Organizing Tip: Get Rid of Your “Organizing Shadow”

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Image of trees and sun in fogToday is February 2nd, otherwise known here in the U.S. as Groundhog Day. As the legend goes, if the groundhog comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter; if the groundhog does not see his shadow, spring will come early.*

Have an old organizing project at home or the office that is overshadowing your daily life?

Looking to clear out clutter and get ready for the spring?

Today’s tip is inspired by Groundhog Day and encourages you to rid yourself of a wintry “organizing shadow” for a springtime filled with growth.

Find your “organizing shadow”

Not every organizing project is an immediate success or even plain old success! You sometimes have to go through a series of trials and errors to find out what systems and approaches to organizing work best for you. That being said, what “organizing shadow” do you have at home or work that’s been bothering you for some time? This might be some organizing project or materials you started/purchased once upon a time, but are no longer in use/useful to you. For example, you might have purchased a paper planner with the best of intentions, but later found it wasn’t for you as you couldn’t stand the layout of the planner (the planner is still taking up valuable real estate on your desk).

Cut ties from the shadow.

Find ways to finally cut yourself free from the “organizing shadow” that is haunting you:

  • Clean out old organizing, time management and productivity applications that you downloaded to your computer/and or phone but no longer use or like to use
  • Get rid of organizing products or office supplies you do not like or are not your organizing style. Donate items to a charity or school, or give them to a friend that would be happy to receive said items
  • Donate or recycle books, magazines, CDs or any other organizing tools or systems that no longer serve their purpose for you or that you have outgrown in your organizing journey

Go easy on yourself!

Letting go of a past organizing project, system or item does not make you a failure in the realm of being a more organized person. Rather, it is a very mature act in which you declare, “This system not match with my organizing personality, I’m going to find one that does,” or “I once thought this would help me become more organized, but things have changed and I no longer need it,” or “I’m ready to try out a new way of keeping things in order in my life.” Letting go of your old “organizing shadows” will let you sooner welcome a springtime of organizing growth into your life.

*In all fairness, whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow is a bit of a moot point as the spring equinox officially begins in roughly six weeks. Obviously for the purposes of this exercise I’m entertaining the legend of the groundhog’s predictions. It’s been said that groundhogs are fairly accurate in their predictions 75% to 90% to of the time (click here for the Groundhog Day entry in Wikipedia).

Now to you…what “organizing shadows” are you going to finally let go of this year?      Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.