Do you walk in the house after a long day at work and just sigh at your cluttered house? Have you planned to organize one morning but do not know where to start or are just not in the mood? Are you caught in a vicious cycle: as soon as you organize one room another one has turned to chaos? Maybe you just need to prioritize, find motivation, and ask for help. Easier said than done?
Prioritize. As with most goals in life, you want to strive for progress and improvement, not perfection. Most of us do not have time to achieve perfection in everything we do and still live a happy, fulfilling life. When you set goals, make them achievable, attainable. When you make that progress, create a visual way to track it or remind yourself of all you have accomplished (i.e. stickers on a chart, a check list, a flower/penny/or other item to represent each task you have completed). Since we will never have more than 24 hours in a day, we may have to say “no” to some activities and tasks. As you list each goal, task, or activity, ask yourself if it is necessary, if it supports my ultimate goals, or if any other activity or person will be negatively affected if it does not happen. You may see your list shrink before your very eyes. If you are not sure how to narrow your list, search the internet, ask a friend, or consult a professional organizer (we help with both the tangible and intangible).
Motivate. Do you start the day with the best of intentions to declutter the “bathroom” only to loose your drive because it is “just not worth it”? What is worth it to you? What do you value? Why? These questions may not seem to have much to do with organizing, but they can be the key to your motivation. How much time do you spend on activities that relate to your values (i.e. spending time with family, exercising, eating healthy, etc.)? Most of us would probably answer “not enough”. Then why would you ever spend time on an activity not related to you values, such as organizing? The answer: organizing allows you to focus more on your values. Organizing means less time searching for the other shoe, fewer arguments over who last used the scissors and did not put them back, less time cleaning around the clutter . . . With less time wasted, you have more time to be with family, exercise, eat healthy, and pursue those life goals that really matter. The next time you wonder why you would ever make time to organize, remember that organizing can be a means to an end. If you find a task that seems pointless, ask yourself how that task can bring you closer to what means to the most to you. It is amazing how a change in attitude and knowing what is “in it for me” can motivate.
Ask For Help. Even if most of your chores and daily tasks are “value added”, they are not always fun and often too much for one person. Solution: spread the responsibility among the whole household. What is boring to one person may be fun for another. One person’s weak spot may be another person’s strength. Some people have time in the morning to help everyone get ready for the day, and others have more time at night to help everyone get ready for bed. When you do ask for help, just remember to be specific or be prepared for “not exactly what you expected”. Letting others pick what they want and find their own way, within reason, may even make them more willing and productive.