Organizing Golden Rules

Follow these Organizing Golden Rules to guide any organizing project.

Consistency – When you form a good organizing habit, stick with it. Example: Always put your bills in the same place.

Like Items Together – Group information by subject. Name the file by asking yourself what you will be thinking when you need it.

Prime Items in Prime Space – Use it every day–keep it at arm’s reach. Use it once a week or less–you can get up and go get it.

What Will Make Me Need This? – This is a much more decisive question than “Will I ever need this?” Use it for papers in your office or home.

Simple is Smart – Ask yourself: “How and when will I need this in the future?” How it will be used will then tell you how to organize it.

Don’t Forget to WOW Yourself! – Patting yourself on the back will energize you to organize other areas. WOW yourself and keep moving forward!

Chronic Disorganization

A lot of the time, those with Chronic Disorganization are labeled as “packrats” or “clutterbugs.”

The average person with Chronic Disorganization has around 3000 documents, 40% more
housework on their To-Do List, and 15-20% of their income goes toward late fees. They are
often creative individuals who cannot seem to stay on top of their chores.

Chronic Disorganization is often marked by a failed attempt at organizing self-help. Chronic
Disorganization affects day-to-day activities, and it may only be evident in one area of one’s
life but is often seen over several areas. It usually occurs over a long period of time, possibly
several years.

There is no quick fix for Chronic Disorganization, but those who suspect they have Chronic
Disorganization should start with 3 main goals:
1. Let go of shame and guilt and move forward.
2. Have a better understanding of organizing pitfalls
3. Generate ideas to start changing one’s own organizing thought process (This can be a
lengthy process.)

If attempts at “fixing” Chronic Disorganization on your own have failed, it may point out the
need for professional help.

Conquer That Overwhelmed Feeling

Does your To-Do List make you feel overwhelmed?

If so, make a list of what you need to do.  Then for each item, ask yourself: “What is the Next Step?”

We can usually conquer the “Next Step” without being overwhelmed.  It is when we think of all the steps to be done on a project that we get paralyzed and then do nothing.

Doing the Next Step will get you started.  A very appropriate quote puts it nicely: “A job begun is a job half done.”

What is the Next Step?

Often when we think of a project, we think of all the steps, get overwhelmed and then do nothing.

When I ask my coaching clients: “What is the next step?”, that frees them up to move forward.  The next step is usually do-able.  It is when we think of the next 20 steps involved that we get stuck.

That is how I am tacking my yard this spring – one step at a time.

Conquering Your Mail

Clutter Collecting Thinking Trap: I’ll just quickly glance at my mail and deal with it later.

Organizing One-Liner:  Don’t touch your mail until you can process it!

Processing your mail means making decisions:

1.  Am I really going to order out of this catalog?

2.  I will put this bill with the other bills to be paid.

3.  These items are critical so they need to be filed.

4.  Magazines go where I read them.

5.  These items were not requested so out they go!

Tip: Process your mail standing and you will be more efficient!

A pile of junk mail

Tips for Managing Mail

Clutter Collecting Thinking Trap: I’ll just quickly glance at my mail and deal with it later.

 

Organizing One-Liner:  Don’t touch your mail until you can process it!

Processing your mail means making decisions:

1.  Am I really going to order out of this catalog?
2.  I will put this bill with the other bills to be paid.
3.  These items are critical so they need to be filed.
4.  Magazines go where I read them.
5.  These items were not requested so out they go!

Tip: Process your mail standing and you will be more efficient!