Having your nails done, getting a facial, going to a spa, and or treating yourself to a fine dining experience are all services we want over and over again. These services are pleasurable and it makes one feel special, calm and fulfilled. Having a Lifestyle Organizer going through your belongings, one item at a time, may not sound like a service in the above categories, but most of my clients will tell you it is the greatest service they ever treated themselves to.
Having a home that is organized by a professional house organizer is a luxury service that you will want to experience. Having all your home items categorized and in spaces where they fit and belong makes life easier, helps you function optimally, creates an enhanced productivity and efficiency, and above all your home will look like a model home.
Reading books on organizing was a hobby of mine. I read literally hundreds of books and articles on creating a succinct and functional space, so my life could be free from searching for things, losing items, finding them haphazardly, and feeling perpetually frustrated ,like a hamster in a wheel with my stuff. I used many of the tips and ideas for getting organized while organizing my own home. I was able to see what worked and what did not. Some of the ideas made great sense, and some of the tips were for crazy making and not helpful at all.
Below is a list of ideas for organizing your self and space that do not work well and ideas that are better
- Having multiple bags marked keep, donate, gifts, trash, miscellaneous. Don’t do it! Having bags, especially of the same color even though marked creates confusion, an overwhelmed feeling and a chaotic experience. Instead empty all items, from the space you want organized, and then categorize everything. All books with books, office supplies with office supplies, paper with paper, hair supplies with hair supplies, makeup with makeup, clothes with clothes, electronics with electronics, sports with sports, hats with hats. When you separate your belongings into categories it is easier to see what you have and how much of it you have. Keep going from room to room finding all the other belongings and keep putting them into their categories. Many people with chronic disorganization have their categories all over the home, so getting them all together makes it easier to find the home for each category after you realize how much of each category you own. For instance if you have 100 candles all throughout the home, finding the space for them is easier when you realize the amount you own. You may have had candles in four or five cabinets and drawers, keeping you running around looking for candles. Now that you know you have 100 candles, and a home that fits them perfectly, you will be able to peruse all your candles at the same time. Also you will probably stop buying more candles, since you can shop for candles in your very own home.
- Do one closet at a time. Wrong! When you go to do a closet, do all of them during the same period of time. Emptying out all closets during the same period is essential to true organization. Remember categorizing all like items with like items throughout the entire home is the ultimate goal. Usually within each closet there are similar items that belong together. If you only do one closet at a time you will waste a lot of time making the closet look neat and tidy, but not categorized. For instance if you do a closet that has toys, coats, shoes, sweaters, memorabilia, and then you simply put it all back neatly, when you go to the next closet you will find similar items that did not get put with their category. You'll end up having to pull out the similar category, and of course a new home will have to be found each time the category grows. For instance if you have have memorabilia, sports equipment, toys and winter items all over the place you will be again wondering which closet holds which items. If like items stay with like items, and you know that particular category is in one place it creates a sense of peace and calm knowing where to look for something you desire. If there are multiple people living in a home, items can be separated by owner, but within each space you'll want to categorize belongings. So if there are two adults and three children, within each bedroom closet there will be categories and homes for the categories that will stay exclusively in that room. For many families having all the toys for all the kids in one area works great, and for others the parents and kids want the toys separated for each child. Still all gets categorized in each area.
- Get rid of stuff, as much as you can. No way! The goal of having a nicer lifestyle and a well run home is not about getting rid of stuff. Matter matters or we would live in teepees with a drum and a little skirt. No offense to the American Indians lifestyle, it actually appeals to me in many ways, but I think I would want my bed, books, jewelry, knick knacks, china, and electricity sooner then later. Understanding what you love, what is sentimental, useful and purposeful is the most important part of what you keep and what you don’t keep close to you. If there are items that are just taking up your “real estate” and you do not love them, they are not sentimental, useful or purposeful ask yourself “what is it doing in my home”? If there is an emotional attachment to something even insignificant, it is not time to part with it.
- You can do it by yourself. Not a great idea! Usually with every room organizing project there are heavy items, furniture that will be moved around, and emotionally difficult things to look at and process. Doing it by yourself could be taxing and dangerous if you are not really strong, have excellent balance and physical stamina. If you don’t have a psychology background and you start processing papers or objects that hold memory the project can become wrought with overwhelming emotions that you are not be able to process resulting in a futile and sad day. Lifestyle Organizing is an inside out cleansing experience.
When you are ready for a lifestyle overhaul know that it won’t be the same as going to a day spa and having your body and hair coifed, but in the long run it is something that will last a lifetime and you won’t have to do it more than once if it is done properly and with care. Organizing done well is time spent well and you will feel happy, like a million dollars!