Do you feel instant resistance in your body at the thought of a looming organizing project? How long have avoiding that pile of clutter? The struggle is real! We all have these tasks and projects that we need to tackle but hate even the thought of it. Are you so paralyzed you don’t even know where to start? Here are some tips to help turn that daunting task into a more positive experience. Especially when organizing is not your favorite chore. I encourage my clients to apply these tips to help make the process a little easier and more fun.
Set Yourself Up For Success
First, be sure and set yourself up for success. Take a few minutes to set up your area and gather all your tools before you begin. This way you won’t have to stop your progress to go get something you need. Get some sorting bins, a box for donations, a few trash bags, and some post-it notes to label the categories as you sort. Then create an environment that’s as pleasant as possible to work in. Pairing something you love with something you may not love, it can make the chore much more enjoyable.
– grab your favorite drink to sip while you’re working to enjoy and keep yourself hydrated
– turn on your favorite type of music or playlist to hum along with as you work
– light a candle or diffuser to add to the ambiance and make the room smell nice
Breakdown the Job Into Small Steps
Take teeny tiny steps and tackle one small space at a time. By breaking your project down into smaller steps, you can work on it during little blocks of time. This will keep you moving forward little by little until the job is complete. For example, don’t try to reorganize and clean out your entire kitchen in one shot. Break it down into small areas and tackle one drawer or cupboard at a time.
Use Your Timer for Energy Management
People tend to get burned out by working too long and not taking enough breaks. Energy management goes hand-in-hand with time management when working through a project. Set a timer to work 30 to 45 minutes at a time and then take a short break. This will help you to make progress on your project and keep you refreshed. You’ll have the energy to work more efficiently.
Find an accountability partner to help you work through a daunting task. You can choose to work together and help each other with projects, getting twice as much done at once. Or you can work on your own projects at the same time. Thus providing accountability and encouragement to each other along the way. And, it’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and ask questions when you get stuck during the process.
Less is More
As you sort through your belongings, decide if you need to keep each item. Be honest as you ask yourself what you need to keep each item for or why you’re hanging onto it. As you let things go, you will find you feel lighter. By getting rid of things that no longer serve you, you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Be decisive with what belongs in your valuable storage space. With a little practice, you’ll be able to clean out and organize any space. Try to make enough room for some new items and leave space to stock up on all those essentials. The “future you” will thank you for it!
Share the Love
Donating your loved but no longer needed items can bring so much joy to someone else. Before keeping something you “might use” or “used to use”, consider if someone you know would love or use it. Pass along these things for others to enjoy rather than have them sitting in your closet. Weighing the value of the item can help you decide if you want to keep it or let it go. What is your personal threshold? By this I mean how much are you willing to spend and how easy is it to replace this item if you need it later? For me, that’s about $20 and 20 minutes. That means I could order it online or pick it up quickly and for little cost in the future if I needed it.
Is it Something Special
Hang onto those heirlooms and valuables that are difficult or impossible to replace. Is there a place you can display and enjoy them? If not, do they need a temperature-controlled storage area?
And those items you’ve been saving for someday special? Use those bath bombs you received as a gift and have been keeping in your bathroom closet. Every day is a special day! (This is one of my favorite ways to reward myself after I finish a big project!)
Use the Margins of Your Life
Is your life busy and you’re not sure how you’ll find time for that big project? Use the margins of your life to tackle those small chunks a little at a time. Do you have an hour between appointments? Are there 30 minutes while dinner is cooking? Could you drop off donations on your way home from work? Don’t let these bits of time go to waste and take care of some small tasks instead.
It’s so important to celebrate your wins in life every day. Be sure to congratulate and reward yourself for your hard work and progress.