Melissa Smallwood is a professional organizer, mother of three boys, mommy blogger, and the owner of the informational website, Organized Life by Design. You can catch up with her on Twitter @multitaskingme.
Why Your Organizing Plan is Important
(If you missed Your Plan for Getting Organized, please go read it before you continue on.)
We have already talked a lot about planning but I want to point out what the Bible says about having a plan, having a road map for where you are headed. Proverbs 15:22 says “it takes careful planning for things to go right.”
The wife in Proverbs 31 has carefully established routines and a plan for her family. We today can continue to learn a lot from these ancient principles. A day that lacks intention and purpose will quickly be gone and you will be wondering where the time went!
Moving Forward From Your Organizing Plan
I have a plan- now what?
Picture the one space in your home or the one area of your life that just makes you cringe or that you avoid because it is so overwhelming. The thing that you really want to change but just don’t know where to start. The space in your home that bothers you the most. Start there.
Set the timer for a half an hour. Do what you can, assess what you have accomplished and go back later.
Don’t be afraid and overwhelmed by the organization process. Taking it one task at a time is the easiest way to dive into a disorganized space. Once you see progress you will be motivated to continue. Also, don’t be fooled by the glossy pictures in magazines. Those magazines often have great ideas but organizing is not one size fits all. They are generic.
The problem is that we can just give up if we fail after trying to implement some of those ideas from the magazines or HGTV. Just remember that those shows represent hours and sometimes days of work with seasoned professionals edited down to a half hour time slot. I typically spend 8 hours on a home office, 10-12 on a kitchen. It all depends on your situation. One size does not fit all.
Have a Maintenance Plan
Don’t give up! Once you have started investing the time and effort to become more organized, you have to work at maintaining that progress or you will slip right back into old habits. This is just like losing weight, having a daily quiet time or any other new habit you try to form. Maintenance is key to keeping your life organized.
I develop a maintenance plan when I work with clients, that is how important maintenance is. It would be a shame to invest your finances and your time in a project and then three weeks later walk into the same mess that was there before. All it takes is being aware of what created the situation in the first place and being committed to changing the pattern.
Take fifteen minutes at the end of the day to clear the clutter off the kitchen counter or pick up the mismatched gloves that have accumulated in front of the door. If you put everything in its place tonight, you will have a better start to your day tomorrow and you will not face an accumulation of clutter.
And remember, you are not an island! Enlist help! You don’t have to go it alone! If organization is not your strong suit, chances are you know someone who has the knack. Swap babysitting or cook them dinner for a week in exchange for helping you tackle your cluttered family room. Hire a professional organizer- it is not as cost prohibitive as you may think!
Remember, having an organized life means less stress and more time!
Catch Organizing with Melissa next Wednesday. In the meantime, check out Organized Versus Clean.