There are many wonderful quotes about slowing down, and one great one is from our friend the turtle: “slow and steady wins the race.” Why is this so? Because when we hurry, we often make mistakes or decisions that we later regret.
Organizing is no different! You let things get disorganized due to overwhelm, lack of time, lack of confidence in our skills or other good reasons. Then in frustration, you throw things in a box, only to discover later that something of great personal value can no longer be located. Take heart!
Though it’s great to set aside large blocks of time to mindfully organize your space, most of us lead very busy lives. Instead, you can make steady and satisfying progress by giving focused attention to an organizing task in 5, 10 or 15 minute increments. Consistency keeps you moving forward, so try picking a regular time each day or each week and make an appointment with yourself to work on a small organizing challenge.
If you know that finding time to organize is your biggest challenge, then we have a challenge for you!
CHALLENGE: Spend 5 minutes every day decluttering
Seriously! Set a timer and pick one category of items to organize in your home. Let’s repeat: ONE CATEGORY! This keeps you from getting overwhelmed and ensures that the five minutes you spend organizing are focused on one thing. For example:
- Monday: purge the fridge
- Tuesday: organize paperwork
- Wednesday: put away books
- Thursday: tidy up bathroom
- Friday: hang up clothes
- Saturday: put away items on one table/dresser
- Sunday: rest
Once the five-minute timer goes off, stop decluttering. A consistent, slow-drip approach like this will work wonders in your home. If you find that after five minutes you still have energy, extend it to another five minutes or even ten. But note: it’s important to reset your timer and stop decluttering at a specific time of your choosing. As we declutter, it’s easy to zig-zag from decluttering the fridge to decluttering the countertops to decluttering the cupboards, and that’s how you find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling as if you never want to declutter again.
And, yes, it IS possible to organize your home or office slowly and mindfully, despite what some bestselling authors will tell you (we see you Kondo)!
Regardless of which method of organizing you choose, it is encouraging to note that even small increments of time dedicated to organizing will add up quickly. Promise!