The Organization Process
By: Monica Resinger
It helps to be inspired before beginning an organizing job, so here's a little inspiration for you. First off, get a mental picture of the place you wish to be organized -- a cupboard, a shelf, a desk or any place that really bothers you. Now, imagine how nice it would be when you go to retrieve an item from this area if it were organized. Only things you like and use would be in this area, these items would all have a home and you would know exactly where these homes are. It would be neat and clean. The item you are retrieving would be right where you went to look for it. Wouldn't this be a nice way to have our whole house?
Many of us, including myself, are far from the dream above, but I know we can get there. We can achieve anything we want as long as we want it bad enough. We just need perseverance and patience. I know this because I am currently in this organizing process and I am experiencing success!
I believe baby steps are the way to achieve large overwhelming jobs. If you wish to organize your five-drawer dresser, but it seems overwhelming, do one drawer a day and in five days you will have the job completed. It will almost seem effortless because each of those drawers will probably only take you five or ten minutes to sort through. You can apply baby steps to any overwhelming job, just break the large job down into small, manageable tasks.
Another way to break a job down and feel less overwhelmed is to use a timer. Just set your timer for a manageable time and work until the timer goes off. Often times, you will find that you don't want to stop when the timer goes off and you get more finished than expected.
How to organize and sort:
Choose the area you'd like to organize. If it's a large job, break it down into manageable tasks as mentioned above, or get the timer out.
Have three containers such as empty boxes or garbage bags handy. If you wish, set your timer for a manageable time (5-15 minutes is sufficient) and begin sorting through the items.
When you find something that you don't use anymore, put it into one of the containers. This container will be the donation container. Later on you when your are finished organizing you will take this container to your favorite charity and donate it. You may have more than one charity box by the time you are finished. Don't rationalize keeping an item that you don't use by saying you might use it later or you're going to keep it for someone. Get rid of it now, it's these items that are causing you a headache and a big mess. Remember your visualization of that nicely organized space!
When you find something that is broken, put it into another container. This will be the trash container. Don't rationalize that you will fix it later; if it's not fixed yet, it's not going to get fixed. Remember your visualization.
When you find something that is useful that you want to keep, put it into the third container. Be sure this item fits into your visualization of that nicely organized space! Later on when the drawer, shelf or cabinet that you are organizing is emptied and cleaned off you can put these items away on or in it. As you are sorting, keep your clutter free and clean image of the area in your mind, this will help you to keep going. Visualizing the rewards of the job is very motivating.
If the timer goes off before you're finished and you'd like to stop at this point, go ahead and stop. Put your containers off to the side somewhere they won't be disturbed. Later in the day or the next day at the most, set your timer and begin the process all over again. Don't let the job go longer than a day if possible. The longer it sits, the harder it is to begin the job again. Remember to visualize the outcome.
If you'd like to keep working even though the timer went off, by all means do so! Keep going until you're feeling that you don't want to do it anymore.
When you are finished sorting, take the charity container to your favorite charity. It's important to do this as soon as possible. If it remains sitting in your house, the items will slowly make their way back into your living space.
Empty the garbage container into the garbage. Do this as soon as possible also. Vacuum and wipe the shelf or drawer. You will now have enough clean space to store the items you want to keep.
If you'd like more organizing inspiration, check out the ‘The Guidebook for Getting and Stying Organized' e-book here: http://homemakersjournal.com/organizationguide.htm and 'Storage Solutions' e-book here: http://homemakersjournal.com/storagesolutions.htm
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