Weekly Quick Tips

Professional Organizing Strategies

Every week we land in your inbox with our timely, practical and inspirational tips, hoping, as we do each time we give a workshop or seminar, that you walk away inspired to make ‘just one change’…..because we know that change breeds change, and pretty soon a whole world of possibility opens up. But do we, as many of our clients and readers believe, wave a magic wand and clutter disappears? Hardly…. What we do know for sure are the basics, principles and strategies that help us lead simplified lives:

  • Make a plan. What’s your vision? You need to know what your desired result is before you set out to get there.
  • Divide by half. Downsize your stuff by half. (really….!) For example, if you have thirty books, keep only fifteen. Or, if you have twelve t-shirts for ‘hanging around the house’, hold on to your favourite six. Do the math.
  • Two minute rule. One of the easiest and no cost ways to make a dramatic change in your home immediately is by using the two minute rule. If you can do a task in two minutes or less, do it right then. There are so many little things that you put off until later that take such little time you could do them quickly. Hang up a jacket instead of draping if over the back of a chair. RSVP to an invitation. Put the newspapers into the recycling box. Make a doctors appointment, put the glass into the dishwasher instead of leaving it on the table. With all the little tasks handles and out of the way, your day will run much smoother and there will be less stuff around the house. Simple.
  • Put it away ready to use.Never put something away if it is in need of repair or cleaning. That way whenever you take something out to use it, you know it will be in working condition ready to be used. Better time management. Less frustration.
  • Fifteen minute blocks of time.There is so much to do on any given day, that it’s unrealistic to think you’ll have a huge chunk of time to get organized. Waiting until you have five hours to empty a closet means it most likely won’t happen. When is the last time you remember having an uninterrupted five hour block of time? We’re no different… Instead of quantity, go for quality and break up a large task into many small blocks of time. Dive into that closet even if you only have fifteen minutes. You’ll surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish ~ a top shelf, the first twenty hanging garments, half the shoes (okay, maybe not half….). And how often should you do a fifteen minute block of time? A minimum of once a week because a short, dedicated and focused block of time is incredibly powerful!
  • Label everything. We can’t stress it enough. When things are labelled, it makes life so much easier. Guaranteed.
  • Sort into piles. When faced with bunches of stuff to go through, simply start by making piles of ‘like’ things. Once you have piles of your ‘like’ items, you can see (and most likely be astonished by…) how much of what you have. You can then sort into keep, toss and donate/sell piles.
  • The ‘maybe’ pile. This is a great compromise for all the items you have a bit of doubt about letting go. Recognize this is a process. Toss them in a pile with a commitment to revisit them later. To keep yourself from putting everything into the maybe pile, limit the container size, and, once it nears capacity, stop and pull out items, making room for new ones and making firm decisions about whatever you pull out.

How long does it take you to find a pair of shoes in the morning? Can you put your fingers on your passport in seconds? Where are your car keys?Disorganization is frustrating, exhausting, and time consuming. If you’ve simply had enough, let Organizing Lives be your partner in improving your home’s efficiency.We live this life, but recognize that it is an ongoing process. We know that shedding excess stuff and creating better systems for staying on top of everything will help you feel less stressed and give you more time to dedicate to things that really matter. And that makes getting organized worth it!

Copyright © 2013 Organizing Lives ® All rights are reserved and no part of this article may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means unless expressly stated otherwise, or except with the written permission of Organizing Lives®. Enquires should be directed to: info@orgliv.mybusinesshub.ca