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In Order Blog

Here’s What’s Preventing You From Becoming Organized

January is Get Organized Month. Did you know that every year, for at least the past decade, one of the top three most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to “get organized”?
Perhaps you have tried unsuccessfully to get organized in the past. You may have had great intentions, but something held you back, or possibly you felt overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos in your home. Or, maybe, you had trouble achieving your goal because you made one of the 5 common mistakes that prevent people from becoming organized.
Mistake #1: Thinking everything has to be perfect
An organized home doesn’t need to look like Martha Stewart lives in it; nor does it need to be Pinterest-worthy. My definition of being organized means knowing what you have and being able to access it easily when you need it. Perfection leads to paralysis. Believing everything must be picture-perfect will hinder your progress. As a friend of mine often says, “Done is better than perfect.” Set a plan for yourself, and go room-by-room, organizing until you’re satisfied, however YOU define that.
Mistake #2: Keeping something you have only because you might need it someday
Keeping things you don’t need, use, or love “just in case” adds to the clutter. Most of us have space constraints in our homes. Keeping just-in-case items occupies a huge amount of space. My many years organizing have taught me that, even were you to hold onto something “just in case,” there is a good chance that at the time you may need it, either you won’t remember you have it, or you won’t be able to find it. Rather, think of the trade-off of space you’re dedicating to these unused items compared to the cost or time needed to buy, borrow, or rent the item in the unlikely event it is actually needed.
Mistake #3: Not keeping it simple
I’ve seen people create very elaborate, convoluted, or inconvenient systems for storing things. Very quickly, the system starts to fall apart. It’s human nature; if it’s not simple, we are not going to do it or maintain it. Keep your frequently used items accessible. Save the hard-to-reach or high-up storage areas for rarely accessed items; you don’t want to have to drag out the stepstool on a daily basis.
Mistake #4: Using opaque or unlabeled containers
Being able to “see” what you have is key. When you use opaque containers, you forget what’s inside, especially if the bin or box is not labeled. Labeled vessels serve as a reminder for you, and anyone else who lives or works in your household, what belongs in that container and, equally important, what does not.
Mistake #5: Thinking organizing is a one-time activity
Unfortunately, organizing, like dieting, is not a one-time activity; you don’t get to do it once and never again. It requires on-going maintenance. The easiest way to make sure you maintain the systems you create is to schedule regular chunks of time on your calendar. Schedule a weekly hour appointment with yourself to stay on top of the paper piles, drop off unwanted items at a donation site, or declutter the counters and flat surfaces. Doing that scheduled maintenance keeps your home running smoothly.
Overwhelmed and need help? Give In Order, Inc. a call at 973-334-3477