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7 thoughts that ruin our plans to get organized

by respaced on February 4, 2013

Many of us have had the best intentions to get organized. We pour over pictures of organized spaces in magazines, we spend big bucks on organizing products, we might even hire professional organizers. Then we start in our organizing project by sorting our stuff. We pick up the first object to decide what to do with it and — AUGH! Our brain floods our brain with one of these thoughts!

Here are some of the most common thoughts that get in the way of our organizing plans as well as some healthier thoughts to counter those erroneous ones.

“I’m just going to put this here for right now.” Problem is: Stuff never stays there momentarily. Odds are, it will sit there for days, weeks, months, maybe even years before we get around to figuring out what to do with it. We should deal with it now if we want to save ourselves a bigger headache later.

“I’ll put it away later.” Problem is: Similar to the problem outlined above, our stuff will sit out for a long time before “later” rolls around. Putting stuff away isn’t much fun, but it sure beats spending days on end cleaning out a space months or even years from now.

“I bought it because it was on sale.” Problem is: It may have not cost us much money, but it will have cost us our space. And down the road it will cost us time — time spent cleaning around it, maintaining it, deciding what to do with it and ultimately, figuring out how to dispose of it.

“I can’t get rid of it because it was a gift.” Problem is: We are hanging on to something we don’t want just to keep from offending the gift-giver, who probably forgot that she even gave it to us! I get how hard it is to let go of the guilt from discarding a gift. But chances are, our fears of being found out will never come to fruition (can you remember every gift you’ve given in the last five years? I can’t either.)

“I might need it someday.” Problem is: Our house shouldn’t be a repository of items useful in the future; the majority of the house should contain items being used now. Make space for the way we live now, not for some idealized life we may or may not live a long time from now. The present is all we have.

“But it’s so cute!” Problem is: Even though it is cute, we have limited space in our homes. So why not make space for the things that are cute AND useful, not just cute?

“I paid a lot of money for it.” Problem is: How long do we have to keep it to feel like we got our money’s worth out of it? It’s a very subjective answer. Furthermore, our item technically is not making us any money sitting in our house. So if it’s really the money we are after, we should take action now to sell the object.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these thoughts? Or have you been tripped up by some other thoughts that I haven’t included in this list?

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