- Hire a professional organizer. Shameless promotion, I know! But hear this: hiring an organizer to help create a maintainable system for you will prove to be priceless (we recently had a client tell us that “hiring an organizer was the best decision she ever made”!). We want you to succeed, and will work with you to create new habits while providing you with your very own organizing cheerleader and accountability support person – so that you can continue to be successful on your own.
- Create reasonable to-do lists. Set yourself up with three to four to-do items, maximum. Writing long lists is discouraging, and can often lead to throwing in the towel completely. Once your three items are crossed off, add three more.
- Create a day-by-day tear off post-it wall. We recently re-pinned this item from Pinterest and we love it! “They say it takes 21 days to create a habit” (found on our “Tips and Tricks” Pinterest board) – get small rectangular sticky notes and write numbers 1-21 on them, then stick them onto a wall. Each day, after you have performed the task (let’s say its replying to three emails a day), tear off a sticky note. Now, doesn’t that feel good? Create as many tear-off notes as you need – it doesn’t have to be twenty one!
- Ask for help. Sometimes, we forget that we are not super woman / man (shocking, I know). Yes, it does sometimes feel like things are easier to just do on your own, but – alert! – this notion is completely FALSE! The truth is, we all need support. Whether it is from family members, roommates, or even just a friend, choose someone to open up to and ask for a hand. Hold a family meeting and assign tasks to your kids and / or spouse to help declutter and get the house organized. Call a friend and ask for an accountability partner. Remember, there are people around you who love you and want to be successful.
- Spend 5 minutes a day doing the same thing – it can be anything you want. Pick something that will take roughly five minutes and then do it every day (some people find that it works best to do this at the same time every day). The key here is not in the doing, but in developing the muscle of creating a new habit and being aware of how long it takes. Often people put off doing the smallest tasks, without quite realizing how simple and accomplishable that task really is. Build that muscle.
The gem here is that your disorganization is not a negative aspect of who you are. The pros all know that creating healthy habits is the key to being organized – and staying that way.