3 Common Organizing Mistakes

Today I have a special treat to help you get organized. I am going to pull back the curtains on a few of my organizing tricks that can make a BIG difference and save you a LOT of time. Haven’t we all been frustrated when a project fails after we’ve worked hard on it? Too late we learn that there some fundamental concepts that we were doing all wrong. That’s the worst!

So this post is all my way of saving you precious time, energy, stress and money when it comes to organizing by sharing with you three common organizing mistakes that I see people make. Avoid these and you – and your organizing projects – will be so grateful.

Mistake #1 – Buying the container before you organize.

You might not know how deep the shelf is, how much stuff needs to go in the container, or what other containers you might already have at home. Often, we buy containers on impulse, hoping it will motivate us to organize. But when we get home, the problems start when the container doesn’t quite fit in the drawer, or aren’t nearly adequate for all the stuff you need to contain. And then there’s the inconvenience of needing to return or exchange the containers. So don’t do it!

Do yourself a favor and figure out exactly WHAT you’re going to organize and WHERE you’re going to store it. Then you can start shopping for containers.

Mistake #2 – Rearranging clutter.

This happens ALL the time. Drawers, cabinets and closets often hold more than we think they do. As we start emptying them out, the amount of stuff can be overwhelming. Often we throw away items until we’ve filled a bag or until we get tired of the project. But when it comes time to put everything back in, there’s usually still quite a few items that technically qualify as clutter (stuff you don’t need, use, or love.)

This is when our project shifts from organizing to rearranging clutter. The solution? Be thorough! Go through each item and only let things back in that you truly value. Don’t try to shortcut the job, or you are just creating work for yourself down the road, as the clutter will instantly begin to build back up.

Mistake #3 – No plan to keep things organized.

We’ve all done it: spend some time organizing the toy room or the garage, and before you know it, it looks EXACTLY THE SAME. So frustrating!

So here’s the trick: the last step to complete your organizing project is to create a maintenance plan. Seriously – just because the stuff is put back away, in a container, maybe even labeled, doesn’t mean that you are done.

Ask yourself:

  • How often do I use this space?
  • Is there a regular time to keep this up? For example, can you restore order to the pantry each time you grocery shop?
  • Can the kids make sure the toys are put back in the right bins every night after dinner?

Building upkeep into your schedule is the best insurance against an organizing do-over.

Organizing is easy and fun – when you know the tricks. If you would like more tips to help get your stuff in order, I have the perfect resource for you. Click HERE to learn about my latest training series – Get Organized. This 4 disc set trains you with systems and strategies to help you organize your stuff, your paper, your self, and your health. Broken down into simple steps, becoming organized is a cinch! Click HERE for more info.


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