Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Organization: Not So Scary Anymore

Organization is one of those scary things we put on our to do list. You know you want to be organized, and the last time you couldn't find something, you swore you would get organized, but actually doing the organization seems scary.

Here are some big stumbling blocks that keep us from organizing our lives: 

I don't know where to start. Well, that is simple. What everyday task do you wish was easier? It could be paying the bills, locating your missing sock, finding food in your cupboard, the list is endless. Whatever activity in your life that causes you frustration is a great place to start.

I don't have the time. I've always wondered about this one. People seem to have an amazing amount of time to look for things they lost, but no time to put things where they belong. If you have established a place for mismatched socks you will look there first. If you haven't, you will toss that odd sock on the floor and grumble about never being organized. 

I have no idea how to organize. I find this to be usually untrue. People can live in a mountain of papers, dirty laundry, and old magazines, but have a perfectly organized collection of DVD's arranged alphabetically by genre, and in subcategories of hunky lead actors. Why is it that their life looks like chaos but their DVD's are immaculate? I think it comes down to what is important to you. If your movies are important, you will make them accessible. If your clothes are important, you will wash them and hang them up. If paying your bills on time is important, you will find a way to keep track of them. It is up to you to find out what is important. 

I am overwhelmed. When we look at our entire life and can't see out because the “stuff” has taken over, it is easy to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over our head. Unfortunately, I have never seen this approach fix the mess. Once again, I suggest looking at what is important to you. If reading is it, look at your books and magazines. See what you have and how you want it organized. Little successes will breed optimism and eventually completion. 

I bought the storage stuff and never used it. Lots of people get excited about organizing, rush out to the store, buy a ton of cool looking containers that match or have neat little compartments, then race home and find that nothing fits. Depressed, and with a huge bill for supplies, they feel defeated and give up.  How do you know what you need until you know what you have? Pick one thing and decide how you want to use it. For example, if you have a lot of spices cluttering up your kitchen cupboards, you need to ask yourself a few questions. First, do I cook? If you haven't used a spice since your mother-in-law made a turkey 5 years ago, maybe spices aren't the most important thing for your lifestyle. A container with a lid that can be stored on a bottom shelf might work the best for you. On the other hand, if your answer was “Yes every day!”, then maybe organizing your spices by type and quantity is important. After you have done inventory you can go to the container store or kitchen outlet and find a nice spice rack or shelf that fits your needs. 

Organization can be as easy or as hard as you make it. Being realistic about what is important to you, and what you use, will help you decide where to start. Ripping the entire house up so you can organize all at once will only depress you. Start with one important thing, the success will motivate you to do more.

When you get ready to tackle your paperwork organization remember Prepared Binder – Home Edition is a great way to start. With a simple yet comprehensive layout you can quickly identify what you need and organize it in a ready to use format. Visit Prepared Binder to learn more.

Today's question: Where are you going to start?

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