If you’ve lived a cluttered life in permanent disorder your whole life, you most likely don’t realize the incredible benefits of organization. Many of the most successful people have recognized that keeping their environment clear is the first step in keeping their mind free to operate at peak performance. The weight of clutter is a strong psychological force that will hold you back in many ways.
An environment in chaos with piles of unfinished tasks is a constant reminder of frustration. You’d rather do something fun and distract yourself from what really needs to be done and I don’t blame you I’ve been guilty. The only problem is when you’re done doing what’s fun the unfinished problems are still there, but oh no it’s late you need to get up early in the morning. You’ll just do it tomorrow, but low and behold the cycle repeats itself again.
Now a long time has passed and your entire house is a mess. Everywhere you look is some stack of failure constantly stressing you out. You can’t focus because your fortress of solitude is one big landfill of distraction. You need something, but you don’t know where it is or if you even have it anymore. You waste more time looking for it than you would have if you just organized. Oh well, you can’t find it guess you just have to go buy a new one.
Honey, why do we have four can openers, three opened tubes of toothpaste, two thermometers, and um where’s the kid. This scenario is definitely a slippery slope to a hypothetical disaster, but the underlying effects are real. Your situation may not be this bad, but unless you have a personal organizer you do have to stay on top of your stuff or else clutter will bury you.
The good news is the opposite is the cure all. The actual act of organizing is therapeutic helping you melt away the stress of disorder immediately. Having an organized home and avoiding these problems aren’t the only benefits; others include more money, space, time, energy, and freedom. This article written by Aby of Simplify101.com does a perfect job explaining 14 Reasons to Get Organized.
Organization is a lifestyle that requires a specific way of thinking. The first step is to realize how important it is to your wellbeing. Once you understand how important it is you can begin to formulate a plan tailored to what you need and set a daily routine to chip away at the chaotic clutter of your home. This article is intended to give you the resources you need to get on the right track to organize your environment the way you want it.
When you set out to organize anything, you need to know what you want to accomplish and understand the basics of any organizational project. This HGTV.com article outlines Four Basic Steps to any organizational plan and how to implement them. First you need to define your space and what it is used for then you need to sort and act on the stuff you have. Once you’re left with the stuff you want to keep, then you can set up a useful storage system. When you’re done with one space the key is to stay focused onto the next and this article also has 13 ways to beat procrastination.
Your Organizational Routine
Being organized is not something that happens every spring it’s a habit that is kept up on a daily basis to ensure the ease of daily life. The most important way to stay focused on your long term goal is to identify a routine. Having a routine helps keep you on track for when things need to be done after a set amount of time. Of course, you don’t have to stick to the routine exactly, but it’s a great way to remember the things that need to be done. If you need a little help check out this article on Lifelong Organization.
To Do List
The most important tip in any organizational effort is the proper use of a to-do list. You could just go through your home aimlessly straightening everything you see, but then chances are you’d have a bunch of half-finished projects that only appear organized. Having a to-do list helps give you direction and priority. It is the building block of a plan that will keep you motivated and make you feel accomplished. If you need help making a to-do list that actually works, I recommend checking out these two articles from Lifehacker.com “Back to Basics: How to Simplify Your To-Do List and Make It Useful Again” and “Top 10 Unusual Ways to Make Your To-Do List Actually Doable”
Just Get Rid of it
One of the biggest hurdles people have with organization is actually getting rid of things. For whatever reason you think you may need it someday. Well, the truth is chances are you won’t and more likely you’ll forget you even have it to begin with. The mere act of getting rid of stuff feels great. At first, you may feel uneasy tossing stuff but start small. This list of 25 Things to Throw Out Today written by Paul Michael is a great place to start looking for things that you logically will never need.
We live in an era of full contact consumerism. Big corporations have bombarded our society with the idea that happiness and popularity are based on the amount of stuff we have. This is the reason we have way more stuff in our home than we really need. Actually, the opposite is true, the less you have the more freedom you have to do what really matters to you. Don’t overwhelm yourself with stuff you don’t actually need. Taking a more minimalistic approach to life is liberating, but understandably for many people it’s scary. You don’t have to just set your home ablaze and walk the streets with the clothes on your back. This article written by Joshua Becker of BecomingMinimalist.com the foremost authority on minimalism entitled 7 Ways to Sample Living With Less is a great place to start.
Do you Really Need It?
With all the opportunities to buy things, it’s easy to buy a boat load of stuff you don’t really need. Capitalism has produced many pretty or somewhat useful items that you may think you want but don’t actually need. You need to resist the urge to listen to what advertisements tell you to buy and only purchase what you truly will want down the road when the excitement wears off. Buying lots of extra stuff not only clutters you home and basement it is a huge drain on your wallet. If you need help determining if you really need to buy it check out this Lifehacker.com article entitled “Should I Buy It” Flowchart to Help Make Smarter Purchases written by Adam Pash.
Getting Kids to Organize
Let’s face it our kids contribute to the mess that accumulates in our homes. Although our kids are born messy by nature they do pick up on everything we do even organization. It’s our job to mold them into well-collected adults and an early organizational habit will help them the rest of their lives. Cultivating this trait is about being patient while showing them how and why we keep things in order. This article written by Sarah Dorman of AboutKidsHealth.ca does a great job of explaining what parents can do to Teach Children Organizational Skills.
We all have an area of our lives that acts as our nemesis. It is the place you can never seem to organize right or you just refuse. Maybe you don’t know how or you’re just looking for a specific organization topic. Unclutterer.com is a fantastically helpful website that has a huge amount of categorized topics in its archive. If you need advice in any particular area this is a great place to look.
Tiny House Hacks
When it comes to organizing you’re always limited to how much space you have to put things. Many people live in places that are very small and when you have limited space the feeling of objects on top of you is a psychological straight jacket. When it comes to these situations you have to be creative with the space that you do have. You may think that you are stuck in a cluttered existence, but try and find places that you can put things. If you need inspiration take a look at this list of 31 Tiny House Hacks to Maximize Your Space compiled by Morgan Shanahan of Buzz Feed.
Organization with Style
An organized home doesn’t have to be a plain cookie cutter cottage with identical Wal-Mart storage bins stacked in the corner. It also doesn’t have to be a boring lifeless chore. IheartOrganizing.com is a fabulous blog that provides many organizational DIY projects that add flare to your home and make it lively. Jen’s Project Gallery is a great page that outlines all of her amazing projects in one place.
If you’re the kind of person who is interested in watching videos of how professional organizers manage their homes, then I recommend you check out these YouTube channels centered around organizing on a budget. Home Organizing by Alejandra is a great YouTube channel that has playlists focused on every aspect of your home. Another great channel is ClutterBug, where Cas shows you many useful tricks on how to keep your home organized and clean.
If you’re interested in taking a course with more detailed information or you need extra help with a particular area, I recommend one of the courses offered at Simplify101.com. Great general courses such as The FUNdamentals of Getting Organized and Quick and Simple Clutter Control are available. If you need help with that spooky closet or unusable kitchen there is an informative course for you. The courses include lifetime access to the detailed content as well as access to the forums where you can ask any questions you may have.
If your home is a bigger feat than you think you can handle there is no shame in calling in a professional to help. The National Association of Professional Organizers is the authority on organizing professionals. Check out their website for more information on how and where to find a professional organizer. The organization also has much more information on events, certifications, and research.
I hope you found this article helpful and are able to liberate yourself from clutter. I’d love to hear about how you keep your home organized or any other useful resources I missed in the comments.