The Organize 365 Story – Part 5
Home Organization Basics
I often hear from people requesting “Just tell me how to organize [XYZ] space.” I can do that, and I have done it in the 100 Day Home Organization Program where I walk you through organizing the spaces in your home in 15 minutes a day. But, as your teacher, I want you to figure out how to order your thoughts and change your mindset so that you can figure out what you need to do in order to organize your home yourself.
I will always recommend that you start with your Sunday Basket®. This ensures you have a place to collect and manage your to-dos, actionable tasks, and ideas. Learning these organizing skills and developing your Sunday Basket® will help you gain an extra 5 hours a week you can spend organizing. Having your Sunday Basket® system in place helps prevent you from getting frustrated by having to stop, handle life, and then re-start your organizing energy.
Home Organization Perspective
When it comes to organization, we overestimate what we can do in one weekend of focused organizational effort, but underestimate what one year of consistent continued day to day organization will produce. When working towards organization, you need to have a marathon mindset. For almost everyone, the Organize 365 transformational journey takes 12-18 months.
When you are first starting out, you can often power through a weekend or a week off work and wrangle your home back to working order. The more responsibility and people you add to the mix, the longer it can take to achieve organization. Back in 2002, when I needed to get my home and life under control, it took me 18 months to get organized. If you are transitioning between life phases or have recently experienced a difficult unexpected event, it can be hard to achieve organization.
I want you to focus on having realistic expectations about how long it will take you to get organized. It definitely does not happen overnight, but it does happen. On our Wednesday Transformation Podcasts, people share how one day they suddenly realized they had achieved organization in at least one portion of their home and life. You do not have to do the 100 Day Program perfectly for it to work, but consistency in your organizing efforts will move the needle. The 100 Day Program is set up so you repeat it three times each year and keep moving forward toward becoming an organized person.
There are NO Organizing Police
Each of us can be influenced by what we think others think about us. How we make decisions can be clouded by the expectations we put on ourselves or the stress we experience by the real or imagined voices of our mother, mother-in-law, friends, or neighbors. We imagine that other people “know” the right way to organize or are judging our decisions. My goal is to help you get to a decluttered, organized, and functional home. The reality is that other people do not think about you that much.
I want you to feel free to discard gifts, refinish furniture, or organize your home in whatever way works for you and your family. The more bold you are with making your home what you want it to be, the more comfortable you will be living in it and the more you will love it. People will feel the energy of your love and will enjoy being in your home.
As yourself: what would you do if you weren’t worried about what other people thought?
Progress Over Perfection
When I encourage you to focus on progress over perfection, I want you to just get started and take the next step. We are not trying to get to perfect. I want you to make your home functionally organized so you have more time to do the things you are uniquely created to do.
Focus on your progress – take the next step. Focus on what you see in front of you to declutter, organizer, or update to improve your home for the people that live there. (Remember, there are no organizing police!)
Ask yourself: what is the next step I can take to make progress on my home?
There are NO Organizing Emergencies
I created this rule for my team. If I am honest, I also created this rule for myself so that I was able to keep things in perspective. Things will always go wrong in our lives – in both home and business. These things may be inconvenient, but a website link breaking is not an emergency. We fix things as soon as we can, but I no longer create chaos in my company with manufactured emergencies.
I want you to avoid creating chaos in your own life. When you are getting ready for guests, prioritize what areas will be seen, be realistic about what needs to be done, and close off the other areas. You can also choose to prioritize areas that are making you crazy, and decide to delay the rest. It can be easy to feel like we need to have every area clean and ready immediately. Focus on making your home as good as it can get.
Ask yourself: Is this a true emergency or am I creating chaos?
The 24 Hour Rule
In 2002 when I worked on getting my home and life organized, I realized I had a lot of clutter from collections and projects I wanted to do one day. I had some guilt about these undone projects and lots of good ideas that I did not have the time or energy to get done. I love to collect ideas – recipes, crafts, teaching ideas – even when I do not have a way to use them. The 24 Hour Rule is going to free you up from all the things that you might do, should do, could do, or want to do someday. Instead, it’ll teach you to focus on today.
The “24 Hour Rule” is a rule I impose upon myself – When I find a great idea, I ask myself “Can I do this within 24 hours?” If an idea is that good, I take action on it within 24 hours. Following this rule has allowed me to reduce guilt and to give myself permission to let go of things that are good ideas that are not actually going to get done. This has helped me to avoid or delay unnecessary purchases and to stop adding new obligations and expectations on my time and energy. I no longer buy, print, or save things unless I am going to take action on them within the next 24 hours. For books, I am even stricter. With immediate electronic delivery, I have to be ready to start reading a book right now before purchasing. However, I do not put pressure on myself to finish books. For me, buying books is the least expensive way to educate myself and I am willing to risk not loving something – as long as I start reading.
Ask yourself: Can I take action on this (idea, project, recipe, book, etc.) within the next 24 hours?
Learn more about the 24 Hour Rule in Podcast Episode 196