Friday, August 14, 2009

no excuses...get organized

Do you ever feel defeated before you even get started? Do you have a million reasons why you can't get organized? Believe me, we have all been where you are. We've all used the same excuses to avoid getting things organized. For every excuse we can find to use, there is a solution.

So, if you are motivated to get organized, join along with us as we resolve our excuses and get organized.

1. There's just too much stuff!
Get rid of the stuff! I know we sound like a broken record when we say this, but it just illustrates the need to reduce the 'stuff'. If there is just too much stuff, it's time to remove some, whether you donate it, hold a garage sale, advertise on Freecycle or Craigslist, or just trash it--bottom line, get rid of the stuff!

2. I don't know where to start.
No matter what, you have to just pick a place and start. It isn't going to get any better until you do. It helps to know what needs to be done. To accomplish this, you need to make a master list. It isn't a hard thing to do, it's just a list of every single thing you want to do in your home, including decorating, remodeling and so forth. You can do a whole house Master List, or you can do a room by room Master List. Once you have completed your initial list, move one or two items from it to your daily or weekly to-do list. Don't try to do more than one or two items weekly, it will get too overwhelming.

3. I just don't have time.
No one has every single second of every single day scheduled. No matter how busy we are, we all can find five, ten or even fifteen minutes in which we can get things done. It doesn't sound like much time, but you will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished in just a few minutes a day.

4. I want to get it all done now.
In all likelihood, your home did not get in this condition over night. No matter what, you aren't going to be able to change things overnight, or in one marathon session. It is highly likely you would only get discouraged and give up. So, schedule time into your day, just as you would any other important appointment, to work for that amount of time, whatever your task may be. Slowly, little by little, you will see changes.

5. I don't know how to go about getting organized.
Well, you've come to the right place. You'll find tons of tips and ideas in this newsletter, on my site, in my books and throughout my discussion forum. Everything you need is right at your fingertips when you visit the Get Organized Now! web site.


6. My spouse won't toss anything.
So, don't worry about your spouse's belongings. You can't expect to jump in cold and change your spouse's ways.

If you are unable to convince your spouse to donate or sell his/her things, then just work on your things. Then negotiate with your spouse to declutter family things, or jointly owned things. Otherwise, just focus on decluttering and organizing your own items. Eventually your spouse may be inspired to join you in decluttering and organizing. Once your spouse sees how nice things look, and how easy they are to find, he/she will be more likely to team up in your quest to declutter and organize.

7. I get it organized, but it doesn't stay that way.
And it won't unless you put routines in place to help you maintain it. Just like your home doesn't stay clean once you clean it (wouldn't we all love that!), you need routine upkeep to keep things organized. A) Start cleaning up after you do anything. If you make a sandwich, clean up so that after you eat your sandwich, no one knows you've made one. B) Pick it up and put it away. If you see something out of place, pick it up and put it away. Just practicing these two routines each day will go a long way towards keeping things cleaned up and organized.


8. My children undo, whatever I do.
No matter what age your children are, they can and should have responsibilities around the home. Hold a family meeting and discuss all of the things that need to be done to keep your home running smoothly. Let your children choose which age-appropriate chores to do. If they choose them, they are more likely to complete them. Let them know too that they can re-negotiate which chores they'd prefer at the next meeting.

Hold regular family meetings, twice a month or even once a month. Every family member needs to be a cooperating family member. Remember, you are the parent, you are in charge. Be their parent, not their friend. Teach them what they need to know to be a functioning, responsible adult.


9. But, I might need it someday.
Every one of us has felt that way. The reality is that almost everything you do toss won't be missed at all. In all likelihood, you won't even remember what you've tossed. When a friend's grandfather died and things had to be cleaned out, it was amazing to see all the stuff he hung onto, just because he might need it someday. The list was very long and included things like bent rust nails, because someone might need them! If you do need it someday, in all likelihood, you can purchase it at a rummage sale, rent it or borrow it.


10. I don't know what I should get rid of.
There is an easy way to know what should stay and what should go. When trying to decide if an item should stay or go, ask yourself two questions. 1. Do I love it? 2. Do I use it? If the answer to both of these questions isn't yes --donate, sell, recycle or trash it. If you don't love it and use it, it shouldn't be taking up space in your home. And that includes gifts that you're keeping out of guilt. If it's something you are keeping for sentimental reasons that you just can't bear to part with, box it up and put the current date on the box, nothing more.



Mark your calendar about 6 months out. In six months, if you can't remember what is even in the box, and you didn't go to open it in the 6 months, it's very probable that you can donate the box and not even miss the items. If you do remember and still don't want to part with it, then start using and loving that item--frame it, display it, pass it to a child--give it the love and use it deserves!

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