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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Conquering the Real Challenge of Staying Organized


We all know that getting organized is important at home, in business, but most of all in life. Most would argue that the direct challenge would be "getting organized" and to a certain extent that statement would hold true. That would only be the initial challenge but does not shed light on the fact that we as people only thrive upon consistency. I would argue based on personal experience both in the field and out, that the true challenge is "staying organized."

Being a Professional Organizer has allowed me to gain real life experiences through various client projects. About 90% of the projects I have done have needed more than a quick fix. That allows both the client and I to view what is needed not just to reach the goal but to maintain the goal achieved.
So, you hire an organizer or you get down to business and really dedicate time and organize your space yourself; either way you achieve your goal. Well, what next? Every good organizer will give you tips on how to keep your new "face lift" looking amazing. A great organizer will assess you as a person and how the situation came about in the first place. In the event you took on a "d-i-y project" or didn't hire one of those great organizers let me be the first to tell you that you haven't lost yet.
I'm going to give you 5 solid steps that will help you stay organized:

1) Assess Your Bad Habits
When you take the time to assess your bad habits you have the chance to point out what needs to be improved. For example: You have problems putting things back exactly where you got them from and end up living them wherever you last had them. In this step of the process you would realize what your bad habits are that would lead you back towards a clutter filled space. It is best in this step that you be honest with yourself in your assessment. It is the most important part of the process.

2) Make New Habits
Now you are the only one that knows what your bad habits are. Take the time write down what the opposite action of what each of those bad habits would be. It almost sounds elementary but it is a simple way to recognize error and correct it. For example: You have assessed you have a bad habit of not putting things back in its proper place. You write down that you would put things back in its proper place. What you have done now is turn a bad habit into "a good habit" that would counter the prior negative action into a positive one.

3) Post Reminders
This would seem a little over the top to most; although most of us still struggle with this on a day-to-day basis. When I say post reminders it can be something as simple as checking a space before you leave and placing a reminder by the door; or labeling things for a quick reference; or even making a to-do list for things needed to be handled accordingly. In any event you should prepare yourself for the transition of retraining yourself into better habits.

4) Have a Plan for Errors
Everyone slips up once in a while and when that time comes it is better to be prepared than to just leave it as is. You should always make a backup plan that would seem natural for you to implement in the event an error in your positive transition takes place. For example: One day you were extremely busy and had completely forgotten that your Mother had requested you come over to assist her, to create a Facebook page. So you ran out of the door as soon as the reminder popped up on your phone; leaving a bag of half-eaten cookies, throw blanket, romance novel and empty cup right in the living room. When you return you go upstairs exhausted by your Mother's inability to adapt to present technology and you take a nap. By the time you get back downstairs hours later you notice the items laying there and handle the situation by putting everything where it needs to be placed.
In the event you don't have time or you've simply just forgotten, just make sure you have a plan in place. The example was an easy fix. But no matter how easy or difficult just remember to follow through.

5) Stick To the Blueprint of Your Organized Plan
When you first got organized you implemented a plan that would help you to achieve your goal. Now it is necessary to reference that to stay there. Whether things are labeled, simply have their own place, or there is a cohesive efficient design implemented, stick to the plan. It was put in place to get you organized and had served as a great companion in getting you there. If you always reference this plan and implement it, coupled with your 5 steps to staying organized you can evict clutter once and for all.

All of our situations are different and the steps are so simple that they can be adjusted to fit your unique situation. I would still stand by my initial claim that staying organized is the real challenge; whether that is fact or just opinion it still is vital to claiming your space against clutter.
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