One House Call follower write: “Every New Year, one of my resolutions is to get more organized. So, what are the first five things I should do with that result in mind?” Aside from cleaning closets, we weren’t sure so we asked Janine Adams, chief order catalyst and founder of Peace of Mind Organizing (314-707-3022, peaceofmindorganizing.com). Her response: Often the first thing you want to do when you decide it's time to get organized is to go out and buy organizing products. Don't do it! You need to sort, weed and declutter first, so that you know what it is you need to store. Buying products first might turn out to be a waste of money. Or it might lead to your fitting your systems to your products, which is like the cart leading the horse.
Instead, follow these five steps if you want to get organized:
1. Create a vision for how you want things to be. Maybe you want to be able to find everything when you need it. Or to keep track of tasks better. Perhaps you want your home to company-ready. Whatever your specific needs and desires, identifying it at the very beginning of the organizing process can be very beneficial.
2. Schedule time to address getting organized. Decluttering (or doing research on organizing or task management systems) typically doesn't happen without some concerted effort. Make an appointment with yourself—enlisting a friend to help can give the appointment more weight—and stick to it.
3. Just do something! Even if you feel overwhelmed, doing just a little bit of work toward your goal can be a huge start. Little by little you can make progress and often just getting started is the hardest part.
4. Now you can buy your storage products! After you’ve gone through your items, it makes sense to buy products. You might end up being able to use a lot of products you already have. But once you know what you need to store, you can shop.
5. Create daily habits. At first your habit might be chipping away at the organizing project. But once it's done, you need to create a daily habit of maintaining the system. That might mean putting stuff away every night or creating a daily task list. You won't stay organized unless you create habits to maintain the order you’ve created.