While I prefer sharing organizing tips and positive suggestions, there are some mistakes I’d like to tell you to avoid at all costs to get and stay organized.
- Declutter first. While this seems like a simple task to start with in an organizing project, it is usually the most time consuming and mentally taxing. However, you need to remove what you don’t need any longer before you can create workable systems. I tell clients who are dealing with an overcrowded desk or closet or cabinet to throw out any trash that they see first. It’s usually easier to spot wrappers, empty containers, old catalogs, and toss them first to get your decluttering mojo going. Then you can move on to the items that are going to require some thought. Consider it your warm up time before a work out. 🙂
- Measure twice, shop once. Do not buy organizing supplies without measuring not only the space where it will go but also what it should contain. If you are replacing hangers, you need to count the number of hanging items first, Yes, each one. Measure a shelf’s height and width and depth before shopping for a basket to put on it. Measure kitchen utensils before buying drawer dividers.
You will save yourself so much in terms of money, time, and frustration by not having to make multiple trips to buy and return excess items.
- Don’t buy because something is On Sale. This applies ANYTHING that is on sale not just clothes, shoes, and fun stuff. Think carefully before stocking up on food, cleaning supplies, gifts, cards, holiday decor, candles, shampoo, makeup, etc. These “great deals” have a way of taking over our storage space without much notice and then we tend to forget that they’re there. The next trip to Target to buy toilet paper turns into a crazed shopping spree and you forget about the shelf/ closet FULL of toilet paper/ paper towels/ shampoo that you already have waiting for you at home. Ask yourself the following questions before you stock up on what seems like a great deal:
- Do you have enough already?
- Do I really need this?
- Do I have an imminent use for this?
- Do you have a place to store it if you buy it?
- Do you know how soon you’ll be able to use it?
I define being organized as knowing what you have and where it goes. Having too much, even of a good thing, crowds your space and doesn’t allow for new experiences to be a part of your life. Shop carefully and thoughtfully so you don’t have to spend time later decluttering it or returning what doesn’t serve you.