what not to do when organizing your home

Like most people, you may have told yourself, “This is the day I’m going to get organized.”  Maybe you’re going to be more efficient or you’d like to be less stressed throughout the day.  Maybe your goal is simply to have more “me” time.

I’m sure you’ve seen thousands of organizing tips online or in magazines and can’t wait to begin organizing! But what about the things you should not do when you’re trying to tackle the chaos in your home?

There are many common mistakes people can make or misconceptions they may have as they begin to organize their spaces. These tips can help you stay focused and reach your goals.

  1. Rome wasn’t built in one day. We all want instant gratification. We might be hard on ourselves because we aren’t seeing results fast enough, and that could easily cause frustration. When you begin a project, know that it will take time. Once you have decluttered and implemented systems, keep in mind that maintenance is 80% of being organized. Remember, your new system is far more efficient than your last one!

  2. Determine Your Overall Goal.  Do you want to find things more easily? Maybe you want less clutter on your countertops. Are your closets bursting at the seams? Do you find yourself buying too much food because you don’t know what's in your pantry? Whatever the circumstance is, define it.  Often times people just want to be organized but have no clear vision on how to make that happen.  Once you have your goal, then you can determine how you are going to achieve it.  

  3. Complete Each Task. I Repeat… Complete!! You’re in the middle of a great organizing session. You have tossed a lot and have a few piles ready for donation.  But now it’s time to pick the kids up from school, or maybe you have to run out for a doctor’s appointment and all of the sudden, you don’t have time to finish what you started. Next time you set out to organize, set a timer. It can be one on your phone, or one of my personal favorites, Time Timer.  Be sure to set the timer for 20-30 minutes before you actually have to stop for the day. This will allow you time to take your garbage out and put your bags of donations in the car. You’ve gotten so far in the process, don’t let the easy part set you back!

  4. Organize First. Buy Second. Walking the aisles of Target this time of year, or any time for that matter, can be dangerous. Look at all those pretty bins and baskets!  STOP! One of the biggest misconceptions in organizing is, “If I buy this then I’ll be organized.” That is not true. Clear the clutter first and then decide what bins and baskets you need. Start by purchasing a few containers and add more as needed. The last thing you want are empty containers cluttering your new found space!

  5. Done is Better Than Perfect. HGTV does a wonderful job staging homes for their magazine but let’s be honest, a real family doesn’t live in that space. I have been in a lot of homes, none of which look like the picture perfect ad in a magazine. Remember, the goal is not to strive for perfection but to organize so the space functions for you. Strive to a create a space that can be lived in and loved in! I promise you will enjoy that much more than perfection.