When my husband and I moved in together, I would end up tossing out small notes that would sit on the kitchen counter for days, with no understanding that the notes were part of his system for keeping track of things. Obviously, we were operating on two different organizing methods, and we needed to better merge our systems together.
Getting organized is not about being perfect, it is about making things run efficiently and work well. The best-organized systems are simple but very subjective depending on the person involved. What works well for one person, may not work for another.
There are many ways to deal with our stuff. Some of us like surfaces cleared off with items tucked in drawers and some of us like our possessions to surround us. Either way works but when does it become a problem?
- When stuff begins to affect your peace of mind and induce stress, such as when you are consistently late (for things) or missing deadlines
- If you are constantly searching for things.
- When possessions take over the items you most enjoy. That becomes overwhelming.
- When it becomes a safety issue. Clutter can contribute to tripping and falling, especially as we age.
Unfortunately, time is not on our side. The longer you wait to deal with stuff the more it piles up. As well, you do not know how your physical or mental health will hold up in the future. So, how can you motivate yourself to move forward?
- Break down the task and focus on one area at a time. If it bothers you, cover up areas you are not working on.
- Schedule it into your calendar. Decide when you are doing it and stick to it. Break down the item so that it is small enough to complete in a chunk of time, say a Saturday or weekend. If you do not schedule it in, other things will get in the way.
- Limit choices to keep, toss or give away. Remind yourself that giving away items can help others in need or that selling items online or by consignment can financially benefit you.
After 23 years, my husband and I have come a long way and our organizing systems have become more compatible, but it takes time. Organizing is not a one-time thing. Like a marriage that is molded over time and takes effort and attention to keep it operating well, so too does an organizing system take time to establish. Success is just around the corner. A good marriage of organization and compromise.