We ARE what we live in, and we typically share a cause & effect relationship with our surroundings. It's the same –the chicken or the egg dilemma, not knowing which comes first. Because sometimes a disorganized space is the cause of stress and sometimes the already existing stress leads to disorganization. Add to this, the challenges of having young children & parenting and the stress can multiply.
Fortunately, there are several effective ways to get organized and always the option of seeking the help of an organizing expert. In my opinion, getting organized is easier if you can apply these five basics of organizing. Organizing is about learning the skills, so once you master these; they will be in your treasure forever!
- Start Small! Don't make organizing a daunting task. The process will only be somewhat enjoyable if you take baby steps and start with one area/project at a time. Be ambitious but realistic. Whether you are a working or stay-at-home parent, set a timer to ensure you pick up as much clutter in 5 to 10 minute increments, no more!
- Clean First! Cleaning usually precedes the organizing. As you organize you will see that some areas could use a good scrub. Cleaning sets a good foundation for the organizing and also provides the clarity for your physical space. For example, as your declutter your/your child's closet, make sure to vacuum inside the closet or dust those less frequently accessed shelves.
- Create a Vision! Remember you are organizing for yourself. This is your space, and you need to know what you want out of it. Take some time to think about how it could best complement your needs. But remember to do the same for your child's room by creating a space that will meet their needs, so it can ultimately foster independence.
- Take Action! After taking inventory of what you need & don't, tackle the items by sorting them into relevant categories, assigning a good spot for them and finding the right storage. If it's easy to find what you need, it will be easier to put it away when done also. This theory works really well for toys organization. Make sure to store toys by categories (e.g. blocks, balls, dolls etc).
- Make it Yours! Plans and action steps are great, but a space can only be enjoyed when it is personalized. Give it your own touch by adding any favorite memorabilia. This will certainly enhance your sense of ownership & a desire to keep your newly organized space tidy. Same for your children!
Pooja Gugnani is a professional organizer, efficiency expert, and owner of Organizing With You, Inc. A company offering home, office & relocation organizing services, serving the entire Chicago land area. Pooja launched Organizing With You in 2009, building on her passion for organizing. Her clients range from a busy mom to a busy executive and also clients with special needs. Pooja strongly believes that getting organized is an investment into one's overall wellness. Her goal is to help clients get organized by providing customized solutions and organization systems, so they can maximize space & minimize stress.