The most common issue I’ve come across with people who want to get organized is that they just don’t know where to start. Usually the case is when things get so out of control that the task becomes overwhelming.
Now, in order to determine where to begin, we first have to observe the surrounding area that we want to tackle. Just “looking” at the area and saying to yourself, “Urgh, this is a mess!” is not enough to deal with it, although it’s a good semi-starting point.
The real place to begin is to fully observe the room or space you want to organize. That means to examine things and try to find the underlying cause for the clutter, such as:
- Clothes are piled on the floor which are dirty and have accumulated there instead of the clothes hamper to be washed.
- Reason: You might find that the hamper is full, or just not placed in a convenient spot to easily toss dirty clothing.
- Solution: wash clothes more often and/or place hamper in a better spot and/or get a larger hamper.
- Papers are spread out all over the dining table and cannot be used to eat at anymore.
- Reason: Your home office area is cluttered, therefore you needed a place to work on current bills, etc.
- Solution: Organize the office area first (using same observation methods) and then incorporate the papers from the dining table into the organized office.
- Hobbies, project stuff, and/or kid toys are lying around and cluttering up the room.
- Reason: Bad habits of not putting things away where they belong resulted in the accumulation of stuff in common areas.
- Solution: Get things put away, then establish a routine of cleaning up the area by putting things away when done using them.
And so on, and so forth.
After observing the area or space, you should pretty much know what needs to be done. However just putting things away may not be enough.
By that I mean, we may need to determine better solutions for our stuff, like what “organizing tools” can be used to get organized with. For example, if paper gets out of control, find tools to handle the flow of paper and the paper itself . This could be tray baskets, desktop file organizers, etc.
Observing something is actually confronting what is in front of you, and that is why it’s the first step to getting organized. When we don’t confront something, it’s easy to ignore it, or not even see it at all.
Try the challenge of taking that first step in getting organized. I say challenge, because it’s essentially a start to getting organized and that can be a daunting thought!
Have a fun organizing adventure and Godspeed!