Couldn’t I Just Do This Myself?
Go for it!
First of all, you can check out this site’s resource page for links to a library of useful titles; practical articles on subjects like which papers you really should save; a list of stores with helpful organizing supplies, and more.
Second, I offer you the short-enough-to-fit-on-a-bookmark:
Bottom Lines of Organizing
- Each individual thing needs a home. You can’t put things away if they don’t have a specific place to go. Keep similar things together.
- Sort your stuff by function. Keep things as close as possible to where they get used. Base storage on how often items are used. If you use it every day, keep it close. Use it once a year? Store it farther away. If you never use it, chuck it.
- Remember that organizing is an ongoing process. Once you’ve created a place for everything, chase everything back to its home as soon as you see it out. A little bit of “stuff herding” every day can keep things from becoming overwhelming.
- Get support. There are a lot of things that we can do ourselves that are easier and more enjoyable with someone helping. Sometimes having a friend over to keep you company while you organize is enough to keep you on track. Here’s a worksheet that helps you figure out whether a friend will fill the bill, or whether you may need an organizer’s support. (Full disclosure: this worksheet is from The National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, which is connected to the National Association of Professional Organizers.)
That said, sometimes we’re technically able to do something, but life is busy. I have someone do my taxes because it gives me mental space for other things that I feel are more important. I also had someone plaster my kitchen ceiling, because once I’d proven to myself I could do it in another room, frankly, that was enough.
Make an X on your calendar six months from today. Print this, cut it out and tape it to the bottom of that month. If you flip to that page of your calendar and haven’t started by then, give me a call.
Six months ago today, I said it was time to get organized. Then, I knew I needed to work on:
- If I’ve completed this, I owe myself a treat!
- If I haven’t, I owe Mary an email or a phone call. I deserve a more organized life!