What is your organizing style? What is your natural flow?
Organizing clutter successfully is all about working WITH your habits and WITH your natural flow. So...be yourself and we'll figure out the rest together. :)
Do you answer "yes" to one or more of the following?
If any of these situations sounds familiar,
then not to worry! You are not alone and you have NOT failed. You have,
in fact, figured out what doesn't work so use that to your advantage
One of the organizing fundamentals I emphasize a lot is implementing systems and storage solutions that work WITH your natural habits. You will never be able to stay organized otherwise, and this is typically the missing piece.
Staying organized is so hard because usually there's a lack of customization.
The first thing I do with all new clients (virtual or in-person) is ask a ton of questions in order to figure out their thought process. THEN, I come up with storage solutions that work with that natural flow. The chances of my client successfully adopting the system or keeping the organization maintained are so much higher.
For example, I have a client who tends to pile paper haphazardly. There's just so much of it from her accumulating efforts (e.g. printing articles that she wants to refer to later, action items, etc.) that it's super difficult for her to keep up with.
Because of that, she ends up piling the paper on her desk without any sort of system. The pile becomes multiple mountains that require huge organizing sessions to get through. By the time procrastination is overcome in order to sort the paper, most of it ends up getting recycled (e.g. coupons that expired, deadlines that have passed, out of date information, etc.).
She falls into the "no rules" organizing style preference and needed a very simple to maintain system for processing paper. We set up several "inboxes" that were near or on her desk to receive the different types of paper that she accumulated. For example, we set up 4 different magazine file boxes to hold her action items. Each one was labeled with the time it would take to get the action done:
As she came across a piece of paper that required action, she was able to quickly file it in the correct inbox. We also created a place for upcoming events, phone calls that needed to be made and reading. The ease with which she can put the paper in its rightful, labeled spot made the difference between a clean desk and one with mountains of paper.
So...knowing your organizing style is THE KEY to implementing solutions that you can stick with in order to get organized once and for all.
The next thing you need to do is figure out what your time and space style preferences are. My
professional organizer colleague and pal, Cena Block, came up with an
assessment tool that helps you do exactly this. It takes all of the
guessing out and makes this a straightforward process; it's superb.
It's called the Time & Space Style Inventory or TSSI, and I HIGHLY recommend it.
With the TSSI:
With the information that the TSSI provides, you will have everything you need to get organized and manage your time in ways that will stick. This is a fantastic do-it-yourself, but totally customized, solution for getting your life in order.
All you need to do now is take the next action step...do the TSSI. Have fun with it, and here's to getting organized!