Create a Plan for Organizing Success

The following post is from Laura of I’m an Organizing Junkie:

I'm an Organizing Junkie

The first step to any organizing endeavor is to create a plan. Why?  Without a plan you’ll have no direction or road map for your journey.  You may flounder along knowing you want to make change but not knowing how or even where to start.  A plan can help you identify the necessary steps required to achieve optimal results for organizing YOUR way.

It’s not difficult for us to imagine how we’d liked our spaces to look. We look through magazines of highly organized and uncluttered spaces and imagine how perfect our lives would be if only our spaces looked like that.  But those spaces aren’t organized YOUR way and won’t necessarily be practical for YOUR organizing needs and that’s where having a plan comes into play.

To find out what your needs are you’ll first have to ask yourself some very important questions.

Start by looking around each room and making a list of what isn’t working for you. Why does it bother you?  What areas stress you the most?  Drill it down as far as you can because you can’t address the problem(s) until you really know what the issues are.

Purpose

How would you like the space to function?  How many activities do you need to fit into the space?  Who will use the space?  Be specific about your needs; list them out and identify them one by one. Next put some priority beside each one to help you determine where to start.

I'm an Organizing Junkie

Budget

What kind of budget do you have for organizing products and solutions?  Be realistic about this step but don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a big budget.  There are storage solutions out there for all sorts of price points and purging is free! Don’t worry about finding those particular products right now as this comes later in the organizing process.

Time

What kind of time do you have available for tackling this task?  Can you set aside 15 minutes a day, an hour or some time on the weekend?  Whatever time you can manage it’s good to know in advance that this is your dedicated time to help avoid procrastination. If other family members contribute to the space, have a family meeting and discuss how the whole family can get involved.

I'm an Organizing Junkie

Habits

How willing are you to make the changes necessary to achieve the purpose and vision you have for your space?  Do not set yourself up for failure.  Know your clutter standards and look to create systems that won’t be more work to maintain than the time you have available to manage it. However it’s important to recognize that as with anything new it will require some commitment on your part to make lasting change.

Help

Along with family members, perhaps you need to also enlist some unbiased help, someone that isn’t as attached to your stuff as you are that would be willing to give you an objective eye and hold you accountable.  Do you have a friend you can call?  Or perhaps you might want to consider the help of a professional organizer.  You can find a professional organizer in your area by visiting these sites.

US:  National Association of Professional Organizers

Canada:  Professional Organizers in Canada

Which space would you like to tackle next?  Have you got yourself a plan?

Laura is a wife and mother to three great kids, lives in Alberta, Canada and is an addict of all things organizing. You can find her blogging regularly at I’m an Organizing Junkie, and her organizing book, Clutter Rehab: 101 Organizing Tips & Tricks to Become an Organization Junkie and Love It!, will hit bookstore shelves in December 2010.
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