We all have our reasons; that go-to excuse for why you don’t do something you feel you ought to. I have lots, believe me, lots. As I’ve helped organize spaces in my client’s homes I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people feel like they can’t get organized. Check out these five common reasons people don’t organize, and simple solutions to correct them.
1. “I don’t know how to organize.”
If you find yourself saying no one ever taught you to organize you’re not alone. Many people feel like they just don’t have the “talent” to keep things organized. If you were never taught how to organize something don’t worry! It’s not a naturally-gifted talent that you either have or don’t have. Organizing is a skill that you can easily learn. There are so many great articles and resources online. Trying checking out organizing books at your local library, downloading ebooks, or ordering one from Amazon. Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern is a great one. And The Complete Book of Home Organization has so many bright, fun pictures it could be a coffee table book.
Try asking your organized friend to help you. Chances are if you have a friend that likes to organize they will be more than willing to lend you a hand organizing your pantry. You might think they’re crazy, but they think it’s fun! You can also hire a professional (wink, wink). Most professional organizers work directly with you and love to give you as much information as possible so you can organize other areas of your home on your own. You’ll be learning on the job in your own home. How great is that?
2. “Every time I start I get overwhelmed.”
We all have those projects we really don’t want to start because they seem impossible to succeed at. (Hello baby scrapbooks I never finished.) If organizing your home feels too overwhelming try setting smaller, sub-goals. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish and break it down into small tasks. Post your goals somewhere near your project where you can see them and cross them off as you accomplish tasks. Take it slow and stick to you plan. Organizing your kitchen might sound like a nightmare, but how about tackling your spice cupboard, or your utensil drawer. Focusing on one small project at a time will build your confidence in your abilities and make it easier to tackle something like the pantry.
3. “I tidy up all the time but the clutter always comes back!”
The age-old adage of “A place for everything and everything in its place” works perfectly here. If you find that your clutter keeps coming back after only a couple weeks of keeping things organized it’s time to reevaluate your system. Maintaining an organized home is easiest when the system makes sense to everyone who lives there.
Your things need to be easy to get AND easy to put away. Assign a home for everything in your home. That includes things like mail, keys, blankets, and dog toys. When you have a designated space to put something it’s easier to feel like you can keep everything put away. Your most used items like your favorite blanket or space heater, kid’s backpacks, or work papers you bring home should have an assigned home. Additionally, its home should be as close to where you generally use it as possible. If you always have your favorite blanket on the couch when you watch TV don’t have it’s home be upstairs in the hall closet. It’s just never going to find it’s way there.
Think of storage solutions that can hold you most used items in the room where you use them the most. It will make clean up time quick and easy and the clutter will stay at bay.
4. “There’s so many other things to do. I get distracted.”
There will always be something else to do. It’s like when I’m supposed to go to the gym…something always comes up to stop me. I could let it stop me every day, but that really doesn’t do me any good in the long run, does it? Too bad, because I really don’t like running…Organizing your home is a lot like hitting the gym even when you don’t want to go. They gym strengthens your body and gives you energy to tackle the rest of your day. An organized home helps you do things faster because you don’t waste time searching for things you need. If you take the time to organize your home and make it work for you it will make your busy life feel less chaotic.
5. “I can’t give that away; it was my grandma’s.”
Have you ever said, “I can’t give that away; it was a gift”? I’m sure we all have, but some of us get very emotionally attached to things that build up to become clutter in our homes. Honor what you keep. Don’t hold on to things out of guilt. A lot of gifts that you never use can be easily donated to a good cause without ever being missed by the person who gifted it to you.
Pull out treasured items and display or use them instead of storing them away in boxes. If you don’t have space for it remind yourself that grandma’s quilt doesn’t hold the memory of grandma, you do. It’s important to remember that. I’m not saying you should dump every sentimental thing you don’t display, but if the clutter is feeling like too much it might be time to try and talk yourself into letting some things go.
If you have grandma’s china, but it’s hidden in box at the back of your storage room it’s not doing you any good. You might chip a plate or a cup, but you’ll be making more memories and fondly remembering your loved ones instead of holding on to something that can’t bring you any joy because it’s buried in the back of a closet.
Organizing can seem like a daunting project if you’re just getting started. Rather than focusing on the overwhelming aspects, focus on the change you’re affecting in your own home. Once you do start I can almost guarantee you’ll feel amazing! It’s such a great feeling to know that you can find anything when you need it. It creates a peace and calm in your home and lets you relax and enjoy your belongings even more. Happy organizing!