Working towards organizing for the first time can be a really exciting (or a really frustrating) time. How to stay organized and free of stress part 3. You have a mammoth list of things to do and to get organized, but you can also look forward to the completed goal – living and working in a space with no clutter.
How to Stay Organized and Free of Stress Part 3
Today we’ll address some practical tips from the organization experts, so you can begin your own clutter-eliminating efforts in your home or at work.
What are the best Organization practices?
Rules for Getting Organized
Create a Detailed Clutter Map – In a lot of ways, this can seem like an overwhelming step – especially when you have a lot of clutter. But it’s an important thing to accomplish in your efforts to completely clean up your clutter.
Create a map of the areas you want to clean and organize and the things that have to be accomplished in each space.
A lot of people give up before they even get started because they view their clutter as an immovable mountain that they’ll never be able to overcome.
Sure it’s true, if we’re not careful, clutter can become quite huge and feel overwhelming. But the only way to conquer it, the only way to move the seemingly immovable mountain is one tiny step at a time. Each tiny step – each small clean-up effort – compounds into larger moves and more significant successes.
Organizing your space is not going to be accomplished overnight. You may have seen the TV shows that send in teams of people over a series of days and weeks, to clean up the extreme clutter contained in two rooms of an average-sized house. It takes time and hard work, but it can be done.
When you create your Clutter Map, make sure you set up some milestones for yourself. Keeping track of and reaching those milestones are like little victories in a much greater scope of work. They will become significant and motivate you whenever you’re too focused on the mundaneness of the work you’re doing. You can look at completed milestones and know that you are progressing forward – probably a lot faster than you think you are.
Start Right Now – Remember procrastination is the enemy of productivity. Don’t put this off until tomorrow when you can get started today. There really is no better time to get organized.
When you get up from your chair for a snack or to use the bathroom, pick up one thing, and put it away or clear some clutter off a table near you. Little accomplishments like that drive you toward bigger accomplishments. Don’t worry if you don’t have your Clutter Map formulated yet. You don’t always need a plan to clean up the little things in front of you, plus it’s one less thing that you have to put on your list of things to do!
Don’t be concerned if you can only clean one cabinet or put away one thing at one time. You are starting your effort, you are moving forward towards your goal of organizing. One little accomplishment can push you towards more little accomplishments. Best of all, you’ll feel great about what you’ve accomplished.
Get Serious About Clutter – When a person is making changes towards living a less stressful life, sometimes it’s hard to make new habits or behaviors seriously.
There are those who consider the concept of managing stress to be a fad. By believing that, they were denying and devaluing those individuals who legitimately suffer from chronic stress day after day.
If you’re approaching getting organized with a less-than-serious attitude, you are not going to be able to move forward effectively or accomplish what you set out to do.
Probably the best response to your cluttered home or workspace is to get angry at the clutter. When you’re angry about it, you’ll want to do something about it to change it. That will get you moving forward on your decluttering journey.
Try viewing clutter as the enemy or even as a guest that has overstayed their welcome. You will start to take organizing very seriously and will stop making excuses as to why you can’t clean and organize things.
Don’t Be Afraid to Dive into Deep Clutter – When you set out to clear the clutter from your space, the extent of the clutter can be overwhelming, frustrating, and cause a lot of anxiety. This is referred to as, “fighting from the trenches.” You’re viewing your decluttering efforts as a battle against current and future clutter.
Below are some encouraging words when you are in the midst of the battle and feel like you’re already losing:
- If you’re trying to determine how to put a particular item to good use, give yourself three choices as to what to do with it: toss it, sell it, or donate it.
- When cleaning, people commonly form two piles – a keep pile and a toss pile. After the first pass of gathering items into these two piles, go through your keep pile again and see if there is anything else you’d like to get rid of. Then go through it a few more times to ensure that you’re not hanging onto useless items.
- Once you decide to toss something, don’t think about it again. If you continue to go through the items in the toss pile, you run the risk of becoming “reattached” to an item that you really no longer need. It can cause undue emotional and physical stress.
- Get in touch with a small group of friends or family members that will support you in your clean-up efforts. Whenever things get overwhelming, it helps to be able to call someone to talk you down from the “ledge.”
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- If you come across something that you feel like you absolutely don’t want to part with because you “might use it someday,” put the item in a box. Write a date on the box that is approximately three months from the day you put the item in the box. If after the three months you find that you didn’t touch the item even once, get rid of the item.