This is an old post but a really good one! We never can have too many organization tips…amirite?
I recognize that not everyone is has a passion for organization like I do. It has been my experience that people fall on a spectrum at any given moment in their (busy) lives: Over Organized, Organized, Wannabe Organized, and Too Overwhelmed to be Organized. Even I don’t live in the land of organization all the time. My pattern often looks like this: Organized –> With a tendency to be Over Organized—> At which point I throw my hands up in the air and fall into Too Overwhelmed.
EXCEPT I don’t stay in the land of Overwhelmed for too long. I have a number of processes in place to help me get out of overwhelm and quickly get back to a place of organization.
For me, organization goes hand-in-hand with not only productivity but SANITY! Making organization a core value in my life helps me manage my time. There is nothing worse than having to search high and low for something.
Here are 5 Tips to Improve Your Organization Today!
1. Avoid Over Organizing: yes, it is possible to over organize. Over organizing adds steps, time, thought, and space which minimize the efficacy of the organizational solution. Over organizing makes it hard to maintain your process and maintenance is KEY. An example of OVER organization:
- Closet Organization: Don’t you just love when your closet is color coordinated? All like colors with like colors? NO! This is over organized. It takes too much time to maintain color distinctions and to think through what to do with patterned tops, etc. I realize some of you are gasping right now but I maintain a more simple approach works just fine. Group like items in larger groups like pants, tops, jackets, etc. Leave the nuanced groups behind.
2. Don’t be a perfectionist: We all like when things look “just so”. Getting things “just so” takes time. Time that can be better spent doing something you love!
- I have spent a lot of hours making sure my organizational components look design magazine worthy. Not anymore. Good and done is better than perfect and undone. At some point we have to define the difference between organized, functional and productive for ourselves.
Simple baskets – not design magazine worthy but functional and pretty enough!
3. Be Flexible: Finding an organizational solution that works for you may take some time.
- You need to be flexible and open minded in your approach. If something doesn’t work, don’t get defeated. I have executed a number of organizational solutions which failed. Reasons for their failure – they didn’t perform the way I expected, too hard to maintain, too complex for others to use. You name it. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
4. Don’t bite off more than you can chew: We have all done this. In a moment of disorganized hysteria, you decide everything is offending you so EVERYTHING needs to be addressed NOW. You turn drawers, closets, bins, and baskets upside down.
Now what do you have?
A big overwhelming mess! You can’t see the organization through the piles of debris. At this point you kick it off to the side and leave it for another day, maybe 6 months down the line. Sound familiar?
Pick ONE project and execute it flawlessly from thought to finish. Plan it out. Mull it over. Do some research. Research saves REWORK. Then set aside 15 minutes a day to work on the project. I am always amazed at what I can accomplished in 15 focused minutes.
5.KISS – Keep it Simple Sally: Keeping you organizational solutions have a number of benefits including:
- Everyone in the house, in my case this includes outside caregivers and children, need to be able to understand, get “on-board” with, and execute the organizational strategy. This is especially challenging with kids.
- Use simple, easy to find items.
- Simple solutions tend to be friendlier on your pocket book allowing you tackle a multitude of projects. Like me, I am sure you have no shortage of nooks and crannies that require a keen eye (and a few dollars) to organize.
Some of my favorite SIMPLE organizational items are:
- A black garbage bag – the best way to organize is to have LESS stuff. Fill them up and set them off to donation!
- Clipboards – stick a push pin in the wall to hang the clipboard on and you have a office solution for about a dollar (see above picture).
- Baskets – baskets hide a multitude of sins and are easy for storing “like” items.