Updated: May 31, 2022
Have you ever gotten motivated to get organized, but partway through the process you get distracted or side tracked? One organizing project can quickly spiral into 10 individual projects if you aren’t intentional about your plan. That is why we are discussing how to intentionally organize your space and stay focused throughout the entire process. Read on to learn how to get real about organizing.
The first step to organization is preparation. Good preparation sets you up for organization success. What do we mean by preparation? We don't mean running out and buying pretty bins and baskets even though we know it's tempting! We promise we’ll get to that fun stuff eventually, but first things first: you have to set a clear goal. Visualize the goal for your space, think about the steps that must happen to achieve this goal, prioritize these steps and get in the right mindset. A clear goal will make a world of difference when it comes to staying focused and keeping motivated in your organizing journey.
Maybe you are even struggling with setting a goal in the first place. You may know you want a change, but are unsure what needs to happen for it to take place. Use the following questions to help you identify a greater understanding of your goals and motivation for organizing your space:
What do you want to do in the space?
How do you want to live in the space?
What do you have to gain by tackling this project?
How can this organization change the way you live?
What can you accomplish? Remember to keep your goal attainable.
Take a pen to paper and write these things down. Be specific so you can refer back to your answers if you are ever thrown off track or need some extra motivation for your project.
Now that you have identified your goal and motivation for your project, it is time for step two: visualize your desired result. Get super specific here.
What do you want the space to look like?
Go online or look through magazines to find your inspiration.
Tear out pictures, create a lookbook, place your inspiration where you will see it.
Fun fact: when you set goals and visualize them, you are more likely to follow through! And to seal the deal, tell someone who will keep you accountable and ask them to check in with you on your goal. These are actionable ways you can help to ensure your focus and adherence throughout your project.
Now it’s time to prioritize. You may want to organize your whole house, but biting off more than you can chew can lead to feelings of overwhelm and the urge to quit. Breaking a larger goal into smaller spaces and steps will make it easier for you to accomplish your overall goal. The way these smaller spaces/projects are prioritized is totally up to you. This is all dependent on what is the most important to you, and how you use your spaces. For example: is having an organized closet your highest priority so you can get ready easier or would you like to start with your kitchen pantry or food cabinet to make meal prep and shopping easier?
Be realistic about what you can take on.
Break down your objectives into smaller tasks keeping your schedule and energy in mind.
Consider starting small so you can see quick results and build momentum. Even starting with a single drawer is a “win” and will motivate you to stay focused and continue!
Lastly, get in the right mind set. Keep in mind your space will get worse before it gets better. Go ahead and expect this to happen so you are not disheartened mid-project. Think about it this way, clutter and chaos didn't happen overnight. Just as it took time to bring everything into your space, it will take time to sort it out. It is easier said than done, but try and leave your emotions out of the decluttering and sorting process.
What do you really need? Are your belongings being taken care of properly or serving a function?
Are you holding on to belongings that no longer serve you?
Respect yourself and your space, and only fill it with those items that you love and serve you, and consider donating or tossing items that only clutter your space and cause you mental fatigue.
Once this hard part is over you finally get to move on to the fun steps of pretty bins and baskets, and making your space look like those inspiration photos you identified early on in the planning process. Let this fun step serve as motivation to get through the difficulty of decluttering and sorting!
Getting organized isn’t always easy. Let’s be honest- it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Revisit your goals and vision often as you organize. This will help you to stay focused, intentional, and motivated. If you find any or all of these steps overwhelming, require guidance, encouragement or help along the way, or need someone to organize your space for you, a professional organizer can help you learn the techniques and achieve your desired organized state.