Most moms in business are just too busy to stay organized.
Most of the moms in business that I know are great at supporting their businesses, clients and families, and with such busy and overcrowded schedules, we just don’t seem to leave room for those niggly maintenance tasks!
Clutter shows up – whether you like it or not – and is usually a result of postponed decisions, ineffective systems, and for most moms – exhaustion!
However, it’s been proven over and over again that a clutter-free environment creates a calmer environment and that makes most people more productive.
If you’re life feels disorganized and overwhelmed, no matter what your excuse is, it usually can be loosely translated to some variant of: “I’m doing nothing to keep it organized right now”.
Don’t believe me? – Well try this…
What do you complain about? Your health, eating, your weight, your partner, not having free time???
Whatever your complaint – state it out loud.
Now, ask yourself – “What am I doing currently about this complaint?”
If your answer is nothing – you might consider taking action to shift away from complaining and toward what you really want. As soon as you take action, you’ll begin to notice a shift in self-perception.
[Tweet “As soon as you take #action, you’ll begin to notice a shift in self-perception. #productivity”]
If you’re really dissatisfied with your life the way it is, and you have a sense that it’s due to disorganization – stating that dissatisfaction boldly to yourself and others will make it real. Once your subconscious thoughts are verbalized, somehow they magically become more real. (Remember the shift that first time you told someone you loved them…? Saying it, somehow made it REAL! ) And once your dissatisfaction is real – you can move toward accepting that it is true for you. When you truly feel a sense of dissatisfaction with the way things are, it will help you get motivated to take that first step and get in action to do something about it. Here’s why…
Humans are more driven to get rid of the things that dissatisfy them than getting more of what they like. Your level of pain, dislike and disgust will more quickly drive you to shift and take action than being satisfied. When it’s more painful to keep things as they are, you move into action. As soon as the pain outweighs the benefits of doing nothing, you’ll do something.
So, if you put off getting organized for that ‘someday’ when you have more time, energy, etc., here are 10 decluttering hacks (simple tips) to help kick start your productivity today!
[Tweet “10 #Organizing & #decluttering hacks to get you started today! #productivity”]
1. Create A Punch List
When we built our home, we moved in before it was totally complete. As a result, there were little things that had to be completed by our builder that were taking longer than expected. My husband and I went around the house and created a task list for each room, then hung it up by the door with blue painter’s tape. As things were completed by our builder, we’d check them off. Organizing can seem overwhelming if you haven’t kept up for awhile. To get back on track, go through each room and create a punch list (some may consider this a wish list) and write down anything that needs to happen for that space to become more organized!
To keep your punch list manageable, think ‘what is the very next action’ that needs to happen. For instance, don’t walk into your storage space and say – “I have to have a tag sale!” First of all, that thought alone can put most people into cardiac arrest! Instead, think of the next baby step that would move the project in the right direction and write that down instead. Instead, start with the first few steps in the process to get you on the path toward your goal: 1. Identify non-sellable items, 2. Research donation centers in the area, 3. List sellable items, etc. Just like you can’t lose 10 pounds tomorrow, but you can get up and go on a walk for 20 minutes today, tomorrow and next week. You won’t reclaim a disorganized space without the steps you need to take. Steps are easier to manage, quantify and stay on top of. Each time you take one, you’ll build on your own success – each action gets you closer to your goal.
2. Don’t Buy Anything (Yet)
Picture if you will – The classic disorganized person’s plight as they ponder all the organizing and storage items available at their average big box store. After 20 minutes of staring blankly at all their options, they fill their cart with Lucite trays, baskets, bins, wall-mounts, drawer sorters and any options they can find in a desperate effort to finally get organized! But, as I always say – Products don’t solve your organizing problems. Figuring out what the problem is and then figuring out a good solution is the only way to break free and move forward. If a product works for your certain situation and symptoms – then so be it – but avoid the need to shop for your solution, especially if you really don’t yet understand it! If you want a quick prescriptive approach to what products will work you really NEED to determine your time management and space style characteristics. You can easily do that by taking the Time & Space Style Inventory NOW!)
3. Decide to Decide
When you decide to get organized – Deciding is your focus. The great productivity guru Barbara Hemphill says that clutter is simply the result of postponing decisions. So one of the easiest ways to start digging out is to just start DECIDING. Decide when you’ll get started, decide what you will keep, decide what you’ll get rid of, decide where things will go, decide if you want to give items to friends and family members. (If you have a tendency to delay decisions, prepare to work in small increments – this one skill can be exhausting at first! But, it does get easier!)
4. Use What You Already Have! (As long as you still love it)
Not ready to “invest” in a whole new set of cabinets or the newest containers? You can still get the job done. NO problem! It really doesn’t take much to get organized. Many people with organizing dilemmas have many more containers, bins, boxes, barrels and baskets than they ever need. Using what you have to ‘containerize’ is completely acceptable and affordable. Many a cardboard box, plastic food tray or packaging good have been re-purposed in my house! Figure out what you’re trying to organize first, and the right size container will show up.
5. Start Small
When you get started organizing after a long period of inaction, DO NOT bite off more than you can chew. Instead of over-committing yourself, or jumping in too far and never finding your way out, start small. Start with a small, containable organizing project like a junk drawer, or a SECTION of a room or office. One thing to remember though: the smaller the items you’re organizing, the LONGER it generally takes. (This may be opposite from what you’d think, but a stack of papers can take MUCH longer than a kitchen counter for instance.) Therefore, get started by succeeding with a small, practical, and doable organizing project. If you begin with something you know you will complete in one sitting or session, you will have instant success, stay positive, stay on track, keep your energy positive and stay you motivated to tackle something bigger.
6. One Percent Shift Habit
Instead of focusing on your disorganized space and the overwhelm, focus on ONE habit that you can shift RIGHT NOW that will help you become more organized. Drowning in incoming mail? Decide right now to sort, open and shred your mail each time it comes in? Always running out of supplies? Create a master shopping list and make copies so all you need to do is check off the things you need when you run out. Whatever the source of disorganization – Just choose one, and create a better habit today.
7. Schedule It
Schedule “organizing” time. Start penciling “10 Minute Tidys” into your day so you can anticipate and look forward to this brief break in your busy life. Make sure you set the timer, and stop when it rings. It will turn into a game and be really fun. Better yet, try to reframe this as your “distraction-free” respite — a date with yourself to meet your goals.
8. Closet Drop
Put a sturdy paper bag in your closet labeled “Outgoing”, “Donate”, “Too Small” (or whatever words you need to indicate you’re done with items). When you try something on that doesn’t work: too short, not flattering, not your colors, outdated (more than 2 years old and never worn in that time), too revealing, too tight… place the item in the bag. Since it’s often easier to focus on what you DON’T like… this process will really help you declutter. Once you create more space, you’ll have room to find out what you DO want. Anything you don’t want can be folded and placed in the bag. When the bag fills up – put it immediately in your car and add a stop at the Donation Center to your task list.
9. Find a Declutter Buddy
If you get hung up and overwhelmed while organizing, don’t go at it alone. Find someone else like you who needs to do the same thing! Set a standing declutter date where you spend time at each other’s homes working through each of your spaces together. A partner motivates, inspires and it helps you stay on track. Committing to an accountability buddy will provide motivation when it’s hard to find your own.
10. Take It Easy
When you meet your first milestone, do something you really love to do to celebrate! Relax. Reward yourself. Do something restorative and rejuvenating! Rewarding yourself for a job well done is a way of celebrating a milestone!
Of all these de-cluttering strategies, which will you try for yourself? I’d love to know… Please share your thoughts and tips in the comment box below!