Does this sound familiar? “I am so disorganized, I don’t even know where to begin” Or “I walk into my , and it is so overwhelming, I turn around and leave.” Or even “I am sure my house is the most disorganized house ever.”
Starting your organizing projects doesn’t have to be scary. Even if you don’t know where to begin, I do. Or we can figure it out together. Here are 3 ways to make getting started less scary!
Before you begin your project, take a few moments to envision the end product.
If you want to organize your child’s room (something we have to tackle soon, to make room for new toys!), envision what “clean” and “organized” look like. Clothes away, books on shelves, toys in storage containers, right? If you consider that end picture, you realize you require clothes storage, a book shelf and some storage containers, and the habits to make it all happen. Like magic, there is your plan!
Is your end product an efficient home office environment? Perhaps the vision for your office is more about process instead of actual space. Perhaps you envision yourself working at your desk, managing multiple projects, being creative, competently taking care of business. That Vision helps you decide what you want to do with your office space, too. Dream big! Then sketch it or write it down, to help you stay motivated.
With the vision of your End Product in mind, you are better equipped to tackle the project.
Choose a Donation Destination for your extra items.
Purging clutter is much easier when we know that someone else can need or use the items. Is your clutter paper? Imagine bags or boxes set up with these labels: “Recycle, trash, “shred event” or shredder, magazines for the dentist office or nursing home.”
Closet project? Perhaps your destinations are “Cleaners / Repair, off-season storage, donate, give to friend/sister/neighbor”. Choose a destination for your items; resale shop, charitable donation, garage sale, etc. Once we know where things are going, it is easier to let them go!
For charitable giving, it helps to put a personal face on our items. Knowing a homeless man will be warmer this winter helps us let go of those old overcoats in the closet. Old glasses gathering dust in our homes can go to the Lion’s Club for redistribution. My clients often have drawers of old cell phones, ink cartridges and broken cameras that they gladly send with me to be recycled at our local elementary.
We had just received a huge influx of hand-me-downs from very generous friends when Hurricane Katrina hit. Friends in Gulfport, MS told us of a family, with two boys about my sons’ age, who lost absolutely everything. My then 7-year old ask me why I was packing things up to send away, and when I explained, he thought for a moment and then pulled out toys to send to those boys who had nothing. Extra soccer balls, games, books, etc. How easy it is, even for a child, to let go of extra things to others in need.
Pick a Starting Spot and Stick With It.
Have you ever spent an hour or two working on an organizing project, but when you step back and look around, you don’t see any visible improvements? Or you cast about a room, here and there, crossing and re-crossing your own path, spending lots of energy for little gain.
Often, my clients start our session with “I’m so overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start.” So, typically, I will walk in the door of the space we are working on, turn to the immediate left of the door, and declare that very spot as our starting point. We progress steadily around the room from there. Left to right, right to left, top to bottom – this is not the secret, though I prefer Left to Right around the room. Just sticking with the starting point and working around the space makes your next starting point obvious, too, so you can continue next time.
So, don’t be scared, starting an organizing project can be easy if you just keep these tips in mind!