ALL of us have made these organizing mistakes before. They are easy ones to make, so it’s helpful to know what they are before we start our organizing project so we can recognize them before they derail our project too far. Knowledge is power!
1. We buy organizing containers FIRST, before we’ve done the work of sorting through all of our belongings to know exactly what we need to store. It’s so easy to get sucked in by all of the beautiful organizing photos on Instagram, and it’s super easy to buy a bunch of products at The Container Store so we can get that exact IG look. But this often leaves us with the wrong type of container for our space, which we don’t discover until after we have done all of our sorting and try to container-ize the things we are keeping. So save yourself time AND money by refusing to buy any organizing containers until after you know exactly how much of everything you are keeping.
2. We vastly OVERESTIMATE or UNDERESTIMATE the time it will take us to sort through all of our belongings. This planning fallacy leaves us wanting to procrastinate on organizing a room that we think will take us a week of solid work (nope, I’ve never encountered a room that took 40 hours to organize). Or else we end up super frustrated and burned out when we discover it will take more than a morning to get our home office or garage organized. I find that almost all rooms take at least two mornings or two afternoons to organize. Your garage, home office or basement will take multiple sessions to complete, so it’s good to block out the right amount of time on your calendar for these kinds of projects.
3. We don’t get buy-in from the whole family. EVERYONE in the family needs to commit to putting things back in their new homes and using the new systems. Otherwise, one passive-aggressive spouse refusing to use the new systems you put into place can ruin your whole, hard-earned organizing system. Here are some ideas for how to get buy-in from the whole family.
4. We store things where they fit, rather than where it logically makes sense to find them. Then six months later, we can’t find that particular item. It’s so easy towards the end of an organizing project to simply make the mess “go away” by stashing things we want to keep wherever they will fit. It temporarily solves the problem of getting the items off the floor. But in the long-term, we won’t be able to find things if they are stored in some random place. It’s better to take the time to group like with like.
5. We don’t make time to do a daily (or at least regular) tidy-up of the space. Small messes quickly become big messes after 24 hours, and it’s amazing how quickly our procrastination can rear its ugly head when we see that that small, 10-minute tidy-up job has now become so big that it will take an hour or longer. I really wish organized spaces would just STAY organized after all of our hard work! But they won’t. It’s up to us to take a few minutes every day to put things back into home. I promise you, if you do a 15-minute tidy-up each day, you won’t have to waste any more weekends doing a whole house clean-up. Here’s how to do the 15-minute tidy-up.
These are the most common mistakes I see made, but they are simple ones to fix once you recognize them. And if you get stuck, feel free to reach out to us here at reSPACEd to lend a hand! We are always ready to help you with your organizing project. Happy Organizing, everyone!
Like this post? Then like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram or Pinterest. In need of professional organizing services in the Portland, Beaverton or Lake Oswego area for your home or office? Contact us for a low-cost assessment and get an estimate on your project here.