanting the job done. How will you or your family members or co-workers benefit? What’s the bottom line? Will simplifying systems lead to more income? Will de-cluttering reduce family stress? Will creating an efficient space help you get to work on time or result in more weekend fun?

Reflect on the challenge.  Determine what is the toughest part of the job….why is it hard? Is it sheer volume? Then plan supplies and physical assistance accordingly. Will you come upon something you don’t know how to do? Google it. Is there an emotional roller coaster ahead of you? Jump on; experience what needs to be experienced. The joy will come when the task is behind you.

Schedule strategically.  Think “Gantt Chart”.  Plan the work around time, energy, available assistance, and supplies purchasing and gathering.  Also, plan for least possible distractions…. avoiding phone calls, emails and non-helping humans. Get it on the calendar and make it a commitment like any other appointment you make. Hint- Estimate how long it will take and double it. If you don’t have that much time, schedule several appointments.

Go time.  Suit up, get pumped! Physical and emotional comforts are important if you are in for the long haul. Dress for success and gather whatever will keep you in place. Visualize the end and develop the positive self-talk that will get you there.

Get organizing-Create a reasonable goal for the time you have allowed. Don’t spend three hours pulling everything out of a garage, if you’ve only scheduled four hours to work.  Select a section or pile and sort into like items, removing Trash or Donates from the space frequently. Allow tidy- time before finishing a session to avoid making-it-worse syndrome.

Contain and Maintain– Whew! The decision making is over. When all items have been categorized, thin out the duplicates, the unneeded and the unwanted.  Contain what is useful and enjoyed in appropriate containers, considering size, weight and durability. Store containers based on frequency of use, keeping high- use items easy to access.  Keep up the newly revived space with a commitment to putting away items after use.

Congratulations!  You’ve tackled your big project.  If you get stuck or need help tackling more areas of your home, it might be time to call a professional organizer.

Terry & Tess