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Did you give up your organizing project? Here’s how to get back in the groove

by respaced on September 5, 2012

Organizing projects are marathons, not sprints. Pace yourself accordingly.

How many times have you started an organizing project only to quit half-way through? Maybe you gave up before you finished sorting through everything when you realized just how long it was going to take. Maybe you finished sorting everything, but the Goodwill and consignment store bags are still sitting out in your garage, waiting for you to take them to their final destination. If you find yourself a great starter of organizing projects but not such a great finisher, here are some suggestions that will inspire you to finally complete that organizing project:

1. Find what motivates you. Why do you care to organize the space? Write down that motivator and keep it handy for when you get to that point where you ask yourself, “Why am I making myself do this now?” Your motivator may read something like, “I am organizing my kitchen so it will take less time to cook meals and less time to clean up. I want to feel good when I walk into my kitchen.” Post that motivator somewhere where it can’t be ignored, such as on the coffee maker or the microwave.

2. What are your usual excuses for not finishing a project? Lack of time, money, childcare? Write down those excuses and brainstorm solutions BEFORE you start your project. Put those solutions into action when you try to talk yourself out of finishing your project. For example, you might write, “I know I am going to want to quit this project after the third day, because I think it will take too long. When my brain tries to convince me to quit, I will call up my most organized friend for help and inspiration.”

3. Tackle your organizing project only when you have the emotional and physical energy. If you start the project drained, you won’t do your best work. At worst, you won’t be able to finish. If there is something emotionally draining going on in your life such as a seriously sick child or a pending divorce, consider postponing your organizing project until you have the time and energy to fully concentrate on it.

4. Figure out which time of day you are most productive and only work on your project then. For many people, trying to organize in the evening is doomed to fail, because they are more tired than they realize from the events of the day.

5. Make sure you have a plan when you are organizing a room. This means you have a vision for how you want the space to look and how you want to move and work within your space. A plan serves as a great motivator and it reminds you that this project has a definite ending. Without a plan, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and question why you are doing all of this hard work organizing in the first place.

Completing an organizing project is like finishing a marathon. You have to pace yourself, talk back to those negative voices in your head and remember why this project matters if you want to finish it. But also like a marathon, there is a great feeling of accomplishment when you can look back at how all of your hard work paid off. You will be glad you finished your organizing project.

Image courtesy of Through My Eyes Only at Flickr.

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