My blog last week was the first part of my series on getting organized at home.
Nerd alert.I love organizing stuff!
Yes, perhaps to a crazy, ridiculous extent.
I love putting my cds and books in alphabetical order. I love decanting all my food products into matching jars. I love labeling everything with my label maker. I love sorting, categorizing and putting things into baskets!
My husband has a trick he likes to play on me, where he simply tells me “I moved something in the house”.
He’ll then make himself a cup of tea, and sit back and watch, laughing whilst I run around trying to find exactly what’s been moved, so I can move it back to its rightful place.
Apparently, it’s even funnier when – after I’ve run around for 30 minutes trying to find what’s been moved – he then tells me “I was just joking. I didn’t actually move anything”.
Hahaha. Yes, I see how funny that is. Not!
So whilst I might love sorting, categorizing, labeling, creating processes and spreadsheeting – I understand that this behavior is perhaps not what most would consider fun!
Whilst I might love lists, numbers, order, check-marks, processes – you might break out in a rash when even reading about such things!
Whilst I might love label makers, you might think they’re the most evil thing ever invented.
You get the picture!
So this week, whilst still in the spirit of ‘getting organized at home’ – I wanted to talk a bit more about how to get organized at home when you actually don’t think of yourself as an organizer. When organizing still feels daunting. Scary. Overwhelming.
No problem! Guess what?
Me and my processes, spreadsheets, categories and alphabetizing – well, that’s just me. I love it and find it fun.
You might hate those ideas, and that’s perfectly fine.
But what you don’t hate is the results you get by being organized.
The feeling of freedom. Of relaxation. The peace of mind. The balance. The weight lifted off your shoulders.
The feeling that you can:
- produce better work
- spend more time on your business
- spend more time being creative
- spend more time drinking champers.
So here are my 5 ways to get organized without even realizing it.
1. Small daily actions. We talked about this last week and I’m talking about it here, again today.
Why would you want to spend time and effort getting your home organized, only to then not maintain it?
- Do you get your hair dyed, then just leave it? Not unless of course you’re going for the Morticia look!
- Do you lose weight then – once you’re at goal – just go back to eating the ‘bad’ way you were originally? Not unless you want to put it all back on again!
- Do you buy a car then never get it serviced? Not unless you want it to break down!
Maintaining what you’ve done can eliminate the need for you to ever have to go through the once-and-for-all-organized processes we did to get started last week.
So why wouldn’t you maintain it? Maintenance is giving you your time back!
2. Make organizing automatic. Find ways of not having to ‘take time out of your day’ to ‘get organized’, but things that you can simply just ‘do’ – automatically.
If you always lose your keys, find a place for them and keep putting them in that place, day in, day out until it becomes a habit.
You might then have accidentally – without any time or effort – created a home for your keys!
And probably saved yourself about 30 hours a year! (Lost key search @ 5minutes per day, 365 days per year = 1825 minutes = 30 hours!)
3. Find what works for YOU. My organizing mantra is that everyone is different. Especially when it comes to organizing.
- I might love plain black and white labels, printed in Times New Roman via a label maker.
- You might like colors, stickers, glitter and crazy fonts.
- I might like creating all my daily tasks in an app on my phone.
- You might like writing things down in a notepad, in creative colors and surrounding your notes with gorgeous artwork.
DON’T just listen to someone say “here’s how YOU should get organized” and follow their exact processes and their exact procedures if these don’t resonate with you.
Yes, there are definitely ‘rules’ and ‘guidelines’ and ‘processes’. Absolutely! But the trick is to work out how to apply those rules, guidelines and processes to yourself. Personalize them. Make them yours!
“Hey Christina, make your spaghetti bolognese using this recipe. Don’t change the recipe. Don’t add any other herbs. Don’t modify the quantities at all. This is the best recipe in the world. This is the ONE RECIPE. Don’t change one single thing!”
Am I going to cook that every night and eat it? I doubt it! But maybe substituting the oregano for some basil might make the difference for me. It’s still spaghetti bolognese. I’ve still followed the principles of the recipe. I’ve just personalized it to myself. That may be the factor determining whether I continue cooking it, or never cook it again…..
4. Don’t keep it if you don’t need it. If you don’t see a need for something – NOW – then get rid of it! Go back to ‘R’ in CRAVE. Rubbish, recycle, resell or regift. Are you “keeping something for a rainy day”? (Apart from money, of course).
Maybe these pants might fit me again, after I lose 20 pounds?
Maybe I might need these skis one day, even though I live in sunny Australia?
Get rid of them!
If you lose 20 pounds – shout yourself a new pair of pants. If you go to the snow, hire skis when you’re there!
5. Don’t get confused between being neat and being organized. You could be neat by getting every single thing you’ve ever owned – not throw out a single thing – and put everything into lovely containers, baskets, boxes and tie a big red bow on top.
But does that help you get organized?
Have you gotten rid of stuff that doesn’t serve you? Or have you just “packed everything away”?
Do you know exactly where to find everything because you assigned it a home? Or do you just know “it’s in one of those 38 boxes in the garage”
Remember – it’s not ‘getting organized’ that’s the goal.
It’s the results of being organized that are key.
I’d love to hear what actions you can take that will effortlessly allow you to achieve your goals, to maintain your creativity and give you room to breathe. Leave a comment below and tell me all about it!