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4 steps to staying motivated when you are trying to get organized

by respaced on June 24, 2013

Before I begin any organizing project with a client, I always conduct an organizing assessment at his or her house first. Often, a client will sheepishly show me around a partially organized room, explaining that she had started organizing it, only to have given up after the first day.

You know what? I tell her, organizing a room is a huge project. And more often than not, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, lose our focus, ask ourselves “why the heck am I doing all of this work anyway?” and give up. This seems to happen frequently, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are four steps you can take, whether you are just beginning a project, in the middle of it, or picking it back up after a long hiatus, that will help you maintain your motivation to finish organizing all the way through:

1. Define the problem. In other words, what is wrong with this room that makes you want to organize it? Make a list of all the ways it does not function for you.

2. Define the goal. What do you want to accomplish in this room? Of course, you want to get it organized, but you need to go further with that question: WHY do you want to get it organized? Examples might be: to give you a space to do your crafts, to create a safe place for the kids to play, to have a welcoming space to entertain guests, etc. Write down all of the reasons you want to get it organized.

3. Visualize the end product: What will it look like once it is organized? Maybe you will have a desk in the corner, all of the piles on the floor will be gone, your filing cabinet will be able to close all the way, you will be able to see out the window and the walls will be a serene shade of blue. The more detail you add to your vision, the more it will help you to stay motivated. Write it down, draw it out or cut out pictures from magazines that show your ideal space.

4. Post your goal lists and pictures front and center. Keep them up as a reminder of why you are working so hard. When you find yourself wanting to give up, refer back to that list and those pictures on your wall. If the goals are something you truly want, then an image of them will keep you motivated to get that room organized.

This four-step method is not something I came up with out of the blue; it’s a proven method of making significant change in a person’s life. Give it a try, and see if it will work for you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dan July 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm

If you’d like a tool for managing your time and projects, you can use this web-application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:


You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.


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