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Top 5 Organizing Blunders and How to Avoid Them

Why is it so hard to feel organized?  You may be blundering your approach to organizing, that’s why.  These are the top 5 blunders and how to avoid falling into their organizing traps.

  1. Shopping First: Many times we find organizing inspiration in the aisles of our favorite stores.  Instead of buying organizing products first, cleaning out the unwanted items in your space comes first.   Let’s take a closet for example, you can buy hangers, baskets and shoe racks for everything in the closet.  If you only wear 50% of your clothes, you are storing and organizing a lot of things that you could remove from the space.  Once the clean out is done, then you can get any needed supplies but you might find you already have plenty.
  2. Over Organizing:  A good system is one you can maintain.  If you struggle with disorganization and create systems that require to many steps to maintain, then the system will most likely fail.  Let’s take a pantry for example, you can set up your pantry with cute labeled containers for your pasta, grains, cereal and other dry items. It’ll look great to start, and maybe for a few months.  Then you get busy and start setting groceries next to the containers to fill later.  Soon you realize you have a bunch of empty containers not being used in your pantry.  If you struggle with organizing, it’s very important to keep your solutions simple for the most success.
  3. Dedicate a Day to Organize:  If you set aside a day to work on a big organizing project, you might find yourself continually procrastinating the project.  Most times that’s because there’s something better (aka more fun) to do with that time.  You will have more success if you break the project into smaller pieces.  Tackle a shelf, cabinet or drawer each week.  This keeps you moving forward without getting overwhelmed about the big project.
  4. Struggling with a System that Works for Your Friend:  Your friend finds a perfect solution to help her organize a space.  You see it, love it and try it but for some reason it just doesn’t work for you.  You beat yourself up and feel like you will never be organized.  Sound familiar?  Solutions need to be customized for every person.  Our brains process different so what works for one person, might not work for someone else. Take it easy on yourself and figure out what works for you and the way you process. 
  5. A Picture Perfect Space:  We all want spaces that look nice, but you have to find a balance between a space that is staged and a space that is livable.  If you have ever looked at a picture online or in a magazine of a space and wanted your space to be organized like the picture, you may have unrealistic expectations.  This can lead to frustration no matter how organized you are.  For example, a nice picture of a kitchen doesn’t account for the mail coming into the space, kids doing their homework there or a meal being prepped.  That’s living and also cluttering a kitchen.  If the everyday living frustrates you then take a step back.  The other people living in your home are not enjoying the expectation that the space always looks picture perfect.  Keep it real and enjoy living in your spaces.

These tips by Amy Tokos, CPO® founder of Freshly Organized and President of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals

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