Do you to make this whole organizing thing, you know, actually happen? For real? For you? Here are five keys I’ve found that have already made a difference in my life. I hope they will help make organizing actually happen for you!
#1 You Can Only Do What You Can Do
Kind of obvious. On paper.
Not so obvious in real life.
You know the perfect solution. The right system, the best storage containers, more shelves in your closet.
And you can’t have it. You don’t have the money (anybody else out there not even have a dollar store budget?). You don’t have the stuff (you know, like cereal boxes, and canning jars, and pretty paper?). You don’t have the skills (yeah, right—like I would actually refinish a dresser . . . .).
So you give up?
If you want to make organizing actually happen, NO.
Small budget? It’s been done. Blessed order has been achieved without a ton of money. No budget? Never fear, there is always something you can do to improve your home (and yourself). Even if you can’t afford cereal boxes. . . .
Take stock. If you can’t seem to do anything, look deeper. Keep looking until you find some change that will make things a little bit better.
Dream less, do more.
#2 It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect
Perfect is good. The perfect organizing solution is certainly something to aim for. But perfect isn’t always possible, and it’s almost never achieved on the first try. Don’t wait for the perfect solution. Do what works, do what you can do, perfect or not. Don’t hyper-focus on making one thing perfect while the rest of your life is in chaos. Just don’t.
Perfection isn’t a bad thing but it’s not meant to be “used” that way. If you can achieve something that works great in every way (which is what perfect is), that’s, well, GREAT!
You know what’s NOT great? Sacrificing GOOD, or BETTER, or even OKAY to a fantasy PERFECT.
Strive for improvement.
#3 Everything Doesn’t Have to Happen at Once
It takes time to get organized. Time to figure out what to do. Time to create, time to buy, time to save money to buy. Time to develop new habits.
It’s an ongoing journey, not the project of a day, or a week, or a month. If your resources are limited, a full home transformation can’t even happen in the next year.
I’m not saying this to be discouraging. What I want you to know is this: Just keep going. The fact that you haven’t yet reached your destination doesn’t mean that you should sit down.
Be patient. Patience and giving up are not the same thing. If you want organizing to actually happen, keep working at it. Forever, basically.
#4 It Doesn’t Have to Be Beautiful
You know all those gorgeous pictures of awesome organizing solutions—the pretty planning systems, neat closets, offices and craft rooms with scrumptious personality? The ones you pin on Pinterest? The ones you wish you could have but know you simply can’t do right now? The pretty stuff you don’t have the money or talent for?
Pretty isn’t necessary.
Wait! Don’t argue with me (like I would do if I was the reader and not the writer of this post)! Let me explain. Beauty is good. Pretty organization works better. It’s easier to create and easier to use, not to mention that beauty in itself is a good thing. But it’s not necessary.
Beauty and order go together— but order isn’t dependent on beauty. Can’t make it pretty? Do it anyway. Don’t sacrifice order, neatness, time, and peace of mind for “pretty.”
Ugly solutions can totally work. I know. From experience. Hang in there, despite the lack of prettiness.
#5 You Have to Change
Good storage systems and a good time management system are necessary for organization to really work best. But it’s not what you have that makes the biggest difference: it’s what you do.
It’s how you think about your stuff.
It’s how you choose to spend your time.
It’s whether or not you put things where they go.
It’s whether or not you follow the order you have established for yourself.
In order for organizing to actually happen, you have to get past the barriers in your head. You also have to get past the barriers in your head that prevent you from removing or working around the barriers outside your head (like lack of space, lack of money, and lack of knowledge).
No organizing solution will completely counteract a messy mind with messy habits.
No organizing solution can be achieved without steadfastly working through the challenges you face until you achieve something that truly works.
No organizing solution will work for you if you don’t implement it and don’t use it.
No pretty pictures, no amazing blog posts, no storage containers, no crafty goodness, no skill, no money, will transform your life unless you are willing to be a part of that process—part of that which is transformed.
The Bottom Line
If you want organizing to actually happen, don’t let anything get in your way. Do what you can actually do, even if it’s not perfect, even if it’s not pretty. Keep working at it. Change your thinking and change your habits.
Every little bit is worth it.
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