There is no such thing as an unorganized person. All of us are born not knowing how to organize. It’s a skill learned over time. And anyone can learn it. The trick is mastering an organized mindset. If you believe you’ll never get and stay organized, you need to do some mindset work. Because before you can even begin to get organized, you need to get your mind in the right place.
I understand organizing is hard. Clients wouldn’t hire me if it was easy. But today, I wanted to share with you some beliefs you may have and shift your mindset about them. Once you accept them, you’ll be one step closer to an organized mindset. And you’ll be even closer to living in an orderly and functional home.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom estate or a studio apartment. The size of your space doesn’t impact your ability to get organized. Having an organized mindset means you can look at whatever space you’re in and know you can make it functional. I’ve been in many different size homes and trust me when I say, it’s possible.
Your focus is to create an organized system that works not just for the space, but for you. It’s fine to get inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, but what you see may not work in practice. Professional organizers say all the time that what works for your best friend or family member may not work for you. Why? Because you function differently.
You might prefer to work on your dining room table while your friend has a dedicated desk and corner. Your kids might do their homework on the kitchen island while your nieces or nephews do theirs in their bedrooms. So when organizing, don’t compare the size of your space to what you see online. Focus on the functionality of the space instead.
Brace yourself because this is a truth bomb I’m about to drop. If you’re seeking perfection, stop now and reevaluate your desire to get organized. Perfection has no place in organizing. In fact, a fellow organizing company, Imagine It Done NY, has a motto of “imperfection is perfection.”
Why does ignoring perfection matter for an organized mindset? Because if you seek perfection when organizing you’re doing yourself and your home a disservice. Yes, the images you see on social media all appear perfectly preserved and put together. But how long do you think they stay that way?
Accept that your home and the organizational systems you create won’t be exactly as you’d hope. They may end up being something better. Again, inspiration from Pinterest is fine, but copying it section by section won’t help your cause. Separating your kid’s crayons by color might be aesthetically pleasing, but if it causes anxiety for your child, how is that helping anyone?
Instead of perfection being at the forefront of your mind, trade it with functional. You’re going to read that word a lot in this post because that’s what good organization is. It’s a functional home that makes sense to you.
If all you did today was organize one drawer, I want you to celebrate. Too often I’ve seen clients beat themselves up because they only completed a small task. That’s fine. Learn to celebrate small wins. Organizing is a massive undertaking. Be proud anytime you complete something.
If you approach organizing as a chore, it’s going to come off as one. That means you won’t be happy with the results no matter how big or small. We live in a culture that doesn’t accept any type of success unless it’s something huge. But success can look different for many people. A newbie business owner feels successful when they land one client. A student feels successful when they pass their final. So if all you finish is your sock drawer today, be proud.
Embrace the fact that organizing is all about the small wins. If all you can do today is one drawer, approach that drawer with a positive attitude. Organize it to the best of your ability. Make it functional. Afterward, step back and appreciate your handiwork. Imagine how easy it’s going to be to find things now. So go ahead and celebrate those small organizing wins. You’ve earned it.
I want you to think about the storage you currently have. What does it all include? I’m sure the majority of it is holiday decorations, memorabilia, and off-season gear. Am I right? One of the biggest problems I find is that people think of storage as a quick fix to hide items they’re not sure what to do with. But storage should serve a purpose. And I don’t mean being a dumping ground for unwanted stuff.
Storage is not a crutch for you to put things away you’ll never use again. Storage is meant to “store” things you use and love, but not right now. It’s time to change that. Turn your organized mindset to your storage. Spend some time sorting through it all. I guarantee you you’ll find things that make you go, “Why did I save this?”
One way to rethink storage is to give yourself limits. Vow to only have three Christmas storage bins, two backup supplies bins, and one for memorabilia. You can opt to have one memorabilia bin for each member of the household.
Limiting yourself gets you to think about what you use and love. If you have skiing equipment and you can’t remember the last time you went skiing, it’s time to donate it. I can already hear you saying, “But what if a friend asks us to go skiing?” Skiing equipment can be rented or borrowed from friends or family members not currently using it. Now if you go skiing every weekend during the winter, by all means, keep the equipment.
When you change your perspective on storage, you’re going to find it a lot easier to organize. You’ll also pare down a lot of things you own, which will make finding the things you keep a breeze.
We’re all busy. When are you supposed to find the time to organize when you’re running from work to your kid’s soccer practice and back home to cook dinner? I understand. That’s why I want to let you know that you don’t need to spend hours a day organizing. Most organizing happens in small, manageable chunks of time. An hour here or even fifteen minutes there.
If you’re on a mission to organize your entire home and life, be realistic. Accept that you won’t get it all done in a weekend or even a week. This is especially true if you’re overhauling your entire life. Most professional organizers only focus on one project at a time. It keeps things from spiraling out of control.
And before you can even begin to organize, you need a plan. Are you going to go full Marie Kondo style and edit down your possessions? Are you going to hire a professional organizer? Are you going to delegate tasks to your family?
Organizing is not an easy task to tackle alone, especially if you’re doing a major overhaul. To keep your organized mindset confident and calm, do your research. Read some organizing books. Take a few online quizzes. The more you know about your organizing style the better you can prepare to get your house in order.
Most importantly, take it slow! One room at a time. One corner, one drawer. Remember to celebrate those small wins. If you want to keep your home functional, make sure each area gets the same amount of attention. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Having an organized mindset will take some time, but I have confidence in you. And know that disorganization can be the cause of other barriers in your life. In fact, I wrote a blog post all about that. You can read it here. My mission is to help you create a peaceful environment that fits your space and lifestyle needs. If you’re ready to shift your mindset and take control of your space, contact me today.
Photo by Karsten Winegeart
January 26, 2022