I knew once we started demolition for our kitchen remodel that staying organized would go out the window right along with the old carpet, and I said then that I would be discontuing my Feng Shui Friday for ahwile.
Well, a number of you have commented about following along with my Feng Shui series, and now that spring cleaning season is here, I'm happy to say that I am feeling motivated to pick it back up as well!
So to kick off a new season of organization and Feng Shui projects, I thought I would share a few of my thoughts on the matter.
I often hear things like "You are so organized! I wish I had that gene!" This should be considered a compliment, I suppose, but it bothers me somewhat—and here's why. Organization doesn't come naturally or happen automatically. An organized person WORKS at being that way.
I am by no means organized in every aspect of my life. Some areas I'm failing in right now include filing and paperwork (you don't even want to know), my garage, and my bathroom drawer to name a few. Don't get me wrong—I definitely aspire to get those areas under control and you'd better believe they are on my to do list. But it means I have lots of work to do.
So, how do you become an "organized person", since you aren't born that way?
1. It takes motivation. You have to want to be that way. I want to be organized for two reasons—for form and for function. I love how an organized space looks, and I love how an organized space fuctions. Clutter grates on my nerves and makes everyday tasks take extra time. I do my best to pass this motivation on to my family and get them involved. Hopefully the tendancy to be organized will rub off on my kids. My husband is already a lost cause—ha.
2. It takes practice and experience. Most people don't automatically know how to get and stay organized. You have to learn strategies and techniques. For example: You've heard the adage "A place for everything and everything in its place". Everything must be given a home or it will float around as clutter. You have probably heard of employing a one in/one out strategy where you must get rid of something old as you add something new (to your closet, for example). Grouping like items together. Placing items at point of use. The importance of labeling. Maximizing space/height of shelves. These are all strategies that can be learned and improved with practice. We form good habits over time. I have picked these things up over time and I'm still working on the habit part. I've subscribed to Real Simple magazine since their very first issue. My eyes were opened! I read organizing blogs and have even taken an online class. I pin organization ideas on Pinterest, a few of which I've included in this post. I'm crazy like that. At my previous job I took a year-long intensive course on having lean processes and maximum efficiency, a big component of which was having an organized space. My point is, I wasn't born this way. I've developed this tendancy.
3. It takes time. It has been almost 2 years since we moved to the farm and I am still figuring out the best place to put things. Getting organized definitely doesn't happen overnight. The thing is, staying organized takes time too. Many systems must be maintained on a regular schedule. We have to constantly take the time to purge what we don't need. It is good to employ systems that manage themselves as much as possible (automatic bill paying, for instance).
4. It takes discipline. I think all of us fall into the trap of thinking we need more than we do. It takes constant discipline to purge and to follow the systems we set up.
5. It takes space to be, and to stay organized. This means we need to either create more space or have less stuff. Simple as that. We need to be able to see everything. It is the stuff in the back recesses of our closets and cupboards that cause the most trouble.
So lest you think it is hopeless because you weren't born with that "organization gene", I'm here to say no more excuses! Let's get organized together this summer! I'll share my projects if you'll share yours. (Sorry to be so bossy. I get it from my 9-year-old.)