Sometimes solutions to problems start with asking the right questions. This is true when it comes to organizing frustrating areas in your home. Ask yourself a question and the answer will tell you what to do next. Organizing starts before you physically lift up an item to sort.
Chelle and I have compiled a list of questions you can ask yourself to get the organizing ball rolling for you. We promise we won’t think you’re crazy for talking to yourself.
10. What are my Clutter Zones?
Begin by taking a minute to think about what areas are constantly cluttered in your home. We call these areas your clutter zones. Once you’ve identified your clutter zones you can examine what’s in the clutter and why it’s there. We talk more about that in our book, Seriously End Clutter Without Taking Yourself Too Seriously.
Organizing just one of these areas will make you feel amazing and motivate you to continue to the next area.
9. What is my ONE thing?
Since Chelle hates the term goal we are calling this the ONE thing. Organizing can be overwhelming. Especially if you look at ALL that needs to be organized. So many people are paralyzed into doing nothing at all when they think of all that needs to be done.
Pick ONE thing, one area, to focus on. Then, break that ONE project down into little tasks.
I am organizing my digital photos right now. I can’t even think of any other organizing projects. Just organizing my photos is overwhelming enough…and very time consuming. I am focusing on my ONE thing only.
8. Who will be my accountability partner?
We cannot say enough about accountability. It’s been said your chances of completing a goal increase to 90% when you have an accountability appointment set with your accountability partner. Do you have one?
Blogging and letting the world know that you are going to focus on your budget (in Chelle’s case) or organizing my digital photos is serious accountability! Telling a friend and setting a deadline will help you! Text your accountability partner before pictures and then have them show up at your door and tour the area you organized on the deadline date!
I bet you’ll be motivated to do what you said you were going to do, even if you have to stay up all night.
7. When and what time will I work on this project?
Look at your calendar and pick three dates with specific times that you will work on your ONE thing. Write (or type) the appointments in your calendar.
Now you’ll know when and what time you will work on this project!! Keep your appointment.
6. What do I want from this space?
5. When was the last time I used this item?
Not only “used” this time but also ask when was the last time you wore, touched, or thought about the item?This is probably the most commonly thought of question. It’s funny, when a client is wondering if they should get rid of something that they really loved I’ll ask this question. They’ll seem so surprised and shyly have to admit that they can’t even remember when it was.
If you haven’t thought about an item in 3 years do you think you will think about it or use it the next three years?
4. Could I live without this item?
I bet you could. Joshua Becker’s family started becoming minimalists by trying to get rid of 50% of their belongings. Now he tries to live by the Principle of 1 – One belt, one sweatshirt, one strainer…
Do you want a cleaner house? Own less. Live without.
3. Where do I keep other items like this?
I am always asking my clients this. I think they get annoyed with me. Chelle should add it to her list here.
Let’s say we are going through a closet of yours and we find a tape measure? In order to know what to do with it I would ask you, “Where do you keep other items like this?”
Some of you might be able to say “the workbench” or “there is a drawer in the kitchen that has a few tools in it that we use inside the house.” But others might have to think long and hard, knowing there are some tools in the toolbox but you’re not sure where that ended up and you know you saw a tape measure in the pantry but that isn’t where it should go…
If your home isn’t organized and you don’t have a home for everything it’s okay. If the answer to this question is, “I don’t know!” then move on to #2.
2. Where would I think to look for this item?
If we continue our example above and you’re holding the tape measure think about where you would look first for a tape measure if you needed one. What is the first place that pops into your head? That is probably a good forever home for your tape measure and tools.
Decide on ONE place to store all like items.
1. What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of this?
We’re back to this. Live with less. Honestly, what is the worst thing that could happen? You might need to order a report from the bank? You might need to buy another one? And, if you don’t have the money you could always borrow one from a friend.
What else do you get by owning less? You might just love it! Let it go.
Whether you are in the middle of a small organizing project or you haven’t started anything because it is all too overwhelming begin by asking yourself a question. Start with number 10. It might just lead you to the right solution for your organizing problems.
Everyday for 31 days we will be posting a Top 10 List. It is part of the Nester’s Write 31 Days Challenge.
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