Have you had this happen? You walk by a display in a store - maybe a wall of baskets or a variety of accordian file folders - and you think, I need to organize ____________ (fill in the blank)! You look through the options and try to remember how much you have to organize and how big your space is. You make your best guess, take your purchase to the counter and you are on your way to organized bliss, or so you hope!
But then you get home and the basket doesn't quite fit on the shelf you hoped it would, or you have more categories of paperwork than the accordian file you bought contains. You make it work, because who wants to drive back to the store just to return an item, but it's not ideal. But hey, you're more organized than you were, right? Yes, but the further systems are from ideal, the harder they will be to use and the less likely you are to maintain them.
Although the organization supplies you see at the store can be tempting, I recommend purchasing containers as one of the lasts steps in organizing, not the first. Before purchasing anything I recommend you sort through the items you want to organize. Decide what you are going to keep, how and where you are going to store it, and then take measurements. Measure the space available and the number/size of items you are trying to organize and then, with this information in hand, head to the store or look online for the perfect storage solution for your space. I think you will be much happier with the results if you organize first and shop second.
We plan to exercise more, eat more healthy food, invite friends over more often, spend more time outdoors...and the list goes on and on! Chances are, last year our houses were full and our schedule were full, and yet we make resolutions and set goals to add more to our lives. Why do we expect this to work?
I think we would be more successful with our resolutions and goals if we started the year decluttering and simplifying things. If you haven't already, I invite you to set the goal of having more space and more order in your home and in your life. Not only will it feel great to have an organized home, but it will open up space and time for you to pursue and successfully accompish your other goals for the year!
I had the opportunity to contribute to a story on KHON2 last week on dealing with holiday stress. Planning ahead can greatly reduce holiday stress, but what do you do when it's the week before Christmas and there is no time left for planning ahead?
If you're feeling too busy and stressed out, my suggestion is that you take shortcuts and find ways to save time DOING the holidays so you can spend more time ENJOYING the holidays. Here are a couple examples of what I mean:
• Your 'Plan A' might have been to make several kinds of cookie dough from scratch to bake with your kids, but if you're running short on time and energy go with 'Plan B' and buy some pre-made sugar cookie dough and sprinkles and have your kids help you decorate and bake with them. The memories will be just as sweet!
• Have a pile of gifts that still need to be wrapped? Use gift bags and tissue paper instead of paper rolls, tape and scissors. You'll get the job done much faster!
Just remember, Christmas doesn't have to be Pinterest perfect to be meaningful and memorable.
Hi! I'm Lisa, the founder and owner of Imagine it Organized. I love organizing spaces, schedules, paperwork and more. On this page I share organizing tips, ideas and encouragement. I hope you find ideas to use in your home and life!