I love a good workout. Well, let me clarify, I love being finished with a good work out. During it, I hate it. I have a circle of thoughts that range somewhere between “this is stupid” and plots to murder anyone or anything that makes me continue down the path of exerting energy in such an excessive way.
However, once I finish, I feel nothing but relief and pride. I am so happy it’s finished and proud of myself for completing something I set my mind to. I feel good and confident and accomplished.
Organizing is very similar. For most people, it’s not easy to begin. It sucks when you’re in it. But it feels amazing afterward!
I think much like exercising, organizing it easy for some, and incredibly difficult for others. I am someone who has to force myself to exercise, and I can think of a million excuses why not to workout. But if I constantly listen to all of those reasons, I’ll never get the reward I desire.
So I thought I’d share some common reasons (in my experience) people don’t take on an organizing project, and how to overcome it. And then I’ll stop talking about working out.
I don’t have the time
Everyone is busy. Everyone has hundreds of things to do and things they’d much rather do than tackle an organizing project. I love organizing but there are spaces in my home that desperately need attention and I am so reluctant to start because I just don’t want to dedicate that time.
So I schedule it. I schedule a time and commit to one project. Put it in your calendar or on your command board, or where ever it is that will force you to remember and follow through.
It’s too overwhelming, there’s just too much
Start small. Don’t begin with taking on your basement storage area filled with belongings that have been piling up for years. Begin with something small like a single drawer, or cabinet. Then stop once you’ve completed that space. The more you take on in one sitting, the more likely you are to feel overwhelmed and less motivated to begin the next time.
Think about it in terms of exercising again (sorry!). You’ve decided to start running and you tell yourself you’re going to go run 1 mile. Then once you finish the one mile, you feel great, so you decide to run 2 more. Chances are you’re not going to feel as great going into that 3rd mile. Chances are it’s going to get really tough and you’re going to feel exhausted and incredibly sore afterward. You’re probably not going to be as eager to go for a run again because you felt so miserable after your last run.
Organizing is the same. I mean, you’re probably not going to feel super sore afterward, but you get my point. Start small.
It’s too expensive
Yes, organizing can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I love organizing spaces with no purchase necessary. If you’re looking to completely update your pantry with bins and baskets and containers, that could cost you a few hundred dollars. But if you’re able to, take your time. Figure out exactly what you need (measure, measure, measure) and wait until items go on sale. Buy just a few pieces at a time and slowly the space will come together.
If you feel like you can’t wait to get things contained, get creative. Use diaper boxes for toy storage, old phone boxes to organize a junk drawer, or shoe boxes to organize cords.
It never lasts
Organizing is ongoing. Spaces in my home are constantly being reorganized because our needs for spaces are continuously changing. This time last year, we had a space in our kitchen designated for baby bottles, breast pump equipment, pacifiers, etc. Now, we don’t need any of those things but we do need more plates and utensils for our littlest man to use, so we need to change the way the drawer functions.
This is so common, and I think a huge reason why people get frustrated with organizing. It does take work, and maintenance, and upkeep, and you will probably have to change things up relatively frequently. This is normal, don’t let it deter you. Having a system in place and addressing the changes as they come can make the transition less daunting and less stressful.
I don’t know how
Organizing is a skill. It is not a basic human trait that everyone has. It is a skill. I cannot knit or speak a foreign language. And if I expected to master either one of these things on my first try I’d just embarrass myself.
Organizing a space will take time, maintenance, and some dedication. If you feel like developing a system for your space is where you struggle most, you may find it beneficial to work with someone else. See below..
I don’t know if I should just hire a professional
So I am not about to tell you not to hire a professional organizer because, hello, I love my job. But not everyone needs to hire someone. Some people are able to go to the gym without a personal trainer and be perfectly fine. They can whip themselves into shape all by themselves. Others, not so much.
It may be beneficial for you to hire a professional if you are losing time and money searching for items and replacing things you already own but forgot about or lost. Or, you may just need someone to come and help develop a plan with you. Talk you through some systems and ideas and be held accountable.
You may also be someone who reads an article (or a super stellar blog post, wink, wink) and is able to get motivated and tackle your home yourself right away. You know you. Do what works for you. If it’s causing you stress, and it’s even more stressful thinking about tackling the space alone, hire someone. Or bring over a good friend who maybe is more organized in the area you’re hoping to address.
Hopefully there are some tips in here that help you feel confident in taking on a space, whether it’s alone, with a friend or with a professional. I cannot tell you how much being organized helps keep peace of mind in our home. Knowing that everything has a place and can easily be placed back there saves so much stress and time.
Thanks for visiting!