Sometimes it’s knowing what NOT to do in life that is most effective at helping you to do something, and with getting organised that’s no different.
With that in mind, I wanted to write down a list of what I really wish I had known to NOT do before I started the organising process.
I hope it helps you to not make the same mistakes I did along the way, and so help you get organised that little bit quicker.
After all – organising yourself and your home should mean making like easier – not harder. Learning from the mistakes and experiences of others is key to saving yourself time, money and energy – so let’s get started!
Mistake #1 – Underestimating the time it takes to get organised
You may have read some articles called “Get organised in 7 days” or similar.
Sounds great doesn’t it! but let me ask you a question – would you believe an article that said “lose all the weight you want to lose in 1 week”? of course you wouldn’t. You may be able to lose quite a bit on a crash diet, but keeping it off is a totally other matter.
It is the same with getting organised. There is (unfortunately) no miraculous date and time that you can finally say you are totally organised – it’s an ongoing process that is about creating habits for life.
But please don’t let this put you off.
As with losing weight, you want to change your daily life ongoing so that your new eating habits fit easily into your life and you will find it less and less of a struggle to keep it up. Before long the word diet has been forgotten and you are simply making better food choices day to day.
Take that to getting organised, and you will find that over time you will be doing things automatically that used to take effort. Your home will run more smoothly, and your time management will be better. It is a way of life, and NOT a quick fix.
Basically – if somebody says something that seems to good to be true – it probably is!
Nothing in life is given for free, you have to work at it – but boy is it worth it.
Mistake #2 – Getting organised is just about you.
When it comes to organising, most people draw a line in the sand when they get so fed up with the state of their home or their lives. They are ready to get started on a different way of doing things, and have loads of enthusiasm.
This is great.
But what about those that you live/work/socialise with?
Those people may be more than happy to carry on with how things are going at the moment. They may resent the change, and start to work against you every step of the way.
What about the friend who loves to moan with you about their home and how out of control it is, or the child who likes to leave all their toys around the entire house, or the partner who is a hoarder at heart. There are also those people that won’t like the fact that you are trying to improve your life and will fill you with doubt (unfortunately this does happen…)
This will of course make it harder for you, so appreciating this up front will save so much stress and energy, believe me!
I would always advise sitting down with anyone who may be affected by you getting more organised (work colleagues, family, friends, etc..) and talking through what you are hoping to do and how that may or may not affect them.
Once people can see why you want and need to do this, then they are so much more likely to back you up and support what you are doing, and you will find it so much easier to continue.
Mistake #3 – Wanting to be 100% organised
Trying to reach perfection will simply make you feel inadequate the whole time – and who wants that. I am a “recovering perfectionist” and know first hand how horrible it is to try and reach that 100% at all times.
When you have decided to get organised – you have a superwoman/man ideal in your head more often than not. You think that every part of your life will fall into place, and run like clockwork from that day forward.
Its just not the case.
For example, I consider myself organised but have days when I am running around like a headless chicken with an emergency that has arisen, or I fall ill and things slide for a while until I am back on track, or I go on holiday and things happen that need sorting out while I am away.
LIFE HAPPENS AND YOU CAN’T STOP IT!
I am so keen on making this point to you – you can only be as organised as YOU can. There is no right or wrong, there is no area that you need to organise perfectly – it’s always a work in progress because your needs change as you change – you just have to focus on what you need right now that will help you save time, energy and /or money – and you’ll be heading in the right direction.
Mistake #4 – Not understanding yourself
To create systems in your life and your home that truly work for you, you need to understand yourself and any other people who will be using that system.
Just picking up a system from someone else is all very well and good, and can indeed be a great starting point, but more often than not you will need to tweak it to make it perfect for you.
Also, it’s worth noting here that understanding why you want to get organised in the first place is important – as you will have a definite purpose that you can work towards – if you don’t understand this then you’ll never be able to know when you have got there.
Be true to yourself and you will get yourself organised to live a wonderful life that’s perfect for you!
Mistake #5 – Trying to do everything at once.
It took years to get to where you are today. You have created the life you lead at present, and along the way you have given yourself habits, systems and a way of life that currently underpins everything you do.
Changing any of these things will take work, and you need to really want to change for it to stick!
Just as you have to lose weight slowly and steadily to keep it off, you need to get yourself organised one step at a time.
Starting where it hurts most is probably the key thing to remember here. Look at what causes you most pain on a day to day level (yyour wardrobe may need to be more organised as you are wasting time each day finding the right clothes to wear, or you hall cabinet as you keep losing your keys, or your diary as you are always late for appointments etc…) whatever it is for you, tackle this first and get that done right before you move on to the next thing.
If it helps, create a plan of what you will do in what order – then you can tick things off as they have been tackled, and you will feel a real sense of accomplishment.
Mistake #6 – Thinking you need lots of tools and items to get organised
People assume that they need to spend lots of money on new technology or storage when they get organised.
It’s tempting to buy loads of beautiful boxes/folders/stationary etc… in the hope that simply having them in your home will somehow make you more organised, but that can just lead to more clutter and more disorganisation than before.
A better way to do things is to really understand the area you are organising first, and then, when the system is working well for you, start to get products and items that will help to make it look good as well as function well.
Following my A.D.O.R.E process will help you to get the right things at the right time – and hopefully help you on the way to getting any organising project completed well.
Have You Suffered From Any Of These Mistakes Already?
I Really Hope That This Post Saves You Some Time Along The Way Of Your Organising Journey…