Question

Where Do I Start?

This is the number one question that I get asked as a professional organizer.

The easy and semi-cheeky answer is…you.

Even though the answer is kind of loaded, it rings true on 4 different concrete levels.

#1 Mind Set

In order to start your organizing efforts you need to be clear to what you want. Your priorities are your building blocks to getting and staying organized.  Ask your self these questions in order to get to the top 3 significant items that drive you day in and day out.

  1. What is really important to you?
  2. How would you spend your time if you were organized?
  3. What fulfills me above all other things?

Just as you get clarity on what your priorities are you will begin to get clear to the vision of being organized. With out a “Why” you are organizing you are sabotaging any efforts you make to become organized. No army of professional organizers could get or keep you organized with out this one piece of information. Mind set is the building block to getting and staying organized.

#2 Recognize your Limitations

Women have a tendency to beat themselves up over what they interpret as shortcomings. Yes I suffer from Wonder Woman syndrome too!  Remember there is only so many hours in the day, so many places you can be at once, only so many arms that you have. So recognize some of the laws at play that some how we think we can break.  Start doing this by forgiving yourself. Forgive your self your old habits. Forgive your self that you didn’t finish a craft project. Forgive your self that you let yourself or others down.

After you have forgiven your self a few organizing indiscretions (we all could be forgiving our selves for a long time).  Use what you have learned about your habits as data to build on your organizing system.  For example, do you always have a pile of receipts on the dresser drawer that get out of hand? Then put a box on the dresser to help corral them then file or throw them away at the end of each week.  This is what  “Change anything” book writers referred to as “Turning a bad day into good data.”

If you are still feeling overwhelmed and feel as though your limitations are insurmountable, then ask for help.  The only two people you should reach out to are your greatest supporters and /or a professional organizer.

Greatest Supporters are those who will stand by you no matter what clutter mess you are in. These are the friends and family members that will not judge but will cheer you on and work diligently side by side with you.

Professional organizers are skilled professionals that know how to organize space, processes, and put it in a workable system personalized to you. They are teachers and cheerleaders in the organizing process.

#3 Your Personal Physical Space

This is what people are really asking when they ask, “Where do I start?” They are wondering what room/area should they start on. The answer is still “ With you,

with your physical space. “ Start with where you spend a good deal of time. Start in a room that resembles you or where you work. That is a bedroom, closet, or workspace such as a desk, kitchen, or even laundry room. Do not start with the kid’s room or with hubby’s space. You need to get the “O.K.” from them or risk making everyone upset, spend the time on you. Be selfish here! Take care of your self before you take care of everyone else.

 

#4 Celebrate your Accomplishments

Enjoy the progress you have made! Open the closet door 10-15 times after it is organized. Relish in the work you have done.  Even if you started the bedroom and all you accomplished was clearing off your dresser or hanging up the clothes on the floor. You accomplished something. One step forward is better than nothing at all.  Consequently, nothing at all just adds to the mess so your small step is really a big one. You prevented adding to the clutter!

Grab some tea and/or chocolate and admire yourself and your accomplishment!