Once you’ve decided to live a more organized life, it can be hard to know where to begin. In fact, it can be downright overwhelming. I wrote a recent post on dealing with the overwhelm when it comes to organization, but that doesn’t help with day-to-day living.
If you read my post on spring cleaning I discussed how I begin my spring cleaning with my porch. Not because it’s the easiest room to clean, or the smallest, although it is fairly easy and not that large. I enter into my house through my porch, and having that space clean motivates me as I pass through it each day to continue on with the rest of the house.
It’s this same principle that you want to apply when you consider what steps to take to live a more organized life.
When I moved into my first apartment I was twenty-one, newly married, pregnant with my second child, and had a two year-old. To say that I was tired and overwhelmed would be a giant understatement. Through the magic of the Internet (which was still a baby at the time) I learned about the Fly Lady. Marla Cilley had a system of steps which allowed me to create a cleaning routine, and it all started with shining my sink.
That’s the secret I want to share with you. It doesn’t have to be your sink, but start with something small. Something that you can accomplish in a fairly short amount of time, and that will give you a sense of accomplishment when you are finished. That will give you the motivation to move on to the next thing, and keep going until eventually you have an entire routine. The secret is to start slow, and start small.
Don’t decide that you are going to do 5 new things this week, then add 3 more next week, and 4 more the week after. That just sets you up to fail. Do one new thing this week. Then, do it again next week, and maybe the week after. Maybe do it for an entire month. Then, once you have established that new thing into your routine, add something else. Eventually, your new routines will become habits, and being organized will become second nature. Don’t rush the process.
Keep in mind that we all have set-backs. I read a quote this year that said, “It’s a bad day, It’s not a bad life.” You might have a busy week, or a busy month, or even a busy season. You might fall back into some bad habits, and you know what? That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Acknowledge it, and move on. Tomorrow is always a new day; progress, not perfection.
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