Hello friends! I’m back from Dallas and had such a fun trip! I’ll share a few pics at some point. As soon as I’m caught up on the cleaning and the laundry and my e-mails and my sleep and the 2,000 other to-do’s that got shoved to the side while I was away. So basically those pics will pop up next year. ;) Actually when it comes to the cleaning, I’m not too worried about recovery. Even though I came home to a semi messy house (my husband did the best he could with all that was on his plate the past four days!) I have most of my rooms/spaces organized in a way that makes clean up pretty simple. This hasn’t always been the case! The first year in our new house I struggled with organization (despite my love for it!) but I think I’ve found my groove and am finally starting to feel mostly on top of things when it comes to keeping my home organized. Today I’m talking about 5 reasons you can’t stay organized (and how to fix it!). These are some of the stumbling blocks I’ve faced over the years when it comes to keeping my house organized and what I’ve learned about how to work around them. See if any of these 5 things sound familiar to you too!
1- We don’t prioritize organizing. I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. Well.. except my parents who are retired and absolutely loving life with no schedule. But they were once very busy too and finally now deserve to chill a bit. ;) Here is the point and something I know to be true – if we don’t prioritize getting organized, it won’t happen. By prioritize I mean schedule the time for it. Organizing a messy space takes time. If there is an area of your home that is an unorganized mess, you have to look at your calendar and decide when you are going to fix it. You might choose to block out a full day to knock the entire space out, or (since that isn’t possible for a lot of us), you can choose to spend 20 minutes every day for a week working on it. Either way – schedule that time! And don’t let anything else get in the way! A quote by Jim Rohn I’ve always loved is “if you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” No more excuses! Look at your schedule this week and find some time to prioritize organizing. This week I’m spending 20 minutes a day organizing. I need to finish a few bathroom drawers and finish organizing some files in my office. I’m doing this between 8 and 8:30 pm (after I’ve put Kole in bed and while my husband is picking up my girls from dance and other activities). It’s on my calendar! I’ve scheduled organizing like this before and it really works for me. I pick a time that I know I won’t be distracted and put it on my calendar for Monday through Friday. Often there is a day during the week that something comes up and I can’t do it, but I can usually stick to it for 4 out of 5 days. Prioritize organizing and just START.
2- We organize clutter. Oh man. Am I ever guilty of this one! It took me years to really understand that in order to stay organized I need to constantly PURGE! And then purge more than that. :) You will never stay organized if you have too much stuff. It just won’t happen. I have purged more in the past 3 years that we’ve lived in our new house than I ever have before. Let me tell you something about purging because I know that it can be hard – it gets easier the more you do it. Try to be constantly mindful of things you aren’t using and don’t need any more and always have a black sack nearby to easily toss things into. I always have a black Goodwill sack in my garage and when I come across something we don’t use/love/need, into the sack it goes.
Here is another example of organizing clutter. Because I can be really good at it. ;) Soon after we moved into our house I started organizing my office. I gathered up all of our camera instruction and other miscellaneous manuals and put them in tidy little ziplock bags with labels. So cute. So perfectly organized. Guess the last time I pulled out one of these tidy little labeled sacks and used these manuals? Hasn’t happened. Clutter! These manuals are clutter. Now maybe you have manuals that are important and that you need to keep but MOST things like this, you will never look at again. If I have a question about my camera or one of my computer programs, I’ll look up the answer on-line! These manuals are getting trashed. Stop wasting your time organizing clutter so that you can spend that time organizing the things you truly need and use every day.
3- We gather too many tips/ideas. Something else I’m completely guilty of doing! Oh Pinterest. I love you so much. We all do. But Pinterest can be a problem if all we are doing is pinning others’ organizing ideas and not implementing those ideas into our own homes. Sound familiar? Sometimes gathering tips and ideas completely backfires because it makes us feel overwhelmed and like our homes are so far from those beautiful, organized pictures that we shouldn’t even start. Or we use the only free 20 minutes we had in an afternoon looking at ALL the pretty pictures instead of using that time to organize something in our own home. Instead of gathering tips and ideas on Pinterest or looking at pretty pictures in magazines this week, use that time to organize a drawer or cupboard in your own home. Inspiration is wonderful when it truly inspires us to act. Time to stop gathering so many tips/ideas and start acting! And when you’re done organizing that drawer and decide to head to Pinterest for a little more inspiration you can follow me here where I share lots of it. Ha. ;)
4- We don’t recognize and fix systems that aren’t working. Sometimes it happens. You spend precious time organizing a space only to find that weeks (sometimes days!) later it’s a mess again. You straighten everything again but bam.. before you turn around it’s a mess. A truly organized space is one that isn’t difficult to keep organized. You’ve all seen the craft closet I organized in my office…
My kids use this almost daily and it still looks just like this. Maybe the papers at the top aren’t quite so straight, but other than that, it really does look the same. No.. my kids aren’t unusually clean (I wish!). This space is just easy to keep looking this way. My kids grab the bin they need, make a mess with the things inside of it, then when they clean up, they simply put everything back in the bin. Below is a space in my house that isn’t working so well for us. Remember my organized medicine cabinet?
Beautiful right? I snapped a picture of it today..
Hmmm.. not quite the same. :) I know this isn’t awful, but it certainly isn’t as tidy as it once was! When I organized this cupboard the first time I didn’t allow room for anything other than what we had. We’ve all been sick here and there over the past six months and have added a few more medications to the cupboard. The system I originally set up isn’t really working anymore. Instead of trying to squeeze things in the small containers and make it work, I need to come up with something better. There have been lots of times that I’ve organized a space and realized later that it isn’t working for us. I remember in our previous house organizing my girls’ toys in some bins stacked in their closet and I thought it was the perfect solution! Right up until they were ready to play and couldn’t reach the top bins. Ha! It happens! When it does, recognize that you need to re-think your space and try again. You’ll know when you’ve struck organizing gold when your space is easy to keep looking nice.
5- We let “perfection” get in the way. This has been my BIGGEST stumbling block when it comes to organization – and really all other areas of my life. I used to think “if I don’t have time to completely organize a space and make it picture perfect from top to bottom then why bother?” So I would do nothing. The problem is, there is never time to completely organize a space from top to bottom and with three kids, picture perfect isn’t going to happen either. We can’t wait for circumstances to be perfect. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll get organized “when you have time.” And don’t focus on making everything picture perfect. That’s a blogger’s job. ;) (And trust me, once I’ve taken pictures of an organized space for my blog, life happens. Those spaces stay organized, but they don’t always look picture perfect.) Get over that idea of “perfection” and settle for good enough. Jump in and spend what little time you have today purging and organizing and trust me, you will feel better. You will also be inspired to spend a little bit of time organizing tomorrow. And before you know it, your home will start feeling much more organized. Bringing some much needed sanity back into your life.
Do any of these issues sound familiar to you? These are 5 reasons I’ve struggled at times with organization and I hope that by sharing them (along with how I’ve learned to fix things) I’ve helped you think about what you might need to work on to finally get organized. It’s a nice feeling to know that even when my house is a mess, it won’t take long to pick it up and recover. So get out your planner, schedule some time to organize, toss things you don’t need, stay off of Pinterest and stay focused on your goals. Keep moving forward! You’ve got this! And so do I.
Our pep talk for the day is officially over.