Do you look at your office or home and feel totally overwhelmed by the clutter, piles, and stuff? Do you wonder where to start? Do you want to run out in terror?!
I know what it’s like to feel like your home or office is totally out of control instead of you being in control. I know that this feeling causes stress and anxiety. And, can make you a not very nice person to live or work with!
There’s hope. I work with overwhelmed people every day and help them get focused, organized, and productive in their home and office. But, you need a plan. Studies have shown that every one minute you spend planning saves ten minutes of execution.
Step 1: Get Ready
Take out your calendar and pick the date you are going to go through your entire home or office. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Have a clean sheet for each room and write the name of the room down on the top of each page.
Step 2: Identify the Areas to Organize
Begin at the front door and imagine a big clock imposed on the floor. Choose where you want 12:00 and start there. Now, look around the room clockwise writing down any area that you’re tolerating or that bothers you on that room form. Before you leave each room put a * by the area that bothers you the most in each room. Go through each room in the home or office.
Step 3: Prioritize
Take a clean sheet of paper and title it “Priority Form”. Now, transfer each priority from all the room sheets onto this paper. Look at each area and decide which one you want to tackle first. You may want to pick an easy area to have a quick success story or you may want to pick a large task to get the worst out of the way right away.
Step 4: Choose a Date
Set a date to organize this area and put it in your calendar.
Step 5: Get Ready to Take Action Look at the task that you’ve chosen to do first and decide if you'll need any supplies. If needed, break this task down into smaller tasks and number in what order you’ll do them. Write down a reward that you’re going to give yourself when you’re done. Make it a GREAT reward!
Step 6: Do It!
The day is here and you’re ready to get started. Put on some fun music, some comfortable clothes and start organizing the area. Use my S. T. A. R. T. ™ method to get organized:
Appoint a Home
Restrict to a Container
Take Back Control
Take everything out of the area that you want to organize and START. Sort though and decide what belongs there and what doesn’t. Put the items that don’t belong there in a box and bring that away later. You need to stay focused on the area that you are working on. As you’re sorting you’ll also be throwing away items and/or putting in a box for donation or a garage sale. After you’ve sorted through everything you know that whatever is left belongs in that area. You’ve just appointed a home for those items. Now, restrict them to container if possible. Use baskets in a closet, drawer divider bins in a drawer, etc. to get ‘like’ items together into a container. Step back and look at what you’ve done! You’ve just taken control back of that area of your life and it feels great!
Step 7: Reward, Relax, and Repeat
Well done! Acknowledge yourself and enjoy what you’ve just accomplished and cross this task off your Priority Form. Be sure and enjoy your reward and when ready – tackle the next task!
It’s amazing what happens when you start to get organized in your life. You’re going to feel better about yourself, have increased self confidence, and get so much more done each day. You’ll love getting organized – I guarantee it!
Elizabeth Hagen is a dynamic and inspiring productivity expert and speaker who has motivated thousands to take action and get organized. She is President of ElizabethHagen.com and works with overwhelmed people to help them get focused, organized, and more productive. Her latest book “Organize Your Life Today!” is a 4-cd set and workbook that will change your life! Subscribe to Elizabeth's free ezine “Extraordinary Results" at http://www.organizeyourlifetoday.com and receive the “Family CEO Toolkit: Organizing Your Kitchen for Extraordinary Results" as her gift to you.