Hit Your Target: Be Realistic

All month long we’ve been talking about solutions to Common Organizing Mistakes. We’ve looked at the high-dollar real estate areas in your home/office, overly-complicated organizing systems and how to avoid them, and tips for avoiding tempting but unnecessary organizing products. This last post relates to your own psyche: Be realistic about your organizing goals.

Understand How Much Time Organizing Can Take. The reality is, organizing takes time. You didn't become disorganized overnight and chances are, you won't become organized over night. If you are like most of us, a shopping bag or a backpack full of stuff comes in a little at a time, but at a steady state. So, don’t expect your 3-or 4-hours of tidying up to give results fit for a Real Simple photo shoot. But don’t give up! Like we learned in our 31-Day GO Challenge, even 10-minutes a day of clean up will help you maintain a space that creates a feeling of satisfaction and relaxation.

Don't give up just because your new system didn't work out. If you start out knowing that eventually, your life will become more streamlined then you're less likely to give up during the process. I always tell clients: it’s going to get messy before it gets better (how can it not, we're literally pulling everything out). It’s just a part of the process.

Maintenance is key. Just because you finally get your life organized doesn't mean your life will always stay organized. In order for your previous organizing systems to work, you have to maintain them. Paper will always come in the door and we will always buy more things--you just have to have the rules and guidelines in place to prevent overflow.

Track Your Results. (And relish in your successes.) Goal-setting gurus agree; pat yourself on the back when you deserve it. If you have accomplished any aspect of your organizing goals, acknowledge it - even internally (and sure, post it on Facebook, if you’d like!) . Sometimes we are our own most critical judge. When it comes to recognizing your organizational and decluttering successes, allow yourself to feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing you made the changes you have been working towards.


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