Are you looking to organize your life in the most effective way possible?
Do you want to avoid errors and minimize mistakes while doing so?
While you may be focusing on finding the right file folders for your home office, making a comprehensive spring cleaning checklist, or decluttering your living quarters from top to bottom, you may lose sight of the bigger picture when it comes to managing your things.
It’s extremely important to remember that becoming more organized is a process.
As with almost any process in life, you’ll learn things about your stuff, and your space…and you’ll probably make some innocent mistakes along the way.
Don’t let this fact cast a shadow of doubt on you and your hard work.
Everyone makes mistakes — including yours truly! 🙂
The best thing that you can do when you make a mistake, is to acknowledge it, learn that lesson, and get on with your life…
In this post, I cover three organizing mistakes you may be making on a daily basis.
These common mistakes will offer you some food for thought as you go about getting organized.
You may be needlessly fighting yourself and your work!
Remember, it doesn’t matter what mistakes you make. The most important thing is that you learn from your mistakes.
“Everyone will understand my method of organization.”
Your system of color-coded manila folders in your home office may make perfect sense to you. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will automatically make sense to someone else. Just because something is organized in a particular manner, doesn’t mean it is easily accessible or understandable by others.
People have different methods of organizing materials and information. No one organization method is better than another. Some people are more visual, while others are not. Some people find alphabetized items more helpful, while others do not.
How to handle it: Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Remember, someone else will approach your filing system from an entirely different viewpoint. Be prepared to explain your system in clear and simple terms. What does it do? What problem does it solve? What’s the single most important thing someone else should know about the system?
“There will always be storage space for something…somewhere.”
You can always stuff more clothes, magazines, and craft materials into your bedroom, living room, basement, or attic. The only question is, what will this overzealous stuffing to do your quality of life?
Do you want to enjoy your living space, or do you want to constantly be hindered by mounds of stuff? Do you want to easily move from room to room in your home, or trip over items and mutter under your breath as you pass through doorways?
While there are tons of organization tips and storage tips available to you, a room, house, apartment, or an office can only hold a finite amount of things.
How to handle it: Make a point to regularly declutter or remove items you no longer want, use, or need. You may also want to practice the one-in-one-out rule. Instead of trying to make new purchases “fit” into your home’s storage space, make an exchange. Simply exchange an older item for a new one: if you purchase a brand-new blazer, be sure to donate one of your older, gently used blazers to a local charity.
“Everything has to be in perfect order before I can organize things.”
The good news is that you can start anywhere when it comes to being more organized. You don’t have to wait for a particular time of day, season or circumstance; you can just simply begin! All it takes is your commitment to get started, right here, right now.
When it comes to living a more organized life, it’s important to remember that there is no such thing as living in perfection. Even highly organized people are constantly retuning and refining their own systems. Perfection is something you aspire to, not how you live. The single most important thing that you can do in your quest to live a more organized life, is to simply get started.
How to handle it: Instead of focusing on organizing everything in your life, shift your attention to a single goal. If you want to become better organized at home, don’t try to organize all of your belongings in one day. Choose a small project to work on, say, cleaning out the kitchen pantry, or decluttering your closet. Little steps lead to great things.
How about you? What organizing mistakes have you made? What lessons have you learned? How are you going to use this new information to better organize your life? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2014.