Making up Your Mind to Organize, Article #5
Are you getting ready to organize? Does it scare you, or overwhelm? Fear not dear reader! Help is on the way! Lately here on the blog we’ve been writing a series to help you get organized in different areas of your home. Are you feeling inspired? Getting ready? If so, this article is going to help you get started.
Before you go ahead and stock up on supplies like boxes and packing tape, you need to know the most important thing about getting started. I am going to use a buzzword here, so now is a good time to sit still for a moment, and steady yourself.
The buzzword is mindset.
Mindset may sound fancy, but it’s just a way to say that before you begin downsizing or organizing, you must make up your mind that you are ready, willing, and motivated to get it done. If you’re being encouraged (or forced) to organize because you’ve got too much stuff, or you’re hoarding, and it’s hard for you to get it under control, you will naturally find it hard to make up your mind to get started. And, you may get started but find it hard to continue. Let’s face it, motivation is something that needs motivating sometimes!
If you’re hoarding or you’ve never downsized, it’s normal to feel agitated or anxious about what’s to come. If you aren’t a tidy person, the thought of all the cleaning up that’s going to be done can stop you in your tracks. Don’t get discouraged; we’re going to help you make up your mind to get control of your space because it is important to you.
This is where a positive mindset comes in. When you decide that you’re ready to organize, you’re making an important first step. Next, it helps if you write a goal statement, and you include a positive feeling about it. You don’t need to be a poet or a novelist here. Just state what your intention is and how great you will feel when everything is done.
Write your statement down on several pieces of paper, and hang them up around the house. You can hang your statement on the mirror in the bathroom, on the refrigerator door, on the inside of your front and back doors or a door to your hallway. Write it on a smaller piece of paper and slip it into your shirt pocket so you can pull it out and look at while you do the work, or supervise an organizer who is doing the bulk of it for you.
A positive statement will help you feel better about giving away items that you may have treasured for a long time. It will support you when you look at something you know you must get rid of, but the item has sentimental value to it. Your statement will be helpful when you start to feel frustrated, or disappointed in how long things are taking. If the first statement you create isn’t helpful, rewrite it and add what’s missing. Remember to include a positive feeling to it so that it becomes more meaningful, easy to remember, and it helps motivate you. Adjust one of these to make it work for your situation, or create something new!
- “I’m feeling happy to be organizing, and I’m proud of myself for creating a place I can enjoy living in because it is open, clean, and safe.”
- “I’m excited to tackle my organizing. I already feel happier to be getting in control of my things, and letting go of possessions that I do not need or want any longer.”
- “I’m grateful that I can organize my things so that my children and grandchildren don’t have to do it.”
- “I’m happy to be organizing and packing so I can enjoy moving into my new place next month!”
If you’re not a natural organizer (and not many of us are, to be honest), or you haven’t already downsized things at least two or three times in your life, then getting your house can be overwhelming, especially if you are doing it all on your own.
Remember: create a positive mindset statement that means something to you. If you are struggling, don’t feel embarrassed about asking for some help. A coach or counsellor can help you develop these statements, and help you work through the range of emotions and procrastination that can derail your plan.
Here’s a handy shopping list to help you begin your organizing sessions. If you’re calling on a company like Elder Move Inc., we will bring packing supplies with us. If you want to look after things yourself and you have difficulty getting out to the stores, check out online ordering so that you have everything you need handy – that’s a good way to keep motivated!
- Blank paper and sticky tack for hanging, or post-it notes for hanging your positive mindset statements
- Black garbage bags for rubbish (thick construction bags are ideal if you have things that will poke through thin plastic)
- Clear bags for recycling and donations (so items don’t get confused with rubbish)
- Boxes for packing items that are too bulky to bag
- Boxes or plastic tote boxes with lids, to store items for a move or place into long-term storage
- Packing tape, the clear, wide sticky kind (note that very thin packing tape won’t stick well on dusty cardboard. If you are reusing old boxes, make sure you wipe them clean.).
- Painter’s tape (easily removable for tagging items before a pick-up, but make sure you place it in a spot that won’t damage the finish or fabric on your item)
- Felt markers for labelling. Use permanent markers but be careful not to mark up your furniture or clothing! Washable markers tend to smudge when written on tape, and will ink up your things, but permanent markers (which I always use) are just that…permanent if they stray onto your favourite sweater.
If you’d like some help getting organized, downsizing, or you are preparing for a move and you’re in the Alberta region, let us know! We’d love to meet with you and help you get sorted!