Sometimes, most times and especially for us creatives who are the Easily Distracted…the hardest part about getting organized is taking that very first step…Getting Started!
For those who’ve responded – I knew you were out there! I knew there were wonderful Kindred Spirits out there! Hey! Let’s celebrate us! We’re the creative ones, we’re the ones who appreciate and create beauty! The word needs us! The world needs all of the Squirrels in this world. We don’t have to change any part of ourselves to become organized! We can do it our way!
So…How then, do we creative, collectors who are easily distracted by the long list of tasks we give ourselves…how do we take that first step to get started…?
Know You Can Do This
You can! Really! We can! I think what we do to ourselves is we overwhelm ourselves. The lists we have whether on paper or running through our minds – can seem enormous because we LIST them. We think: I need to clean the kitchen cabinets; I need to declutter the laundry room; I need to clean out the linen closet; I need to clear out the junk drawers; and just where is that pair of scissors I just had for that last project? When put together all of our tasks and to do’s become a mountain we perceive as too hard to climb…We can’t even see ourselves taking the first step. So, Don’t let your lists intimidate you! Tackle those lists.
Put Your Big To Do Items Separately on a Board with Sticky Notes
We creatives are visual people…we can see things we wish to create…so, I know we can see ourselves getting our organizational tasks in order.
I like using a large – very large if you can find one – poster Board. Take colorful sticky notes – as many colors as you can find – shades of colors.
- Identify Your Big Tasks –
- kitchen clutter
- bathroom clutter
- bedroom clutter
- laundry room clutter
etc…With your Sticky notes select a color for each room with various lighter colors for the tasks to go beneath. Put these on the top of your poster board. Then break down each area into medium sized tasks. For instance – kitchen clutter – to – pantry – to refrigerator – to pot cabinet/drawer – to plastic container (I have a love/hate relationship with these – they’re the worst! Like socks – too many lids – not enough containers!) You get the idea.
Then, take each medium task and downsize them to smaller doable tasks. The Pantry for example. Divide that into categories – baking, can goods, spices, boxed goods, plastic bags, foil, parchment paper etc…
Get it! Take your big bite sized tasks break them down to half sized then doable bite sizes.
After you’ve taken all of your Big Tasks and broken them down to doable tasks. Now…the part of the plan…
Another stumbling block to getting organized is overwhelming ourselves with trying to do too much at one time – IF and this is a BIG IF you can tackle a whole room – you don’t have any other obligations for a full day and you can finish what you start – go for it girl! But, remember, do a task that you can begin AND finish! You will have things left over, though. These are the things that you’ve identified that need to go to another room. Those are boxed away – and I suggest delegating a room for temporary housing – a guest bedroom perhaps. That can be the last room you tackle in your whole-house organization plan.
Scheduling...Print a blank calendar for the month. Fill in all of the must do tasks. Appointments; daily chores, weekly chores, places to go, people to see, etc…Put those things first. Then, see how many days have blocks of time that you can dedicate to your organizing project. Perhaps you have a block of 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there and an hour or two at other times. Now with those areas of time identified…look at your poster board with broken down tasks.
This is when you’re realistic with yourself. Realistically, how long would it take for you to start decluttering a cabinet; clean it out; reorganize what goes back in and discard or rearrange what goes elsewhere? If you’ve no clue, try one task – time yourself with your phone or watch. You may be surprised. Actually -this is one of my ways of giving focused time to a task. I like to time myself. It’s a way to get things done and see just how much time it really takes!
O.K., you’ve broken down your Big tasks to doable tasks…You’ve identified blocks of time in your monthly schedule when you can dedicate to decluttering/organizing…it’s time to begin!
So, You’ve identified your tasks, whittled them down, set a schedule…now the How To.
- small boxes – banker box size or reams of paper size from the office supply store or get boxes from a store
- trash bags – both small and large
- sticky notes
- Sharpie markers
- cleaning material – cleanser and cloths
- broom, dust pan and or vacuum
- proper clothes for cleaning (I’ve ruined so many clothes from cleaning, gardening and crafting in the wrong clothes!)
- pen and paper
Go! Set your boxes out. Label your boxes – Stay, Other Room, Donate, Store, etc…Trash goes in trash bags. You can also put things to donate in bags as well
Take everything out at once. THEN sort. Clean the cabinet – line with lovely paper if you wish. Discard anything broken that can’t be repaired, or that is outdated.
Next….tackling the huge task of paring down, editing and the difficulty of whittle down cherished collections and possessions!
I’ll share more about that in my next post. These are big steps here – and you’ll love the knowledge that you’re on your way to getting your things organized!
Did you miss the first two posts?
Getting Organized – Where to Start