Monday, January 03, 2011

Get Organized (GO) Part One: Time

Part One of a Four-Part Series on Getting Organized from local professional cleaner and organizer, Jeanie Bigham:

January is Get Organized Month (GO Month), the professional organizing industry's national event dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized and of hiring a professional organizer. So here I am, Jeanie, your professional organizer, (hold on a moment while I laugh hysterically, ok all better).

As I look around at my messy desk and think of my chaotic schedule this week, saying professional organizer makes me laugh; however, I will admit the word “organizing” does not make my stomach turn like most people.  In fact, the word makes me excited. I love to organize everything from my utensil drawer to a party. I have often told people I have a problem. I love to clean and I love to organize. I know many of you wish you had that same problem. So here are some of my thoughts to help you get started. You could save time and skip this article and give me a call. However, I cannot organize everything in your life so you just may want to read on.

There are 4 big hurdles that many of us face when it comes to organizing:
  • Time (“I don't have the time to organize!”)
  • Money (“I don't have money to go buy (blank) to organize my stuff.”)
  • Space (“I don't have space in my home to keep things organized.”) 
  • Ourselves (“But Hey! I might need that!”)
Have you ever heard those words come out of your mouth or go through your head? Yes you have! Even I have.

Getting Organized Hurdle #1: TIME
“Time is what we want most, but... what we use worst.“ ~William Penn

We need to organize our time so we can organize everything else. Easier said then done. Organizing time has always been where I have the most trouble.

One thing that has helped me overcome this hurdle is the dreaded “list”. Just saying the word “LIST” makes me cringe. I sound like my mother: “Did you make your list?” I heard that question every morning from age 12 to 18. But my mother knew what she was talking about. If I don't make a list I find myself running around, with lack of a better saying, “like a chicken with it's head cut off”, going from one thing to the next not really knowing if anything is even getting done.

So my first tip is:
  • Make a list. Yes now...go do it! Yes, I know lists take time to write. You are taking time to read this article, so stop, go get a piece of paper and notebook, or even easier open up your word processor and do it.
    • Write down a list of things you want to organize.
    • Brainstorm; it does not have to be an organized list. That would just be crazy. An organized list of organizing; that is something that will put you in the looney bin.
    • Write down everything that comes to your head, from organizing your sock drawer to your daily schedule.
      • From this list you can make more lists and get a little more organized in thought.
    • You do not do this all in one sitting, mind you. If you want, hang up a piece of paper on your fridge so that anytime you walk by and think of something you can write it down.
    • Go down the list one item at a time. You can work on organizing that item for the day, the week, or the month.
    • You may need to break some items up. If you said organize the kitchen, that can include many things: cupboards, fridge, recipe books etc.
  • Take one item at a time as well. When you make one small thing your focus it will not feel so overwhelming. Don't worry if it takes you a month. But if a month passes and you still have not finished organizing that item you may need to come back and move on to the next item.
One of my favorite websites in organizing time is Fly Lady. Check it out! It's free!

If you need any help making a list or help organizing you can always contact me!

If you get overwhelmed give me a call. It's always a good idea to get an outside person with no attachments to your stuff to help you organize. To check out me and my cleaning/organizing business, go to my website. I will gladly come to your rescue!

Jeanie Bigham

CLICK HERE for Part Two: Money
CLICK HERE for Part Three: Space
CLICK HERE for Part Four: Ourselves

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