Wondering why your resolution and attempts to get and stay organised have failed in the past? Let me share the 10 most common mistakes people make when it comes to organising and how to overcome them.
YOU NEVER STARTED BECAUSE…
You’re waiting for the right time.
Well, I can guarantee you there’ll always be something more important or more exciting to do than organising. But if being disorganised prevents you from living the life you want, there’s no better time than now to start.
Stop procrastinating and just start with whatever time you have – even 10 minutes a day can make a difference. Block the time in your diary and treat this time as you would with any other appointment or meeting.
You’re aiming for perfection.
I must confess that I have been a perfectionist all my life and as a result, have delayed many initiatives because I thought I wouldn’t be in a position to achieve the perfect outcome at that point. But I have come to realise that there is so much value in getting started not only because you start making progress but also because you can learn along the way and potentially achieve a better outcome than you had anticipated.
So don’t let the perfectionist side of you hold you back and waste more time!
You own too many organising books.
Some of my clients have a larger collection of organising books than I do and were waiting to read them hoping to find the miraculous methodology that will get them started. I‘ve read quite a fair bit of organising books and will certainly continue doing so. But the reality is that the methodologies described in these books don’t vary much. Basically, the process goes as: 1. Categorise 2. De-clutter 3. Assign a home 4. Containerise 5. Fine-tune
So make yourself a favour – buy and read one organising book and get started! You’ll save time, money, and clutter!
YOUR ORGANISING PROJECT FELL HALFWAY THROUGH BECAUSE…
You started without a goal.
It’s critical to be clear on what you’re trying to achieve – say a bedroom where you can truly relax. Not only because it’ll help you make decisions along the way – such as deciding to move the desk, files, TV, DVDs, etc. to another room – but also because it’ll keep you motivated when the going gets tough.
So sit down, close your eyes, and envision how your space or life should look once you get it organised. If you’re tempted to stop halfway through your project, close your eyes and focus on the payoff.
You started without a plan.
You need to break down your project into small and manageable parts based on your concentration threshold and availability. If you want to de-clutter your home, start with one category of items or one room. If it’s your clothes, begin with your T-shirts. If it’s the kitchen, begin with the fridge. You get the idea right?
You also need to decide what you are going to do with your cast-aways, whether to sell them or give them away to charities and if so which one etc. Otherwise, you may end up with a pile of stuff that will end up as clutter.
You didn’t ask for help or asked the wrong person for help.
Working with someone who holds you accountable and motivates you along the way can help you achieve your organising goal. It can be a family member or a friend, provided they don’t influence or judge decisions that should remain yours. If that’s a concern to you, you may want to turn to a professional organiser like myself.
YOU SPENT CONSIDERABLE EFFORT GETTING ORGANISED BUT YOU COULDN’T MAINTAIN THE RESULTS BECAUSE…
You mixed up being organised and being tidy.
There is a big difference between being organised and being tidy. Being organised allows you to be efficient – to be out of the door on time in the morning, to find things when you need them, etc. – and as a result, bring harmony into your life. Arranging your stuff in neat piles won’t help you achieve these benefits.
The only way to maintain efficiency is in fact to establish processes and systems, that’s all being organised is about.
You skipped the de-cluttering step.
In 80% of the projects I’ve worked on as a professional organiser, organising challenges were due to my clients having just too much stuff. Moving your stuff to another part of your home or a self-storage unit won’t solve the problem because not before long you’ll start accumulating again. You need to learn to surround yourselves with stuff that you need, use, and love and let go of the rest.
Whether you think you belong to that category or not, I urge you to run through your belongings and decide whether each item is worth keeping or not. You’ll be surprised by how much can go!
You relied on organising products.
Many people think they’ll solve their organising challenges by investing in organising products. They hit the stores full of good intentions but without having carefully considered what they really need. Unfortunately, these products are often left unused and contribute to additional clutter.
Buying organising products typically come at the end of the organising process. Because once you’ve de-cluttered, you may realise you already have enough containers, baskets, or boxes that you could use. And because if you really need to buy some, then you’ll know what you really need.
You didn’t involve the rest of your household.
As mentioned above, getting organised is about setting up processes and systems, but processes and systems that are going to work not only for you but also for the rest of your family. As such, it’s best to include the rest of the household to come up with those decisions, or at least to teach them what you’ve done, otherwise, you can be sure, it’ll backfire and result in more chaos.
For example, if your domestic helper puts your clothes back in your closets after they’ve been cleaned and ironed, you need to explain to her where their home is so that she can put them in the right place.
I sincerely hope the tips above will help you reconsider getting organised, there are so many benefits in it for you! All the best to you and please do let me know how it did go.