3 Thoughts That Keep you From Being Organized

As I’ve been working with women for the last 15 years to help them get organized, there have been 3 specific statements that stop organization dead in its tracks. 

We all say these things, but the next time one starts to come into your mind or out of your mouth…catch yourself!

Replacing these limiting statements with catchy, empowering ones really can give you the boost you need to create some organizing results you’ll love!

  • I don’t have time. 

It’s true..life is busy. So many things compete for our time and attention. But the truth is, we have the power to choose how to use our time. And if something is important to us, like doing the dishes or going through the mail, we can prioritize those tasks, letting the other things fill in around it. 

Still, organizing tasks can loom over us and threaten to take more time than we can give, so we have to frame things into realistic chunks. One effective way to do this is the Just Take Ten strategy. Tell yourself you can do anything for ten minutes, set your timer, and just do what you can. Often you’ll surprise yourself with just how much you can get done in ten minutes. Pick up the family room, start rinsing dishes, or open up the junk drawer and start filling the trash can. Whether you decide to quit at the buzzer or keep going and finish the job, breaking that mental time barrier is going to bring you some results you’ll love!

  • I don’t know how.

This is one of my favorite obstacles that shows up because it allows us to confront our inner perfectionist. Listen, we all have this voice inside our head that says we have to do it right, or we shouldn’t do it at all. There is not one right way to do anything, and insisting that we wait until we find the correct way to do it just keeps us stuck. 

The solution? Tell yourself, “Done is Better Than Perfect.”  In the end, having the task off your list is what is really going to count. A dresser drawer amateurally organized is better than one that is stuffed so full that you can’t put your laundry away, so just aim to complete the project. This is one of the most liberating strategies I share with my clients and students because it frees them up from the pressure that it has to look a certain way.

  • I don’t know where to start

Closely related to “I don’t know how,” knowing where to start is the make-or-break step that pulls the trigger and launches you into action. With multiple piles or tasks surrounding you, it’s easy to slip into an overwhelm that is paralyzing. Be prepared with this statement: Start with what you know.

When I am organizing a kitchen, for example, and find myself at the stage in the organizing process where the cupboards are empty and I am surrounded by all the things we keep in our kitchen, it is easy to surrender to the overwhelm of not knowing where to start. So instead, I tell myself to start with what I know. I may not know where to I’ll keep all the mixing bowls, for example, but it’s usually pretty obvious which drawer the utensils should go in. From there, I identify the most convenient cupboard for the cups, and then the plates. Take it step by step, and don’t look too far ahead. Just start with the pile of clutter that is bothering you the most, or feels the most urgent. Then move on to the next one. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, piece by piece your organizing project will come together.

Want more good organizing strategies? Click HERE to download my Top 20 Tips to help you Kick the Clutter!


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