A lack of organization costs in so many ways. We lose time looking for lost things. We lose energy as clutter sucks away our life force. We lose focus because each stray paper distracts us.
“The problem with clutter is that it blocks the energy circulation in your home and in you.”
Have you ever made a resolution to get organized? So why doesn’t it stick? The essence of organization is a combination of internal habits and external systems. Most people try to do one or the other, but the missing link is making them work together. To create organization AND maintain it, you must match your systems with your habits and your habits with your systems.
Start Your Organization With What’s True Now
In Organizing from the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern asks you 5 questions:
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What items are most essential to you?
- Why do you want to get organized?
- What’s causing the problems?
“Although going through the Analyze process takes a little extra time compared to just diving in, it is the most important investment you can make toward achieving your ultimate goal: becoming truly organized at last.”
Julie Morgenstern, Organizing from the Inside Out
What are your habits? Do you walk in the door and dump your stuff? I do! And in my current space, the coat closet lives as far from the front door as physically possible! Result? Piles of coats on the floor! So, I got a coat rack. I wasn’t going to create the habit of walking all the way to the back when I first came home. So, I created a system in the front, a rack to hang up my coat and bag and a bowl for my keys, cell phone and sunglasses. Voila! Piles gone!
Once you determine what your current habits and spatial situation are now, the next step is to visualize and decide what purpose each segment of your space will serve. I’m a big fan of floor plans, myself. It’s so much easier on your back to rearrange furniture on paper first.
Do Not Expect To Do All of It at Once
Organize one room at a time. Unless you’re ready to hire a team of 15 people like those organization shows, you’re not going to make it happen in a single day.
It will look worse before it looks better.
Start with a single section of your space and remove everything that doesn’t serve the purpose of that area. Toss it or put it in the location it will belong in according to your vision (but resist the urge to organize that space!). Once you’ve got it cleared, then you create containers to keep the new space organized.
Use your creativity to inspire beauty in the order.
Set aside several blocks of time over the next few weeks, until you get your entire space organized. Then, assess and adjust. Things may seem like a good idea in your head, but when put into action they may not work. There will be a period of adjustment. So, don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect right away. If a particular space gets cluttered again very quickly, go back to the original questions. I bet you’ll easily figure out why it doesn’t work and be able to make adjustments.
2 Habits of Harmony:
Once you’ve got things set up to work, create 2 new Daily Habits of Harmony Maintenance. First, completely clear the project in front of you, before you start another. Meaning, when you’re done with a project for the day, or even for the moment, put it away. Clear one thing before you begin another. That will serve to de-clutter your space as well as your mind.
Second, designate 15 minutes a day to organize and straighten up. Each day, focus on a different room. Unless you live in a mansion, you’ll be able to maintain order in your entire home every week.
Resources for Organization
Organizing from the Inside Out, second edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
Julie Morgenstern has written an organizing book that covers a new way of looking at the task of organizing effectively without labeling or blaming the person behind the lack of organization. Then she gets down to work helping you figure out an organizing system that will really work for you, not more cookie-cutter concepts or systems.
Feng Shui for Dummies (Paperback) by David Daniel Kennedy
The ancient Chinese art of harmonious design -demystified at last Feng Shui can help bring positive energy into all areas of your life, from family and relationships to money and work. Packed with ready-to-use Feng Shui tips and remedies, this friendly guide will help you arrange your home or office for maximum energy – beginning today!
Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE™) system, and anything else that is on her mind.