I was once sitting on a beach chatting with friends when I turned to one of the guys and asked him if he had a watch. His response, “Do you want to know if I have a watch or do you want to know what the time is?” I remember thinking, “How rude!” but then I realized he was correct. Asking the correct questions means you will get the answers you are looking for. And yes, I wanted to know what the time was and not if he had a watch.
When it comes to getting organized, asking the right questions is the first step to getting organized. Important questions include:
- How many people are going to use the organizing system?
- Does the system have to match everyone’s organizational styles?
- Do I need to have a schedule for maintaining the system?
- What type of storage will work best?
- What are my personal roadblocks to getting organized? Am I sentimental about things? Do I have low energy when I am tackling tasks?
Adopting a strategic approach will help you with your planning and decision-making throughout the organizing process.
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Do your piles of clutter make your surroundings feel like they are closing in on you, but you don’t know where to start and can’t find the motivation to get started? An inability to initiate the organizing process is a common organizing roadblock. Here are four simple steps to start the process:
- Grab an empty toilet roll or paper towel roll.
- Use the roll as a telescope.
- Scan the whole room/space. With focused attention, your eyes will not be distracted by peripheral interference and you will be able to see which areas need the most attention.
- Get motivated, get started!
And if you need a bit of extra support and help contact me for a complimentary 30-minute needs assessment phone call. I’m looking forward to helping you declutter and streamline your life so that you have time for family, time for yourself, and time for friends.
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Games provide opportunities for developing social skills: play fair, be nice, include everyone. One of my favorite childhood games was Stuck in the Mud.
However, in the world of decluttering and organizing, “play fair, be nice, include everyone” leave many of my clients figuratively stuck in the mud. They become immobilized when they have to make decisions and choose their favorites. It is as if their internalized childhood social skills are transferred to inanimate objects.
These clients lament the fact that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in their homes; that it feels like their homes are closing in on them. Yet they are unable to make choices. The decluttering and organizing process is a constant struggle for them as they choose favorites that best represent their collections, their interests, and their lifestyles and let go of things that are not relevant to their lives.
Decluttering roadblock: Fear of choosing favorites.
Solution: Give yourself permission to choose and keep only favorites because:
- if everything is important, nothing is important
- organizing clutter is not a productive use of your time.
When you are stuck in the quagmire of decision-making, ask yourself:
- If your best friend were in your situation, what advice would you give her?
- Would you buy this item today if you didn’t have it?
Photo credit: © Creative Commons image courtesy of ant.photos.