January brings a season of newness. We start the year off with a desire to be more organized, more fit, to eat healthier, to be better parents, and to be more intentional. As time passes though, we lose sight of our intent and those desires go out the window. Months may go by and your house is still in disorder, but it doesn’t have to happen!
Why do people fail at organizing? I’ve come up with 5 reasons why.
It’s so important to have a plan before tackling something. It’s easy to scour Pinterest for organizational tips and never actually implement them. Without a plan, you’re doomed to fail. So to help you, I’ve created a simple free printable to get you started – The 35 Step Clutter Challenge.
This printable will walk you through the first step to getting organized which is decluttering. The printable has 35 decluttering tips to get you started on the road to organizing your entire home. You can accomplish them in any order and take the time you need to complete them although the intention is to have it completed within 35 days. Each day includes a check box to help you track your progress.
Decluttering is something the entire family can join in on. If you have children, they can help too! Turn it into a game. I’ve attached a free game sheet where you can keep track of each family member’s participation. Sit down as a family and come up with a prize and a goal for completion.
I’ve attached a free Clutter Challenge Game and Rule Sheet for you to use if you’d like to involve the entire family.
Keep in mind that organizing can be something you accomplish over a period of time. It doesn’t have to happen over a weekend or even over a month. Take the first step and then go from there. You’ll be so glad you did!
2. You try to do too much at one time and get burnt out
I don’t know about you, but browsing through Pinterest usually leaves me feeling pretty inspired. I see all these organized spaces and want mine to look just as good. I jump in with two feet, without a plan, and start tackling a project only to become overwhelmed and not finishing it.
Most of us are busy and trying to stick to a strict calendar just sets us up for failure. In contrast, not having a plan at all can also set us up for failure.
I would suggest that you make this a year of organization. Don’t try to overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much at one time. Focus on one room each month. Think about what you use the space for, what isn’t working and what is, what will be needed to make it more organized, and how much time it will take to save for, acquire, and accomplish your plan.
3. Think you need a lot of money to organize
I’ll be honest, eventually it will helpful to invest some money into some things that will make you better organized. Baskets, buckets, shelves, etc. are all great ways of making spaces into more efficient, tidy, beautiful places. Unfortunately, many of us do not have the money to invest in that right now. We’re lucky if we have enough to pay our electric bill this month.
The good news is, even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in organization, there are still many things you can do. Take some time to look around your home for things you already have that can be used. Also, head out to some garage sales/yard sales and second-hand stores. Another idea is to create a post through Facebook asking for containers/buckets/baskets that other people just don’t want anymore. It’s a win/win! They declutter and you get organized!
4. You have too much stuff
Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination. – Christina Scalise
The fact is that the more stuff you have, the more challenging it is to organize it. If your goal really is to get organized, you’re going to have to force yourself to declutter. This means thinking seriously about the items that are taking space in your home. Ask yourself:
- When is the last time I used this?
- Does it fit me or fit in with the design of my home?
- Am I holding on to it for sentimental reasons?
- Do I love it?
- Do I need it?
From there, you create three boxes.
Rule 1: Don’t look at things a second time
Rule 2: Once something goes in a box, it doesn’t come back out.
Rule 3: Don’t overthink it
5. You don’t develop good systems
What is a system? It’s an organized process that prevents chaos. Some examples of systems within the home are:
Where are they stored?
How are they put away?
How often are they sorted through?
What are your organizational expectations for your children?
Taxes, pay stubs, bills, greeting cards, letters, junk mail, packages, etc. We all get mail and we all have to make a decision as to whether that mail should be kept or tossed. Then, if you have decided to keep it, how long should you keep it for? What is your system for ensuring paperwork doesn’t build up? Where do you put papers when they come in to your home?
How often do you purge your cabinets, pantry, and refrigerator?
How are groceries organized?
Is your organization efficient or do you find yourself ordering the same grocery item over and over again resulting in duplicates?
How often do you purge clothing and accessories?
Do you organize your closet every season?
If you organize by season, where are your out of season clothes stored?
Do you have a one-thing-in one-thing-out policy? If not, do you need one?
Do you have rules in place to prevent clutter (such as not wearing an item for a year resulting in donation?)
There are many different systems in your home. It’s important that you create some because if you don’t, all this hard work organizing your home will be for naught. Who wants to work this hard for nothing? The point in all this is that it’s one thing to pin pictures on Pinterest, but it’s another thing to actually accomplish something.
So those are 5 reasons I have found that people fail at organizing. Will you join me? It’s okay that it’s February and everyone says that January is the month of organization. It’s okay if it takes you the rest of the year. It’s okay if you move at a snail’s pace. The important thing is that you make a plan, stick to it, and take it one day at a time.