Monday, January 26, 2009

What's Stopping You from Getting Organized?

My last post focused on the benefits of being organized. You can save time, save money, and be less stressed. Wouldn't we all like that?

Most everyone would answer yes. So what's stopping you? Here are some reasons why people don't get organized.

1) Lack of Time--We all seem to be so much busier than before. It seems every time we turn around, there's another place to drive the kids, another party to attend, another car that needs repair. This all takes away from taking care of the house. And getting things in order. And yet, being organized can save time. Try to set aside at least three hours for the first session to get started. Once you begin to see the benefits, you will be motivated to continue. Even if it's only ten-fifteen minutes each day, any little bit helps.

2) Incovenient Storage--Are the bins too heavy to lift? Do you have to pull five boxes off a stack of six to get to the bottom one? Is the closet shelf too high to reach? Analyze why your storage doesn't work for you. Then explore your options. Perhaps several smaller bins would work better than one large one. Or maybe sturdy industrial shelving can hold one or two boxes per shelf, thus eliminating stacking. Look at what's stored on those high closet shelves. Is it something you use often, like shoes or sweaters? If so, why not replace it with holiday or seasonal items?

3) No Designated Storage Space--This doesn't mean lack of storage space. It means that the items you haven't put away don't have a home. You can't put something away if you haven't designated a space for it. Once you know what you have to store, you can determine where things will go. This may not come until much later in the process, but once you have set it up, you'll have places to put things.

4) The Speed of Life--Everything is coming at you faster, thanks to technology. Unfortunately, this also means you are probably drowning in paperwork. If you can't slow things down, perhaps you can eliminate some of the contributors. Do you volunteer for more than one organization? Do you belong to more than one club? Do your children participate in more than one event/sport? Only you can slow things down by pulling back. Start to say 'no' and learn your limits.

5) It's just plain boring--Yes, organizing can be boring. Who wants to sift through stacks of papers when you can be out riding your bike? How about turning that around? If you had sorted those papers when they arrived in your house, you WOULD have time for that bike ride. Look to the end result to motivate yourself. Have a friend over if it would make it more fun. Especially when doing closets. Who knows, you may be able to give away your discards to someone who will use them.

Happy organizing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get Organized This Month

January has been named "Get Organized Month" by the National Association of Professional Organizers. It's a time of resolutions and goals, which often include clearing the clutter.

But many never get around to organizing their homes. Whether it's time, money or motivation, some people never get started. And yet, there are numerous benefits to being organized. Here are a few to help motivate you:

1) You will save time--Americans waste almost one hour each day looking for things they own but can't find. How would you like to regain an hour every day? Wouldn't you rather be reading a book or taking a walk for that hour?

2) You will save money--How many times have you looked for something, can't find it, then gone out to the store to buy it again? And lo and behold, a week later, there is the first one you spent all that time looking for because it wasn't put back in it's proper place. Also, you won't incur late fees on bills that get lost in stacks of papers

3) You will find money--I haven't had a client yet who hasn't found cash, checks or gift cards while organizing. And in this economy, that extra money could really come in handy.

4) Your life will be easier--You will manage tasks more quickly and correctly because you have your processes in order. Being efficient can save you lots of time, whether it's driving, standing in line, or putting things away.

5) Your life will be less stressful--Think of the anxiety you feel when you can't find something? Or when a bill comes with a past due amount? Or when you're late to an appointment bcause you had to go back home for something you forgot? How nice it would be to not feel those stresses!

So now that you can see the benefits of being organized, what's stopping you? Where will you start?
If you don't know where to begin, stay tuned for my next blog!

Keep warm!