Avoid These Organizing Mistakes
January is historically a time of year that people vow to become more organized. There are many reasons you may want to get more organized this year. Sometimes organization is for esthetics, other times as a productivity and time saving process. For some of our clients, it’s even for safety reasons! But before you start tackling that clutter, let me share with you some of the secrets Home Organizers know about successfully organizing your space.
Typically, when we receive calls from people here in Bucks County looking for a professional organizer, they call us needing help, a guiding hand and expertise. The goal is often to become more organized, to create order out of chaos, or to create systematic flow in their home or office. Whether you’re organizing your home or your office files, there are some important things to remember BEFORE tackling that organizing project!
Today I want to help outline 5 Of the Most Common Mistakes people make when they start trying to organize their space.
#1 Buying Organizing Containers First
Containers, baskets and bins often play an important role in organizing a space. But it’s usually a mistake MOST people make when they make a trip to their favorite container store before they actually begin organizing. Many people make “buying pretty baskets” step 1 in their organizing process! When in reality you need to know exactly WHAT and how much you are organizing, and HOW you’ll be utilizing that ”stuff”.
Try instead deciding what storage containers will solve your storage needs AFTER you have organized and planned the space. This alone will save you money and lots of time driving back and forth to the store returning bins and baskets that just do NOT fit the need. Plus, while your purging and organizing, what we have found is that many people already own plenty of storage containers. We uncover them as we begin the process of organizing a space, before you’ve started decluttering and organizing. I actually did a video a while back on this exact topic!
#2 Underestimating How long it will take
People often make the mistake of underestimating HOW long it will actually take to organize your space. People look at a space and think “that’ll only take about an hour”. The reality is that to FULLY organize a space, you need to take things out, go through each item and decide if you will keep, purge or donate. Then decide HOW it fits BACK into your space in an organized manner.
Some of our clients move faster than others because they are fast decision makers. They can look at an item and decide that since they haven’t used the kitchen gadget in 5 years they will likely never use it! Some of our clients however, need more time and hand holding. Each item we pick up requires a personalized mental evaluation of HOW it fits into their life. It’s hard for many people to “let go” of items that have a long sentimental value. In such cases, we have to hand hold, be patient and help guide our clients to make the RIGHT decision while also keeping the goal of a more organized space a priority.
People often think an office will only take a “couple” of hours. The reality is, an office can typically take 8-12hrs depending on how much paper has been accumulated, and whether the current filing system needs to be reevaluated for efficiency. If you have been accumulating things, clothes and memories for 10 years, you can’t expect to fully organize in just 4 hours! But I assure you, working with a professional will minimize the stress and headaches of doing this yourself ☺
#3 Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Once you make the decision to get organized and you start the process, chances are you’ll want to TACKLE everything at once! I have been witness to people who want to organize their kitchen and they make the mistake of pulling out everything from every cabinet, drawer and surface. Although at first it feels liberating, most people can’t maintain that type of energy for more than 4 hrs. (Now if you’re like me and my team or professional organizers, we were born with an innate ability to NOT lose steam as quickly as most people).
When we work with clients, we often schedule a 4 hour block of time. We have found over the years that most people become fatigued and can’t concentrate longer than 4 hrs on a project. With that in mind, when you plan out your own projects, start small, celebrate each little WIN and then move onto the next. It’s much better to pace yourself, both in a single organizing session, and as part of your overall organizing plan. You’ll avoid burnout and overwhelmed feelings if you build in breaks and focus on one small project or area of your home at a time.
#4 The Stashing Solution
Have you ever told your kids to go clean their room? 15 minutes later they say “I’m all done”!! You stand there baffled and curious only to find everything hiding under the bed, stuffed into a drawer or shoved into the closet!?? People tend to “stash” as a way to quickly see results in the current space they are working on. The reality is, all that is happening is creating an even BIGGER organizational problem. Ask the average American how many “junk drawers” they have?? ( hehehe ) Instead of “stashing”, remember the Golden Rule of Organizing…everything needs to have a HOME! Once everything has an established “home” (in a place that makes sense of course), it’s far easier to keep a space organized. In this case, you are creating long term systems that everyone in the house can learn to love!
#5 You View Organizing As a One-Time Event
After all the work is done and you’ve carted off what seems like half your closet in boxes to your local donation center, the work is actually NOT done. Many people have an unrealistic expectation that their space once fully purged and organized will maintain that orderly look forever. A common misconception that I want to make you aware of.
The reality is, LIFE happens! You are not the only person that likely lives in your space. Even if you do live alone, we are living in a fast-paced world! On a daily basis, you’re running in and out of the house, the office, even your closet! Jumping from one project to the next. Squeezing in as many hours as you can in a day. To be successful at KEEPING your space organized, you’ll need to do maintenance!! Schedule 20 minutes at the end of every day, an hour at the end of every week to tackle all the “surface” clutter that occurs on a daily basis. The cool thing though is this… Once you have organized your life and your space in a successful way, the maintaining process can be done quickly and with little to no pain!
Now that you’re aware of the mistakes that most people make when organizing their space, you’ll be better prepared to tackle your next big organizing project!!
But if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the process or don’t know where to begin or perhaps you need a caring helping hand to guide you, schedule a free assessment call with one of our Professional Organizers.
We can listen and help you decide the BEST way to conquer your clutter once and for all ☺
Call us directly at 717-746-TASK or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org !!
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