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How Do You Win at Home Organization? Think Small!

By Laurie Hayes

Many people have written to me about their personal goals and one I see quite often is "Get organized, specifically, "Get the house in order." When I ask what obstacles are in their way, the most common response is "procrastination."

By the time it gets to the point of showing up on a goals list, household organization has been neglected so much that the results have culminated into a mountain so big even the bravest of us want to run in the opposite direction!

Procrastination is often the by-product of fear. We may perceive something to be so big or unattainable that we become overwhelmed and immobile.

Getting organized doesn't mean you have to take on that mountain in one grand leap. Just start plugging along at your own speed with small steps and look only a few feet ahead at a time.

Maybe you've let things slide a little more than you wanted and you'd rather have a dump truck and backhoe come in and haul everything away, but it doesn't have to be that extreme.

The best way to get going is START SMALL. Little 15-30 minute jobs are a great way to start, and they might be all you need to get your organizational energy in motion.

A few examples of little jobs might be:

  1. Clean out your medicine cabinet. Unless you're a pharmaceutical distributor, your medicine cabinet should not take up a large portion of your home. It provides a small area to focus your time and attention on. Go through your containers and throw out all expired medications.

  2. If you don't want to miss your favorite TV show, why not sort through all of your expired catalogues and magazines while you're watching? Dig them out, put them on the coffee table and sort them into two piles: expired and current. When your show is over or during commercial break, take your expired catalogues out to your recycling box and put your current ones back where they belong.

  3. If the catalogues were sorted during the first half of your show, haul out your purse or wallet and start cleaning it out for the second half. You would be amazed at the out-dated business cards, receipts, expired credit cards and old phone numbers you have no need for anymore.

  4. Pick a cupboard/cabinet in your kitchen or garage that is overflowing and focus on it only. Don't worry about the other ten. Pick the one you feel you can tackle now, roll up your sleeves and get in there.

  5. Tell the kids they have been selected for a very important mission. There is a family in town who have little or no money and their children have absolutely no toys of their own to play with. Ask your children if they would be willing to gather toys they no longer have an interest in to give to those less fortunate. They have half an hour to make their selections and place them in a designated area so you can review their choices. This done, you can box everything up and donate it to a local charity or family(ies) in need.

By taking on small tasks and enlisting the help of others, the job of organizing your home is not as daunting, and you set the wheels in motion for the other jobs that lie ahead.

It is absolutely amazing how putting things in order in your home has a related effect on other areas of your life.

When someone is "stuck and can't move forward on a personal or professional level, experts advise them to clean out the garage or tidy up their office. Organizing and putting your physical surroundings in order creates a "cleaning or "clearing of your cluttered mind.

The correlation between your physical and mental state is powerful.

Getting the house organized isn't exciting for most people, but to create some form of reward after a task is done can be a great motivator.

For example, I have two favorite television shows, one Sunday night and one Wednesday night. When I assign an uninspiring task for myself, I create a condition. If I don't have that task completed by the deadline I've given myself, I don't allow myself to watch my show.

This may seem a little harsh and childlike, but we are motivated by reward. Everything we do has a pay-off and if you know what your pay-off is and if you abide by your own conditions, you will be more apt to complete your tasks.

When I sit down and watch my favorite programs, I am as happy as can be. The feeling could be likened to an eight-year old being handed a triple-decker strawberry swirl ice cream cone with sprinkles on top.

Remember, the state of your surroundings has a direct connection to the state of your being. If you are feeling undecided or scattered with no clear direction, take a look at your physical environment.

Get organized. Take small steps and create rewards for yourself for accomplishing each task. Enlist the help of others. By staying in action and observing the positive changes you are creating, you will elevate your energy, increase your creative forces and clear your mind for greater things.

About The Author
Laurie Hayes is a professional Life Strategy Coach and founder of Where the Heart Is Life Coaching. She is the author of several articles and an e-book designed to promote excitement and inspire action in others to pursue the best life has to offer.

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