The new year is on the horizon and one of your resolutions is to finally get your home organized! It is a great resolution! Being organized has a ripple effect that can positively impact your time, money, and health goals as well! If this has been a goal of yours for several years, but you just can’t seem to get started or stick with it, then these tips are for you!
Knowing how to organize is one thing. There are a lot of different approaches but they all boil down to sorting, purging, and assigning homes to what you want to keep. That isn’t the hard part. The hard part, especially for procrastinators, is taking ACTION! The tips below will help you push yourself to finally take ACTION on your organizing resolution this year!
1. A – ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY – get a friend and set a date. Share your organizing plans with a friend, preferably one that also has organizing goals of her own. Help hold each other accountable. Agree that each Monday, for instance, you will each text a before picture of your space to be organized. Then agree to send pictures at certain intervals of the progress, followed by the after picture. Knowing you have someone that you have to follow up with will help motivate you to get moving!
2. C – CHOOSE A ROOM OF REQUIREMENT– Harry Potter fans know exactly what I mean here. Decide on an overflow location for items from the place you are organizing. As with any project, things always get worse before it gets better. When dealing with spaces in your home, this can be a source of frustration and if not careful, can lead to a loss of momentum. A lot of people even give up at the worst stage and then believe they will never get their life in order. Avoid this pain by choosing a temporary holding tank for items during the project. A little used space in the home is a great choice. It is best to sort in the immediate area if you know you will complete the space in one or two days. However, if you know it is a big job, give yourself permission to allow an out of the way space to be the staging area for the clutter while decisions are being made. Even if you can sort in the space you are working, you will still need the overflow space for the items that will trip you up. Many organizers say indecision is the cause of your clutter and they are right. However, it is better to be left with one space that contains the results of your indecision than a whole house full. Do not lose your momentum by getting stuck on an item that doesn’t belong in the space you are organizing but you don’t really know where to put it. Don’t get stuck agonizing over a particularly sentimental item that you know you should get rid of but you just can’t make yourself. Move these items to the overflow and deal with them later when you have more accomplishments or can call in some professional help. When sorting create categories with the following labels: trash, donate, sell/consign, keep (in this space), move (to another room), undecided (move to your room of requirement). You can break your keep pile into smaller categories as needed, too.
3. T – TIME CONSTRAINT – When you are ready to organize a space, set a timer for 15 minutes. It doesn’t sound like enough time to organize even a junk drawer but trust me on this one. Procrastinators get stuck on how long they think something will take. Promise yourself to work on any space for just 15 minutes. Once you get started that is the hardest part tackled. When your timer goes off you will be invested. Set it again and promise yourself to work another 15. As long as you are on a roll keep resetting the timer. Knowing you only have a short amount of time will keep you focused and if the timer goes off and you find yourself in another place all together it will work as a self-check to move back to the space you are supposed to be organizing.
3. I – INTEREST – Work in small enough spaces to hold your interest. Go for quick wins! Instead of saying “I will organize the kitchen today!” Tell your accountability buddy, “In the next 15 minutes, I will organize the utensil drawer.” Much like Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball, an organizing snowball can gain momentum as well. Set your timer, empty the drawer by Sorting everything you find in it into like categories. Purge anything that shouldn’t be there, Assign each type of utensil its own space. Containerize it all in a nice utensil drawer insert and Evaluate how it works for you. This S.P.A.C.E. method by Julie Morganstern is an excellent way to hold your interest and stay focused on your task. Snap an after picture and get it to your accountability buddy for the celebration! Keeping organizing projects divided into small sections is crucial for the procrastinator’s brain.
4. O – OWN & OBSERVE – Taking a moment to evaluate how things went is important. Celebrating a win with a completed job is so important. It is also important to own and incomplete job and not get defeated. Understand why you got derailed so that you won’t make the same mistake again. Check in with your accountability buddy either way. Have your buddy process with you why you got stuck, how you can fix it, and when you will tackle the space again. Help each other with this part.
Bonus Tip – N – NEXT – Now think of what your next space will be while you are on a high from your successful results. Planning your next area of attack will keep you motivated and focused. Remember, if it is a big area break it into chunks. Sometimes you will run out of steam in the first 15-minute time period and you don’t want to leave yourself in a mess. Go ahead and take your before picture, send it to your accountability buddy and tell her when your next organizing session will happen. Encourage her to do the same! Each of you should set a reminder on your calendar to alert you 15 minutes before your next session and text each other to check in and encourage one another. Having the next step planned complete with accountability is key!
Following these ACTION steps will help even the biggest procrastinator finally make progress on organizing in 2019! Do you have any tips that you want to share? Any questions on the process? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Want to use JoyLovingHome as your accountability buddy? Join us on Instagram @joylovinghome and post your before and after pictures at #joylovinghome, we’d love to cheer on your progress!
Need even more insight on your procrastinator brain? Check out this TedTalk (add link)
Ready to get started? Click here to download free printables of the ACTION steps, the S.P.A.C.E. method, & labels for your sorting piles.