When it comes to my work, I’m very organized and methodical. At home? Not so much. I’m no candidate for Hoarders, but I definitely could use some improvement. Every year I resolve to get more organized at home and more importantly, to stay organized. I make progress for a while, but eventually I fall back on my previous disorganized ways.
In thinking about this over the holidays, I realized that this stop-and-start pattern was very much like the one I exhibited in my years on the “diet cycle”. I’d try-try-try, but at some point it would become too overwhelming or difficult to sustain, and I’d give up. Same thing with sustainable organization. I figured out how to lose 100 pounds, but I haven’t found the solution to my home organization issues. Isn’t it a pity I can’t use the same principles…oh, wait! ::Is the light bulb over my head hurting your eyes?::
For 2013, I’m going to use the tippy toe approach to home organization. Smaller, consistent steps do add up, and I’m looking forward to applying the same methodology to organizing. I kind of have a head start, in that I’ve got the “small steps” locked up. I just need to connect them consistently. Here’s the starting plan:
- List the reasons why. It’s not enough to think them; I need to put pen to paper, list the reasons having a more organized home are important to me, and then refer back to them frequently to keep the momentum going.
- Break things up into manageable tasks. Rather than thinking of organizing the whole house, I’m breaking it into smaller projects. Really small. I’ve defined 16 areas, inside and out, and then further broken those into even smaller areas. As I (re)organize each area, I’ll define the process, or “rules”, that will keep it organized. My bookcases, for example, should only require a periodic weeding and dusting; however, I tend to stash small things in front of the books, which makes the shelves look messy. New rule: Nothing in front of the books, even decorative items.
- Set action-based goals. There’s an old saying that goes: People want to be rich; they don’t want to get rich. Meaning, we want it to magically happen without a lot of effort on our part. It’s the same with being thinner vs. getting thinner, and for me, anyway, it seems to be the same with home organization. Instead of setting a generalized goal of “being more organized”, which is the result I want, my actual goals require action.
- Give credit where it’s due. With the advent of Pinterest, it’s easy to get caught up in the beauty of other people’s organized spaces and to feel as though my own living space is somehow lacking. I need to keep my focus on my successes and to remember that the process is about improvement, not perfection.
- Have fun along the way. I don’t enjoy housekeeping so much, so a key for me is to find the fun in the process. With weight loss, I set silly challenges and rewards for myself. I suspect I’ll do the same with home organizing.
Any or all of the above is subject to change, of course, as I work my way through the process. I had success with tippy toe weight loss. Here’s hoping it works for home organizing.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite organizing blogs and websites, but I’m also interested in your tips and suggestions. How do YOU stay organized?