It is not just organizing spaces that needs to take place when looking to organize your spaces.
What good was it to have a book if you couldn’t find it when you wanted it?” ― aileen erin, Becoming Alpha
This has got to be the very first question we ask ourselves each and every time we face the objective desire to get our things organized.
Substitute any other item for the word “books” and you have the starting point toward the practice, the intention, the design of getting organized. The question could be, what good is it to have a set of summer drinking glasses and matching pitcher if I can’t get into the attic to get the set out of the box it is in?
Sentimentality and honor vie for center stage when we think about getting organized. We know deep down that we will have to purge, have to eliminate, have to deal with the feelings that will come up when we are ready to go through our possessions and decide what stays and what goes. Not easy, not always fun, but so very necessary to weed through and weed out what does not serve our life purpose anymore; what really matters to us now. As we go through our life stages what was important to us at age 25 might not hold its value at age 55.
Tip: That is ok. You do change, you do evolve, you do grow passed and grow through things. It just might be time to re-evaluate this belonging and let it tell a new story for someone else. Wish it well, take a last picture if you want to and set it free. You will be set free as well.
Now that you have a fair idea of where your mind needs to go in order to start on this successful practice of getting organized, here are some questions that can help you go deeper and help set yourself up for success each time you choose to get organized. Keep in mind that the purpose, goal, and design is made steadfast because YOU decided it to be so:
1- What is the 1st step to take to accomplish my organizing goals? Creating an intention, a plan toward organizing is a great way to begin. Establishing your “why” is crucial toward a successful organizing practice.
2- What do I need to help get me organized? This could be a helper, friend, family or professional, tools, training of some kind, education, supplies for storage, grounding boxes for sorting, etc.
3- What comes up each time I attempt to get organized and/or prevents me from getting started? For some people procrastination is a big reason why the organizing does not get done. Allowing for distractions to take your focus away from your desired goal means that there is something you just don’t want to face in this practice; that you relate to this practice as more of a task or “have to” chore rather than letting it empower you to make good decisions toward a more free, open and enjoyable life. Our things bog us down and suck our energy away from what we would rather be doing. How many serving spoons does one household really need?
Uncover, Discover, re-cover your passion for the things you use and love. Create cause, not clutter.
4- What prompted me to bring all these things into my home, into my life? For some of us this is a learned habit. Your mom always went out shopping when she felt overwhelmed or lonely or empty in her life. The things that surrounded her made her feel like she had a life of purpose. Habits are easy to create but hard to break. At this moment right now, there are people creating a habit of making sure that they never run out of food or paper supplies. The pandemic taught us about the real possibility of scarcity and so we will do whatever we can to not feel the lack of something. Once the pandemic is under control and life goes back to some kind of “take it for granted” normal, who will still be buying what they don’t yet need so that they are prepared for the just in case?
5- What is one step I can take to remove one item? I have 15 serving spoons. Which one do I tend to use the most and the second most? What will happen to me if I let go of the other 13 spoons? Better yet, who do I know that can use a serving spoon or 2?
6- What is a good routine I can get started creating and stick with in order to help me make organizing a practice and not a chore? As soon as I come home, I will sort the mail. I will throw away the junk mail then put the bills in the slot marked bills and the correspondence in that correct slot. EVERY DAY.
7- What choices do I have today? Is procrastination a choice for you? Will putting off doing the dinner dishes break your habit creation of wanting to wake up each morning to a clean sink? Every step you take throughout your day is a choice even when it feels like it is not. Start to look at each movement as a choice. Own your choices. Create mini victories to celebrate. Every day should have a bit of celebration in it.
Focus on the type of world you want to create within your sacred home spaces; the spaces that define who you are as a family at its core, then devise a plan, a practice for honoring that way of life and love.