Let me take a guess… you moved into your home a number of years ago, and at the time of the move, everything went to a place. Maybe not the best place, but a place nonetheless. Now after several years and family craziness, nothing is working for you. And life has compounded on top of itself to create organizational and clutter chaos in your home. Am I close? This was my life. I took it back like a boss. Do you want to get organized for the last time ever and reclaim your life and zen and keep it for good?
First of all, get emotionally prepared. If you want it done right, you have to put in the sweat equity. This process to organize your life is not for the faint of heart. It requires hard work and long hours and 100% commitment. But once you do it, and you make a commitment to stay with it, you are done. Forever. Let’s take it one step at a time…
Make a Commitment
Have you seen the TV show, “How I Met Your Mother?” In one of the episodes, Ted and Marshall are on a road trip, and the song, “I would walk 500 miles” was stuck in the tape player (remember those!!!) and it played over and over and over. At first, they were laughing and singing. Then it got annoying. They became angry and hostile. Marshall said, “Wait for it, it will come back around!” And it did. They were laughing and singing again.
This process will take you through the same emotions. You will start off productive and happy, and at some point, it will turn against you. You will become Satan to anyone who crosses your path. But don’t worry, it will come back around, and you will be happy and productive again, especially when the end is in sight.
You have to commit to this process, and not give up when it gets difficult. It will be painful. And it will get worse before it gets better. But if you stick with it, and are truly committed, you will find a huge improvement in your life. My promise to you is that I won’t leave you hanging. I am not finished with our house yet, so we’re in this together.
Assess Your Organizational Problem Zones
Take a step back and identify your problem zones that aren’t working for your current lifestyle. Why are you doing it this way? What can you do to this zone to change how it works? As the wise saying goes, “you can’t do the same thing and expect different results.” Walk around your entire home like you would if you have never been in your home before. Forget about how your home currently functions, and focus on how you would make your home work for you. Keep an open mind, be creative, and imaginative.
Address the Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Family
Meet your family where they are. Yes, you can ask them to help you, but people are wired the way they are wired, and they can (and will) only change to a degree. Take a step back and watch your family dynamics from an organizational perspective. If they always dump their items in location “A” but you want the items in location “B”, is it possible to set up a station in location “A” for them instead?
Talk to your family about your game plan. Recruit helpers and gain buy-in. Set up play dates for the kids so you can have some uninterrupted time, or have your spouse take them to the movies.
Give tasks to your family. What does each member of your family gravitate toward? That is their task. Let them do it their way. If a family member washing the dishes and loading them into the dishwasher will give you 15 extra minutes to work on the bigger organizational issues in the house, then let it go and let them help.
It’s Go Time
This is the most difficult part. In addition to the three million things that you normally have to accomplish every day, you need to commit as much extra time as you can to make it happen. You can rock organizing a drawer in 10 minutes. You don’t need an entire day, because in reality, you will never have an entire day. You may think that the Time Fairy will magically appear and sprinkle an uninterrupted 24 hours into your life but if you are waiting for that magic time, you will be waiting a very long time. Stop thinking big and start thinking small. You need many 10-15 minute time slots to achieve big results.
To help you get started, I am going to provide you with two resources today (more to come).
Susan at Organized 31 recently wrote an excellent article that helps you to begin the organization process with six simple steps. She is my organizational inspiration, as she has lived in over 25 houses across the world with both her own and her husband’s military careers. As this series continues, you will certainly see more of her great ideas included.
Next, write down your plan and organize your thoughts. Looking at each room/space with the following insights:
- What I love.
- What drives me nuts?
- What functionality can be changed to make this space more efficient?
- How will I achieve this?
- What can I reuse?
- What do I need to purchase?
And then plan to identify each space within each room, with a completion date and progress tracking.
It’s Time to Let Go
During this time, you will encounter items that you don’t know what to do with. They may be sentimental or costly or you may think that you want to keep them for some reason or another. My article, How to Purge Like a Reformed Hoarder is an excellent resource to help you take the emotion out of this decision process and manage the purge in a more cerebral manner. PS – I even interviewed Matt Paxton from the TV show!!!
Be Patient With Yourself
It won’t happen in a day or even a week. Again, it took me close to a year and I’m still not finished. I work on the house whenever I have time. Sometimes for a few minutes or a few hours, and sometimes not at all. I focus on one specific area when I have time, and don’t stress about it when I don’t. Don’t let excuses get in your way, and don’t let life get in your way. I know you can commit to it, and I know you can do it.
The first time I walked into my home and actually felt the house breath from the purging and organization, it was liberating and exhilarating. Instead of staring at chaos, I felt calm for the first time when opening the door. Man, does it feel good! To keep that zen feeling, diffuse some Harmony or Joy Essential Oils throughout your home.
Although the zen was short-lived, as we are now in the middle of another big project, and the house is torn up again. Some day my friends… some day.
Are you Inspired?
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Love, hugs, and I would walk 500 more.HERE.