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As seen in the Dayton Daily News on May 111, 2019.

You’re tired of being disorganized.  You tell others how much you want to get organized, and you have plenty of organizing products. So why aren’t you organized?

As a professional organizer who works with people in their homes and offices, I often see three roadblocks that keep people from getting organized.

The first obstacle is fear. Fear is a big reason why people don’t make changes. Many people are afraid they might get rid of something and later regret their decision. They feel paralyzed because they are afraid of making a mistake. The fact is when you start organizing and letting go of things, you’re probably going to make a mistake or two. Do these few mistakes justify holding on to hundreds of things you don’t need?

When the fear of making a mistake begins to overwhelm you, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that will happen if I let go of this item and need it again someday?” Sometimes the answer to this questions isn’t so bad, and you can get rid of things easier.

Don’t hold on to hundreds, possibly thousands, of items because you might get rid of a few things you will need later. Any regrets you have will be lessened by the freedom you feel from letting go of things you’ll never use. 

If this hasn’t convinced you to purge unnecessary items, then keep everything. Don’t get rid of anything. Does this advice make you feel better? Of course not. You’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, embarrassed and frustrated with your home. When you let go of stuff you don’t need, these feelings go away.  A little regret won’t feel so bad.

The next hurdle is learning to let go of perfectionism. Wait a minute. Aren’t perfectionist organized? They like things to be perfect. Why wouldn’t their home be perfectly organized? Because perfectionism can be paralyzing. When you don’t know how to do something perfectly, you don’t start. And when you don’t start, things begin to pile up. When your stuff exceeds what you can comfortable handle, you become unable to do anything.

No magazine reporter is knocking on your door to take photos. Stop trying to do things perfectly. Donate and discard what you don’t need, and organize what is left. Stop worrying if you don’t organize it perfectly the first time. You are allowed to make changes as you go.

Stop letting your perfectionism overshadow organizing. Being organized is not about being perfect. It’s finding things when you need them and feeling peace of mind in your home.

Finally, people often don’t get organized because they don’t know where to start. Here is the secret.  Start anywhere. If you are completely stymied by where to begin, here are a few suggestions:

  • Set a timer for one-minute and start walking around your home. When the timer beeps, 
  • stop and organize where you land.
  • Start with a small space that you can accomplish in one session. Your kitchen table,
  • nightstand or a kitchen drawer are perfect staring points.
  • Begin with a space where you can easily get rid of things.
  • At work, start with the top of your desk.

Stop letting fear, perfectionism and the lack of a starting point keep you from organizing. Roll up your sleeves with new confidence, and let nothing stand in your way.