Do you ever feel like you’re behind in your organizing routine?
Maybe you went on a sunny vacation and came back with a stack of mail to sort? Or, perhaps you skipped a few days in the 100 Day All Home Program?
You might feel anxious, worried, or even a little guilty. But, here’s the truth…
After you start, it’s physically impossible for you to be behind in organizing.
Don’t believe me?
Listen to this episode of the Organize 365 podcast to find out why your organizing journey is more like an endless escalator than a staircase with an infinitive first and last step.
The Organizational Journey
To put all of this into perspective, I want you to think about organizing in a similar way to how a baby learns to crawl, walk, and run.
In the beginning, a baby will learn how to crawl on the floor. In organization land, this is basically you when you’re decluttering your house.
Next, the baby might stand up and take a few steps while holding onto furniture for support. This is when you’ve reached out for help and taken the first steps in organizing (congratulations, by the way!).
Maybe you signed up for the 100 Day All Home Program, or perhaps you hired a professional organizer to help you out. It’s all going well because you’ve got that extra support and encouragement.
Eventually, the baby lets go of the coffee table and starts taking its first steps on its own. Granted, they’re wobbly steps, and the baby looks a little like a duckling with its bottom stuck out and arms flying everywhere. But, at least they’re finally walking unaided, right? Sure, they might fall a lot but they’re making progress, just like you.
When you “go it alone,” you might stumble and even feel like giving up at times. But you’ll get there. Soon, you’ll organize all the main areas of your life so well that when you return to re-organize them the following year, it won’t take you half as long.
As you go through your organizational journey, your skills, or “organizational muscles” as I like to call them, will continue to develop and grow.
And, like the baby in this analogy, eventually you’ll start running.
Organizing is Hard. Productivity is Fun!
In Episode 251, I talked about the fact that decluttering is easy. Organizing is hard. And, productivity is fun!
Once you’ve got the hang of things and you start building your organizational muscles, you’ll become so much more productive. Remember that organization is a learned skill. You can’t learn it overnight.
When you first start decluttering like a mad woman, you’ll be left with things that you’re not sure if you want to keep or not. The things that you do want to keep will need to go into containers. At this stage of your organizing journey, you’ve swapped your declutter hat for a productive one instead.
When you go through the 100 Day Home Organization Program for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming. You’ll get a lot done in your first round. You’ll declutter the house, and by the time you’re done, you’ll think, well, that should do it for another five or 10 years!
The truth is that you’ll never be done organizing!
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s not until the second or even third time through the 100 Day Home Organization Program that you start having those big “ah-ha!” moments.
You’ll discover that organizing your kitchen for the second time with the program is so much easier and fluent than the first time. You’ll have productive formulas and routines in place for your paper. And, because your processes are more streamlined, you’ll be able to get a lot more done in that 100-day time frame.
Snap Photos of your Progress
When you’re in the middle of organizing everything, it’s tough for your mind to see the progress you’re making. So, grab your camera and snap a few before and after shots.
Give yourself that instant gratification of seeing what things looked like before your inner organizing ninja got to work. You don’t need to show anybody the photos if you don’t want to. They can be there for you to look back at on those terrible days when you feel like you’re never going to be organized.
Whenever you feel that way, you can look back at the photos and see how far you’ve come. You’ll know that you have made real progress, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Be proud of yourself. You’ve decided to start living a more organized life. You’ve put the gears in motion, and you’re building organizational muscles. That is something to be proud of.
Organizing Pays You In Time
In Episode 269, I talked about the time, money, motivation trifecta that’s necessary for change. Organization always gives you more time. It doesn’t pay in cash, but it does give you the time you need to balance other areas in your life.
When you’ve got more time because you don’t need to spend hours organizing paper, you can put that time to better use.
The 100 Day All Home Program is designed to give you the freedom to live your best life without worrying about organizing your home 24/7. It gives you the tools you need to make a lasting, incremental organizational change in your home throughout the seasons.
Once you complete the program, you’ll find that the areas in your home where you spend most of your time are all better organized. But, when you’re in the heart of the action all the time, it’s easy to look around and think about all the areas lacking the standard of organized heaven that you were reaching for.
But, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that you’ve come a long way since taking those first baby steps. Your organizational muscles are growing. By the time you do the 100 Day Organization Program for the second or third time, you’ll find areas that you perhaps didn’t address the first time. And, you’ll realize that organizing comes a lot more naturally to you now.
Don’t aim for perfection, aim for progress!
Realize that reaching the perfect organized life takes time. It’s not instantaneous. But, even by taking that first baby step, you’re already ahead of the game. You’re one step closer to living a more organized life that gives you the time you need to live your best life.