Okay. You’ve set some time aside, you’ve bought some bins and some baskets (and trash bags) and you are ready to get your house under control. But before you do, make sure you aren’t making any of these classic mistakes that are sure to set you back a little.
1. Not clearing a landing zone (before doing anything else)
There’s no sense to putting a nicely organized pile on top of a problem area. That’s why the first thing you do is clear off a safe space (preferably not the floor) that you can use to work, make piles, lay things out. Beds work especially well for this – but be sure to make them first.
2. Looking for the perfect place to start organizing
You can get overwhelmed before you even start by deciding if if it’s more important to organize the dry goods or the pots and pans. The trick is to just start somewhere. Anywhere. There’s no wrong way to start organizing. You’ll get to it all eventually.
3. Planning to spend the whole weekend organizing
Unless you’re some kind of superhero (and if you are call us, we think we have a job for you) no one can organize the whole weekend straight without burning out and swearing off the whole thing for good. Organize in short bursts, spread out over a longer period of time. You’ll stay sane, and do a much better job.
4. Keeping things just because they were gifts
These are the most common blind spots. You would have got rid of that hideous thing ages ago, except it was free and might come in handy. Or Mom gave it to you. Or it was just so expensive that it must have virtues that you’re just not seeing. Nope, nope. Accept that tastes change, and move on. Just tell mom that it broke.
5. Storing without organizing
You can stuff things in boxes and drawers willy-nilly and make a room look clean. But then you might as well just leave everything in piles on the floor. (At least that way you can see where everything is). It’s tempting to cut corners. But don’t. It always bites you in the end.
6. Thinking that once you’ve organized, you’re done.
Like it or not, the way you organize your life should always be improving. Your life is changing, after all. You’re changing. The purpose of organization is to make things easier, and we promise that in six months, you will have thought of a way to update the things you’re doing now. That’s good. Follow that instinct, and let organization take you to a better, more fulfilling life.