It seems that our lives are busier now than they have ever been before. With careers, children’s extracurricular activities, caring for aging loved ones and (if you’re lucky!) your own hobbies, we have such busy lives. It’s hard to stay organized with so much going on.
Often, what gets neglected are your living and work spaces. They start filling with clutter that you have no time to deal with. The clutter starts causing disorganization and in turn increases stress, making you feel like a failure because you just can’t do it all.
You say, “I’ll deal with it tomorrow or when things slow down.” For some, those days don’t come. Or, when they do, you’re so overwhelmed by the clutter that you avoid it by joining another club, filling that time up with something so you can make excuses for why you don’t have time to deal with it.
Productivity and organization expert Barbara Hemphill says, “Clutter is no more than postponed decisions.”
Avoiding clutter causes unnecessary stress. We waste time trying to find things and waste money replacing those things that we know that we have but can’t find. There are many reasons for having trouble getting and staying organized:
Not enough time
- Perfectionism, depression
- Living with others
- Major life changes
- Illnesses and disabilities
But making excuses for why you can’t get or stay organized are only excuses. Like anything — losing weight, saving for a dream vacation, overcoming an injury or illness — you have to want it, you have to work hard to get it and you have to maintain it.
If you’re ready to make the changes necessary to live an organized life in a busy world, let’s get started!
First of all, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: Organization is not about perfection, it’s about function.
1. Avoid perfectionism. Aim for “done.” Good is good enough. Often, trying to make the perfect decision or make your space look like it is right out of a magazine can cause you to procrastinate and not do anything.
2. Schedule Time. Block time out on your calendar. A couple hours, just one day or the whole weekend. Make sure there are no interruptions. Arrange for a babysitter. Turn off your phone and computer. Make it fun by playing music!
3. Prioritize. Make the spaces you begin your day in a priority. This way, you can start your day off right! First steps are your bedroom, bathroom, closet, drawers, and kitchen.
4. Start Small. Begin with a single drawer, shelf or cabinet. Step back and admire what you’ve accomplished. It just might provide the motivation you need to get a bigger project done.
5. Just Start. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start… Just start.
Next, we will delve into the next steps to getting and staying organized! For now, digest what you’ve learned here and start a little project so you can get motivated to dive into the next steps.
Learn more in my next post, Living Organized in a Busy World, Part 2.