There must be thousands of resources out there offering the “easiest way to get organized,” (including mine) so I thought I would offer up some advice on the absolute worst ways to get organized. Here are seven surefire tips!
1. Buy containers. Before you do anything, rush out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond or The Container Store, if possible, and buy some containers. Spend a long time trying to figure out how many you need and what sizes you need. It’s OK to get distracted by the pretty little containers. They’re just as good as clear ones. The more you spend on containers, the better your odds of staying organized.
2. Wait until a rainy day. No amount of planning will help. You just need a weekend, when you’re not doing anything or, ideally, a week off from work, before you can even think of taking on an organizing project. Be patient, it will come.
3. Just dive in. When that block of time opens up for you, don’t waste time, just dive right in! It doesn’t matter where things go, it just matters that you throw a couple things out and stuff the rest into all those containers you bought.
4. When in doubt, throw it out. Stuff builds up and it’s all junk. You’ve kept it for too long, so just throw it all out, even if you think you’ll regret it. That’s what organizing is all about. And if you see some of your spouse’s stuff that you don’t like, throw that out too! I’m sure he or she will learn to appreciate it, once everything fits into your new containers.
5. Move from room to room. It’s easy to get distracted when organizing, so don’t fight it! If you were dying to get your home office organized and a misplaced coffee cup takes you to the kitchen, start organizing in there too. Maybe the recycling takes you to the garage. Start organizing that too, but don’t feel like you have to finish. There will be plenty of time for that on your next “rainy day.”
6. Enlist family members, when you get stuck. Maybe you’ve already thrown out half a bag of trash and you feel that your kids should get in on the act too. Immediately stop them from what they are doing, especially if they are having a good time, and ask them to take a look at their second grade schoolwork. Yell at them when they resist. It’s never too early to make them learn the joys of getting organized.
7. Suck it up and go it alone. Your parents kept a tidy home, so you should too. It’s not like their generation didn’t face exactly the same challenges yours does. It’s healthy to blame yourself and rub your nose in all the mistakes and unfinished projects from your past. Besides, it’s not like there are businesses that exist to relieve these pains for you, so that you can get on with more important things.
Just a reminder, if these tips rubbed you the wrong way, that’s good, because these tips are awful. You should only follow them if you want to stay disorganized. The opposite will set you free.