Do you want an organized house and life but you feel so unorganized and out of control that you don’t have a clue what to do first? That’s a terrible place to be but there are some things you can do to gain control. Unfortunately they won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight.
The first thing you have to do is recognize the fact that “if you change nothing, nothing will change.” You can’t keep doing what you’ve been doing and expect your life to improve. You have to make changes and they will be HARD!
Most organization experts recommend that you analyze your situation and figure out why you’re unorganized. However, I’m guessing it probably boils down to one of these reasons:
- Don’t care
- No time – too much to do – too many interruptions
- House too small – inadequate storage
- Too much stuff
- Don’t know what to do (no training)
- No energy or motivation
I wouldn’t recommend making a list of everything that’s “wrong” because that will probably overwhelm you and discourage you. If you’re only mildly unorganized, making a master list could be helpful, but if you’re past that point, it probably won’t be. However, it would be beneficial for you to make a list of things that are “right” because you most likely have a least a few. For example:
- I always make the bed.
- I always get the laundry done.
- I always have a good dinner for my family.
- I get the bills paid on time.
- I never have to look for my keys or purse.
- I never run out of gas in the car.
Those areas that are working don’t need to be fixed. Leave those alone! Remember the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
For all the rest of the things you’re dealing with, here are a few ideas to get you started. But please remember that each person is different and not all these ideas will work for you. Choose the ones you think will work and ignore the rest.
1. Ask a friend to help you. I’m pretty organized, and if one of my unorganized friends came to me for help, I’d do whatever I could to help. Sometimes you just need someone else to take a look at your situation and see what you might be missing. When you’re in the midst of that “unorganized stupor”, it’s hard to see what needs done. All you can see is the bad. But a friend can come in and look at things more objectively and possibly come up with some great ideas to help you.
2. Start with ONE thing. When you’re trying to get organized, you tend to want to fix everything by tomorrow. That’s not likely to happen. So instead of trying to do fix everything by tomorrow, just focus on one thing. It could be the thing that bugs you the most or it could be the thing that’s easiest to fix. But you know what I’ve noticed? If I can get one area of my life under control, some of the other areas get organized without me even trying. Your one thing could be:
- Keep the dishes done
- Make the bed
- Open the curtains
- Vacuum the floors
- Keep the laundry put away
Do that one thing faithfully for a week or two – however long you need – and then when you feel comfortable, add another thing.
3. Give yourself a “fresh start”. I suggest this with fear and trepidation because it won’t work for everyone, and for the wrong person, it could backfire big time! So if you don’t think this is for you, skip the rest of this paragraph please!
My most out-of-control area is my desk. I’ve been doing much better with my desk since I got organizer drawers but my desk can still get out of control quickly! Sometimes when I can’t stand it anymore, I get a box and dump everything from the desk into the box. Then as I have time, I start going through the box and putting things where they go. It’s easier for me to process the stuff in the box at my leisure rather than having it continue to clutter my desk. Getting rid of it, even temporarily, is like getting a fresh start.
Perhaps you could do that with a room. Take everything that doesn’t belong out of the room and stash it somewhere. Then work hard at keeping that room in order – just that one room. And in the meantime, try to find homes for the stuff you took out of that room. And if you can’t find homes for it, maybe it’s time to toss it or give it away.
Whatever you do, keep in mind that you need to KEEP IT SIMPLE. Since organization may not be your thing, you’re not helping yourself if you come up with solutions that are complicated or time consuming. Keep it simple and don’t be in a hurry.
Now it’s time. Pick a strategy and get started. And let me know how it goes.