Do you want to get organized but don’t know how? Few things are as paralyzing as a lack of knowledge. When we don’t know how to do something, we typically procrastinate, which only makes things worse. Here are some common questions people have when trying to get organized, and the answers you need to get started.
How and where do I start?
This is often the hardest question in any project. I recommend clients ask themselves 3 questions to identify where they should begin:
- What is causing me the most pain? Is it the table just inside the door where everyone’s stuff gets piled up? Or maybe the kitchen junk drawer where you can never find what you need? Make a list, and rank it in order of “annoyance”.
- What do I control? It is always a good idea to start with an area of your home over which you have total control. While it may be tempting to overhaul your child’s room, the child is likely to quickly undo your hard work, which is very discouraging. Instead, begin with places which you control and have the ability to maintain any progress you make. This will give you a greater sense of accomplishment, and provide motivation to move on to another area. So go back to your list from question #1 and star those areas over which you have total/significant control.
- How big is the project? Starting small builds momentum. It isn’t a good idea to begin your organization initiative by deciding to overhaul the attic. Rather, start with a drawer, a medicine cabinet, or a shelf. So once again, go back to your first list and circle those items which are either small, or can be broken into small parts.
The best place for you to start will be with items on your list which are starred, circled, and high ranking.
How do I know what to keep vs. get rid of?
Here are my guidelines…
- Follow your instincts. If you love it, set it aside to keep. (if you don’t, get rid of it)
- If it belongs to someone else, make a pile for that person to review and decide.
- If it is a paperwork item you aren’t sure about, keep it, but plan on consulting an expert (e.g. an accountant) for final say.
- If you are keeping it out of guilt, even though you don’t like it, get rid of it.
- If it is broken, get rid of it, unless you are committed to tackling the repair and schedule time on your calendar to do so.
- If you are saving a clothing item in hopes it will fit you in the future, be cautious. Only save something you absolutely adore.
After reviewing all the items in an area, you are ready to reload the space. If your items still do not comfortably fit back in, you need to start over, being tougher on with guideline #1.
Where can I donate or dispose of my objects?
Many people feel more comfortable getting rid of an item if they feel it can be useful to someone else. Fortunately, it is easier than even to connect your unused items with needy recipients. For a list of resources for donating & disposing of items in the Darien area, please email The Seana Method at Seanagt@gmail.com. We’ll email a list right out to you.
Remember, you CAN do this!
Submitted by Seana Turner, professional organizer & founder of The Seana Method
Next week: What are we afraid of?