Are you ready to organize your life? Are you willing to get real and let go of the millions of reasons why you don’t do it or can’t do it? I’m not a huge fan of the drill sergeant approach but sometimes we all need some tough talk and a kick in the pants . . . and this is particularly true of excuses not to get organized.
No ‘buts’ about it
Excuses do a number on our brains and our psyches. They start with a positive statement of a desire or outcome; this feels good. But then the intention gets undermined by an almighty ‘but’ of why this is impossible; it feels bad. What happens when we make an excuse is that we give away our power over our lives and our environment. We allow the excuse to have power over us. But it doesn’t have to be this way, we’re not helpless. Once you organize your life, you get to take back your personal power.
Here are the top four excuses I hear from my clients. Full disclosure, I’ve used every single one of them myself so I know whereof I speak.:
Excuse 1: I’d love to get organized but . . . I haven’t got the time
I get it, time is short. But as a trainer friend of mine says about fitness, “The people who really want to get fit will find the time to work out. Those who don’t will come up with an excuse for why they can’t.” As much as I worship at the altar of Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I disagree with her on one point and that is that organizing has to be done in one giant session. Even Marie Kondo’s “one session” can take several months. Personally, I like creating motivation and momentum with small victories done sequentially. For example, if you tackle a drawer a day, in a few weeks they’ll all be sorted (see my blog on Small Spaces). While I believe multi-tasking is a one-way ticket to inefficiency and insanity, I do make one big exception and that is with television. What better way to go through your makeup, clean out your sock drawer, organize your scarves or even fold laundry (neatly and precisely like Sheldon on the Big Bang Theory, right?) than during an Orange is a New Black binge? A friend of mine has this down to a science. She sorts and folds as she watches, then during the title sequence of the next episode runs to put the ordered items away and grab up another lot without even having to press pause.
Excuse 2: I’d love to get organized but . . . I don’t know where to start
I say start small. Begin with a small space like a junk drawer or the medicine cabinet. Get some success under your belt and work up to bigger projects that may take more courage, time and effort.
Excuse 3: I’d love to get organized but . . . I can’t afford all the storage supplies I need.
To be sure, there’s nothing like a spending spree at The Container Store or Bed, Bath and Beyond to get the organizing juices flowing. But this can be a trap in and of itself. Shopping for organizing goodies is the last step in your project. There are many options for low cost supplies but chances are you already have everything you need right in your home. And it doesn’t cost a dime to sort and purge NOW. (Plus, if you’re an eBay or Craigslist seller, you can use the profits to fund pretty storage containers later down the road.)
Excuse 4: I’d love to get organized but . . . I have to wait until (fill in the blank)
This is the big daddy of them all. I call it holding your organizing hostage to some future event that may or may not come. I heard this one once from a mother who said, “I’d love to get organized but I have to wait until my son starts kindergarten.” Fair enough but how old was her boy? Eight months old! So in effect, mom was saying she’d have to live in chaos for nearly FIVE MORE YEARS!
Every one of us is given a day, each day of our lives. Ask yourself if you want all the clutter and all the junk to weigh you down from day to day. What if you could lighten your load so that tomorrow there was a little less mess than there was today? And what if you repeated this a few days a week? Well, you can organize your life and the time to start is NOW. Remember, even a small step is a step in the right direction, particularly if it’s followed by another step. So what are you waiting for?
I love to see the solutions people create. Post them here and tag #OrganizedBE. For more tips on organizing your life, subscribe to my blog.