Organization is not as complicated as it feels.
It is simply the structure or arrangement of related or connected items, or an efficient and orderly approach to keeping items or doing tasks.
It can mean something different to each individual based on preferences and personality and will look different from person to person because of that.
For those who feel they need help organizing it is often self-imposed pressures as opposed to external feedback that bring us to seek guidance in this area.
It is generally self-awareness of inefficiencies and discomfort from the lack of order that bring us to a place of seeking help.
Organization is the key ingredient to many (dare I say most) of our daily goals.
A general lack of order in our environment not only brings on inefficiencies, but it creates a sense of chaos rather than calm.
There is no one “true” way to organize and everyone will have different levels of order in their space, but generally speaking you will find great freedom when you implement even a few of the following organizational techniques.
Freedom will present in a few ways that will transform your days:
- Freedom from worry- you know what needs to be done and what has been accomplished because you have ordered your tasks. You know where things are kept and do not have to stress about finding an important item
- Freedom from irritation- you will have a general sense of peace when your environment is orderly. A calm from the chaos.
- Freedom from stress- you know the what, where, why of your day which reduces unnecessary stress
- Financial freedom- you know what you have and what you need and are less likely to overspend
To organize yourself for the first time will likely feel overwhelming and unattainable.
The following techniques should help you get a jump start on a more orderly and stress-free environment:
1. Start slow. Take small steps in the right direction. People fail to reorganize when they try to do too much too fast!
2. Choose 1 room of the home to start.
3. If your space is particularly cluttered and disorderly, choose a small area of the room you choose and decide that you will ONLY organize that small area. This is SO important! If you bite off more than you can chew you will become overwhelmed, give up and never come back to the task leaving you with a sense of failure on top of the stress
4. Get rid of things you do not use and/or are duplicates. This is a key first step to success.
5. Get some boxes or large trash bags
Stage areas to put items: • “to go to goodwill”
• “to keep”
• "to give away or repurpose"
• "to store”
6. Move in one direction through the space and either leave the item where it is (if it belongs there) or put in one of the above categories. Do not think too hard about this- just hold the item, decide if it stays or goes and then put it in its spot from (b)
7. Immediately remove those items that are to be donated to your vehicle, those that are to be trashed to your trash, those that are to be stored stack in the garage or storage unit and those to be repurposed or given away should be put with the person’s name on it in a bag by the door or in its new spot in the home
8. Now that you have removed redundant, old or unused items- go back into the space and wipe and/or clean the areas you are working on and put the “to keep” pile away. Each item should go with like items neatly so that you know where to find what you need, when you need it
9. Once you have each room of your home organized to meet your needs, create a system of organizing your tasks/thoughts/schedule.
This is also a process so be kind to yourself. You must create new habits for these suggestions to be successful in the long term… but once they are instilled into your routine, they will literally change your life!
10. Keep a notebook where you write your lists of to dos and scratch off when completed. This is also a great place to write down a thought you have about something you need to accomplish but tend to keep forgetting
11. Get in a routine of always checking your notebook before bed or first thing in the morning and scratching off what is done and adding to it. When you get your thoughts down on paper, your mind can relax knowing you have it handled
12. Setup a calendar system for appointments and start a new routine where you check the calendar each day
If your life and environment have been in disarray for some time, there is no judgement here.
We all struggle with this to one degree or another. But it is important to recognize that being organized is 100% effective for 100% of people.
It isn’t one of those things that you can say is successful for some people but not others. An organized way of life brings reduced stress and more success 100% of the time.