The hardest part of taking on any new project is getting started. Below I’ve outlined my top five tips for jumping in and heading down the path of total organization.
1. There is no right or wrong way to organize.
The right way is whatever way works for you! We all have different habits, lifestyles, and aesthetic preferences. Don’t stress over doing it perfectly or right. Approach getting organized with the mindset that whatever you do will be great. You can always go back and change things once you’ve lived with them for a while. I’ve reorganized and changed up systems many times.
2. Find the area that stresses you out the most and tackle it first.
It is extremely overwhelming thinking about getting your whole house (read: whole life!) organized at once. It’s also not possible. What area stresses you out the most? Is it your disorganized pantry? Your mail situation? Your kids’ playroom that you can’t stand looking at for one more minute? What one area, if organized, would bring more calm and peace into your mind? That’s the space to start with!
3. Think about what is not working and what you want to see instead.
Ok, so you’ve picked the area that is stressing you out the most. Why is it stressing you out? How has it gotten so out of control? Is your closet a mess because you have clothes in three different sizes and you can never find what you need? Is your bathroom a mess from too many products? How do you want it to be instead?
Purging is really the holy grail of organizing, and can be the most gruelling. But you have to get through steps one through three to do this effectively. Understanding what is stressing you out and how you want to interact with your space makes getting rid of stuff so much easier.
Take the closet example – I know you want to lose those last 15 pounds (first of all, you look amazing, you don’t need to). But let’s choose to be happy with how we look right now. Get rid of those too tight clothes. If you lose the weight, you won’t be lamenting that you got rid of them. You’ll be thrilled to buy new stuff. And in the meantime, not only will those tiny clothes not be staring at you making you feel badly about yourself, but also you will have a closet full of clothes you can actually wear. So go, gather them up, put them in a bag, and give them away for good.
5. Put your new system in place.
You get to decide exactly what your new system will be and how it will look. Whether it is new slim-line hangers displaying a perfectly color-coordinated closet, or a pantry with an alphabetized spice rack – this is the fun part! It will require some measurements and trips to the Container Store, Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. But the results will be worth it. You’ll have more time and more peace.
A final note on feeling stuck. For some of you, there may be an underlying fear or situation that is holding you back from starting. Take some time to explore what that may be. Be gentle with yourself. And just decide that today will be the day you start to get organized. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it will feel so good.