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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

...As Long As You Come Back to It

by Chedel Townsend

My girlfriend periodically informs me of the mess that is her closet...or office...or wherever the biggest mess is at the moment. She explains how stacks of papers just continue to pile up around her. I've told her on multiple occasions, "it's okay, as long as you come back to it." Of course she responds with, "That's the problem, I never come back to it." Funny. Hey, no one is perfect, how do you think I came up with the reassuring statement of coming back to it? I have to tell myself the same thing when things get out of hand at my own house.
Being, or becoming, organized requires a mindset or lifestyle change-much like eating healthy-which doesn't come overnight. You definitely have to have the "want-to" to work at it (my eating well is still a work in progress, by the way :-).
The key is to come up with a plan and system that suits you. For me it has always come naturally: clothes and shoes are sorted by color, style, and weather; mail is by priority; files are by category and how easily they need to be accessed. As for those items that I know I'll have to come back to? They don't even get set down without at least being separated by final destination and/or priority. So maybe you pick a day of the week to sort and file? Maybe you set a reminder on your phone? I found that house chores and tidying naturally fell on Wednesdays, so I went with it. You have to find little ways to make things easier on yourself. Baby steps. And I'll be honest, it has been ten times harder with a whole family to keep organized.

My favorite organizing blog, I'm an Organizing Junkie,"
has a 52-week organizing planner to follow.
Laura lays out a plan to tackle projects
weekly, for one whole year. (where I will soon be a contributor), is a collective of how-tos, printables, and craft & recipe ideas. The site provides a personal assistant organizing planner focused on making the most out of each day in life, not just organizing a thing or room or two.
Both Tip Junkie and Pinterest offer organizing ideas if you are at a loss for storage advice once you get it all sorted.

So now that you've joined a group, followed a blog, or sought out the services of a professional, you're afraid you won't be able to find the time or motivation to keep it organized. At some point (like trying junk foods after you've eaten healthy for a long period) you'll find a natural distaste for clutter and general disorganization. Being organized will come muscle memory. You'll commit to the change and challenge yourself to maintain every day, but in the inevitable event your organization gets a little out of hand, don't long as you come back to it.