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How to get motivated to organize?

What is motivation? The dictionary definition is “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way” and “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something”.

What are your reasons for organizing? We all have different reasons. Why do you want to get organized now?  Why work on this particular organizing project now? Take a few minutes to think of your why. It will help you now and in the future. Here are some reasons that I hear often.Room in need of organizing help.

  1. To find things when they need them
  2. To have a home for things so it’s easier to put them away
  3. To spend less time hunting for things
  4. To have less piles and mess
  5. To have less stress

How much desire or willingness do you have to organize? If you have no desire to organize, it could be a result of many things, but I’ve found that it has a lot to do with a person’s perception. Here are some examples that I’ve come across.

  • Perception that organizing is boring, tedious, not fun
  • Perception that the project requires too much effort, time, stamina
  • Perception that we don’t have the right know-how, skill or resources

So how can we get motivated to organize, especially if we’re lacking desire and willingness? Here are my recommendations.

  1. Know your why. Ask what is worth doing or doing with help? Good motivation comes from feeling that what you’re doing matters.Room after 2 hours of organizing help.
  2. Adjust your perception. A positive mindset allows us to bring our best effort. Picture yourself successfully finishing your organizing project.
  3. Create immediate rewards for your efforts. What happens after our efforts influences the likelihood that we’ll keep it up.
  4.  Ask yourself what is the most laughably do-able first step. If you’re still having trouble, the first step is too big.
  5. Do something, anything. It’s better than taking no action at all. Stress comes from thinking about our project, not the project itself. If it’s important for you to get it done, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.
  6. Start by sorting and categorizing.

©June 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

Best Way to Get Better at Organizing

Organizing is a skill that anyone can learn. However, just like any skill, some people pick it up more easily and quickly than others. How would you go about learning a new skill, like playing a musical instrument or learning a foreign language? You’d take lessons, read books and practice, practice, practice. That’s what we have to do to learn and get better at organizing, PRACTICE!

But I Might Need That Someday

We’ve all said it. Even me, but not anymore, and after reading this blog you won’t say it either. I’m referring to the phrase, “but I might need that someday“.  It’s a phrase that gets spoken when we think something needs to be kept, despite the fact that it hasn’t been used in a very long time. For some unknown reason we’re fearful that as soon as we get rid of this item we’ll desperately need it. We refuse to get rid of kitchen gadgets that live in the darkest recesses of a corner cabinet. We insist on saving the rarely used tools that are buried in the shed. We fantasize about using fancy linens that are still in their original packaging that has yellowed with age. We all own things that lay dormant in our homes, never being used or useful. So why do we hold onto them?

We hold onto them because we think they’re useful. BUT are they? What if someday comes and you can’t find it. It’s not where you thought it was. Will you waste valuable time looking for it? Will you go out and buy a new one? If so, you’ve not only wasted time, but money as well. What if someday comes and it’s not in the condition you thought it was in? Is it easier to make do without it or find an alternative solution? What if someday comes and you can’t get at it because it’s buried under a pile of clutter? How much time will you spend retrieving it? What if someday never comes?

Items are useful only if we can find them when we need them and they’re in good operating condition. It takes time and effort to organize and maintain our belongings. Why waste time and effort on items that haven’t been used in a very long time or at all? A guideline that I find helpful relates to how easy it is to replace an item and how costly it is to replace an item. If an item can be replaced in 20 minutes for under $20.00 then get rid of it. Instead of saying “I might need that someday!” please consider letting the item go.

The next time that phrase is on the tip of your tongue ask yourself these questions.

  1. When is someday? Are you willing to put a note on the item that says if not used within 3 years from today (date) then get rid of it?
  2. Will you be able to find it and will it be in good working order when someday comes? If no, let it go.
  3. Is there someone who can use and appreciate it now instead of waiting for someday? If yes, than give it to them.
  4. How much space is it taking up? Can that space be better used for something else? If yes, than free up that space.
  5. Can it be replaced in 20 minutes for under $20.00? If yes, than let it go.

 

©October 2019   Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organzier®   All Rights Reserved

Organizing with My Clients

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Who’s taking a summer vacation? Mine is planned.

  

 
 

I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation. I’ll be on vacation from August 9th to August 25th.

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Recent Blog Articles:
Question:  In which season are you more motivated to get organized? Summer? Fall? Winter? Spring? 
 
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Hi  Janine,
Hope all is well with you, and I hope that summer is on it’s way. I’m ready for sunshine and visits to the beach. In this newsletter I wanted to share more details about how I work with my clients and my price increase. The two articles below provide more details about my organizing consultation and my organizing process with clients. The price increase will take affect once I return from vacation, August 25th. I will be increasing my hourly rate by $10.00 per hour. If you have questions regarding how I work with my clients or the price increase please contact me by email or call me directly at 508-699-6652.

What happens during an organizing consultation?
Below are some questions that I typically ask while doing an on-site consultation. Based on the answers I ask more questions in order to get a complete picture of how I can best assist.
1. How are you feeling about having me here and showing me your home?
2. What is your goal for your home?
3. How long have you lived here? How long has your home been like this?
4. Do you want to reduce? If so, by how much?
5. What bothers you the most about your home?
6. What is your biggest stumbling block when you organize?
7. How difficult is it for you to get rid of things? What steps do you take to get rid of them?
8. How difficult is it for you to make decisions on what to keep or not to keep?
9. How good are you at maintaining order once it’s established?
10. How would you like me to help you? What do you consider my role?
11. Ideally, what would your home look like?
12. Are you willing to put in the necessary time and effort to organize?

If you want to organize on your own, think objectively and ask yourself these questions. The answers will help you plan your organizing strategy.

What are the Organizing Steps I use with my clients?
Here are the organizing steps I use.
1. Pick a target area.
2. Tackle the floor and flat surfaces first.
3. Sort like items together into categories and label each category.
4. Go through each category and decide what stays and what goes.
5. Get rid of what goes as soon as possible.
6. Decide where to put the items that are staying, even if it’s a temporary place until you can address the target area it will be in.
7. Pick another target area and repeat steps 2 through 6.
The work definitely goes faster when another person is present and physically helping you. If that person is me I also provide input, possible resources, support for decisions, and knowledge of donation and recycling options. My physical presents also helps hold you accountable to do the work, helps you stay focused and on task, and helps you make decisions more quickly and objectively. If you’d like more details I’d be happy to have a conversation.
From,

Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
(508)-699-6652
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I’d sincerely appreciate a review:

     

If you’ve worked with me in any capacity, I’d be grateful for a review.  Simply click on this link and answer 2 questions.  Thank you and happy organizing!
organized cabinet

What’s Inside?

Organizing tip

If I asked you to list all the items inside the kitchen cabinet under the sink. Could you? How accurate would your list be to the actual contents? What about other cabinets and drawers in your kitchen? If you can’t answer what’s inside, it’s time to organize. Follow these 3 steps.
3 steps to organizing process