As a professional organizer it’s easy for me to say that I don’t get overwhelmed when tasked with an organizing project. I maintain my calm because I’m doing what I love to do. I love to teach my clients how to organize without getting overwhelmed. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we over think the problem. When you take a breath and plunge into an organizing project you maintain your calm by following a few simple rules.
First let’s talk about how to organize without getting overwhelmed then I’ll give you the few simple rules to follow to maintain your calm.
Create Your Vision
Use Pinterest or create a vision board by cutting out pictures from magazines for your project so you have a sense of how you want the result to look and feel.
Pick your project
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you walk into a room or a house and decide to organize the entire space. Think about one small area that you want to organize. Make that one spot your project. This is how to organize without getting overwhelmed.
Know the Reason
Understand the purpose of this project. Are you making room for something you’ve purchased? Do you need to remove some clutter? Or, is this space a mess and you want to organize it so you can find the things you keep here?
Do You Need Supplies
Assess the space. Decide if you need drawer organizers or containers. If yes, empty the space, sort the items, and then measure carefully. Take the time to clean the space while it is empty!
Please note: Do not shop before you sort the space. Often people end up with more containers than they need or the wrong sized containers when they shop first. Organizing before shopping helps you organize without getting overwhelmed.
When you are finished with that organizing project move to the next project. You may have multiple areas that you want to tackle. Work out a logical order of progression to get the entire project organized without getting overwhelmed.
As you move from project to project you may find that when one space becomes nicely organized another space becomes a disaster area. Hold your vision in your mind’s eye and give yourself permission to accept the mess. Remind yourself that this is a work in progress. You will attend to that space when the time comes.
Simple Rules to Maintain Your Calm
Remember to breathe. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we look at a pile of stuff and wonder what on earth we are going to do with all that stuff. Take a couple of minutes and focus on breathing.
Reflect on your vision and release the things in the pile of stuff that do not fit your vision.
Set your intention and remember the reason that you are organizing the space.
Use a Timer
Set the timer on your phone for only 10 – 15 minutes. Work on the organizing project for that amount of time. When the timer goes off, stop organizing. Go do something else. Using a timer for short periods of time helps you organize without getting overwhelmed and maintain your calm.
The project will be there when you return to it. If you want to, you can take a short break and then work for another 10 or 15 minutes. You’ll be amazed by what you can accomplish when you focus on organizing.
Accept Good Enough
Let yourself be done when it is good enough. Avoid aiming for perfection. Life happens and as perfectly as you organize a space it will never stay that way. The truth is that organizing pictures on Instagram, Pinterest, and in magazines are the only spaces that stay that way indefinitely. Someone, maybe you, will go into the space take something out and mess it up a little in the process.
The good news is that when you create a nicely organized space it can always be put back in a minute or two.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.