5 Organizing Mistakes to Avoid

Image from Laure Wayaffe
Image from Laure Wayaffe

Picture the Scene: You’ve decided now is the time for you to take charge of your office, and to finally get organized! But, you’re not a professional organizer and you want some starter tips. A Certified Professional Organizer talks about the 5 most common mistakes made regarding the organizational process.

The 5 most common organizing mistakes people make are as follows:

1. Don’t try to do it all at once. (At least not without professional help. If you’d like professional help give me a call). Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to get your project done. It did not get cluttered in an afternoon. It may not get uncluttered in an afternoon, either. Break it up into manageable pieces and take them on one at a time.

2. Don’t be so hard on yourself for the things you’ve kept, or the mess that has accumulated. You are taking action now and it will be better. It does no good to beat yourself up over it.

3. Don’t agonize over the thing you are holding in your hand for too long. If you can’t make a decision about the paper or item relatively quickly, then set it aside. Make a pile of the things you are having trouble deciding about and save them for the end.

It is easier to go through the difficult pile at the end. A couple of things can happen. You will have built up a momentum getting rid of so many things that it will be easier to go through. Or you may realize you already have five of the same things and therefore you can let go of four of them.

In some cases it is possible that the pile will still give you fits. If that happens you can analyze the pros and cons of keeping or discarding each item and make your decision. Or, as I stated above, you can call a professional to help you figure out the tough stuff.

A lot of times, when I work with a client, we get started together and come up with a game plan. Then I will go away for a period of time and come back to help with the things they could not do on their own.

4. Whatever organizing solution you come up with might not work perfectly the first time. Getting organized can be magical, but it is still a habit that has to be learned. It may take a bit of tweaking and discipline before your system runs smoothly without a lot of effort.

5. Lastly, and very important! Don’t go shopping for all your new organizing products and containers until you finish the work. Until you have sorted and categorized you don’t know how much you have of something or what type of storage might be best.

What happens when you shop first (and I know that’s the fun part for almost everybody except me), is that you end up with bags or piles of organizing products that don’t work. You have more clutter to deal with than when you started and (see number 2, above) you end up being hard on yourself for creating the mess to begin with. It can be a vicious circle, so remember, shop at the end! Let that be your reward!

Happy Organizing!

Beth Flarida is the owner of Get It Together, a company which has been providing Professional Organizing Services for businesses since 1991. Beth is a Certified Professional Organizer and a member of NAPO, the nation’s leading and most prestigious organization for professional organizers. Visit Beth on the web at GetBeth.com and sign up for her free weekly newsletter, Answers From The Organizer®. Get started right now and claim your 60-minute office makeover session and jump start your organizational goals!

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