Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tips for Getting Organized

I've been procrastinating on some projects have due, which means that I've been very productive in all other areas of my life. I'll do anything to avoid that looming deadline, including getting my garage and hall closets organized.  On Tuesday, I went on a complete tear and spent hours organizing. 

I took a new angle while organizing.  In the past I would approach organization from a place of finding somewhere to put things.  This time, I gave it more thought.  I approached each shelf from a place of intention.  I thought about how my family wants to live and then I approached the mountain of stuff.  For example, my family has been making an effort to go on more picnics.  So I sifted through our stuff and pulled out the picnic baskets, old silverware, and drink bottles.  They all went on a shelf together and now picnic prep will be a breeze, which will mean more picnics because I won't be overwhelmed by the very idea of getting a picnic packed up. 
Our family is also focused on moving away from plastic storage containers and towards using glass jars to store leftovers.  So, in this week's organization, all the glass jars were rounded up, lids were found, and a shelf was dedicated to them.  This will make it easier to transition towards glass. 
We want to start having a weekly "family game night" at our house, so finding all our games and giving them a home where we can easily access them, became an important task on my to do list.

By focusing on how we want to live, organization became easy and even enjoyable.  I felt like I was doing something that would benefit my family long term.  Organizing was no longer just a task for corralling our material goods, it became a task for supporting the way we want to live. When I thought about the task from that angle it became less like drudgery.  It became a very important and satisfying way to spend my afternoon.

By organizing with intent, I also realized that it was easier to get rid of things. Decisions for purging were no longer about emotional connection to an object, they were about asking oneself if the object supports the way we want to live, not how we used to live or how we might live tomorrow, but how we are living now.   I have to say, I feel much lighter as a result and some charities are going to score big the next time they come by our house!

How about you?  How do you organize?  Do you like the task?  Hate it?  Any tips to share?