Organization is right up there with dieting and weight loss in the New Year’s resolution department. They’re a lot alike, really. They both require motivation for success. Good intentions are one thing, but following through on them is something else.

 

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Here are 9 easy steps to follow if you want to know how to get motivated to organize your home:

Step 1 – Remind yourself of the advantages of being organized

Organization is essential to a life that is:

  • less stressful - no more embarrassment when unexpected visitors turn up
  • more efficient - it’s a great feeling to know where things are
  • less hurried – no more searching for things at the last minute
  • more fun – as you’ll have spare time for a change
  • healthier – think of all those bugs that no longer have a place to hide or all that cooking you could do in a more organized kitchen
  • more productive – an organized home leads to an organized mind at work or college. It also sets a good example to your kids.

You will also save:

  • space – making you realize that you don’t need a bigger place/kitchen/closet/garage/yard (delete as appropriate!)
  • time – leaving more for yourself and your family and to focus on what you want to achieve
  • money – you will know what you have so won’t end up wasting things or buying duplicates.

If that isn’t motivation enough to get organized, then nothing is.

Step 2 – Break it down

How do you eat an elephant

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Getting organized is much the same so banish your ‘all or nothing’ mentality. If you keep your focus small, you will not become overwhelmed and demotivated. So start by making a list of all the problem areas in your house. Think small – kitchen drawer not the whole kitchen. Pick one item on the list, get it organized and move on to the next. Small successes, and even just crossing things off your list, will inspire you to carry on.

Step 3 – Visualize the end results

Buy yourself a home magazine or go round a show house on a new development so you can see how great an organized home looks. All right, these aren’t real homes with real people, real kids and real clutter, but their calm serenity should inspire you to at least make a start on your chaos.

Step 4 – Give yourself a reason

Have an end goal such as a family party or invite friends over to dinner. Set the date now. That way when you have a bored, distracted or ‘can’t be bothered’ moment, a quick look at the calendar will remind you that embarrassment looms if you don’t get on with it.

Step 5 – Do 10 minutes organizing first thing every day

You need organizing to develop into a daily habit, much like cleaning your teeth. Repeating a task over and over again is the only way to develop a habit and it can take 66 days on average according to the latest research.

It is also best to perform your ‘must do’ tasks first thing in the morning before day to day life gets in the way.

Step 6 – Recognize your successes with rewards

Think of some way to reward yourself for your hard work. Have mini rewards for mini goals, perhaps have a smoothie in the garden, and larger rewards for larger tasks, say that new purse you’ve seen when a whole room is organized. Trying new organizing products is another good way to reward yourself with related goodies. Just make sure to declutter first, before you buy something that you don’t really need.

Step 7 – Make it fun

One of the main problems with mustering up any enthusiasm for getting organized is that it seems so boring. So set a positive atmosphere and make it fun. Open the windows and let in some fresh air, turn on your music, put on your comfy clothes – in other words, do anything to make the job easier. You could even take whatever it is you are organizing outside or to your favorite room in the house to do the basic Keep, Donate, Trash allocation.

Step 8 – Don’t get distracted

If you are very focused for a short burst of time, you will get more done and stay motivated to do more than if you allow yourself to get bored or distracted. Don’t allow yourself to do anything else in the allotted time. Turn on a timer and get going – no toilet breaks, don’t answer the phone, don’t check your e-mail – just FOCUS!

Step 9 – Get an organizing buddy

Buddy up with a friend who is similarly disorganized. Make your list of problem areas together and agree to schedule in 10 minute sessions per day. Contact each other to ensure you are sticking to the plan and to offer support. Alternatively agree to organize together (as long as you won’t get distracted) – one day at your house and another day at hers. You could even just ask a friend to check up on your progress and to cheer on your successes.

I’d love to hear how you stay motivated on your ‘how to get organized‘ journey. Please leave me a comment.

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Photo credit: exfordy.

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