5 Common Organizing Mistakes

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

In my travels as a professional organizer, I repeatedly hear and see many of the same roadblocks that cause people to get side tracked as they begin the process of organizing.  Here are 5 common organizing mistakes that I see on a regular basis.  None of them will prevent you from getting organized but they certainly will make it more difficult.

1.  ONE WAY THINKING…

I find that a lot of people delay organizing because they think there is only one way to organize.  For example a common question that I get is “what is the correct way to set up a filing system in a home office”?  Truth is there is not just “one way”.  A professional organizer could provide options for you but the important thing is to START somewhere.  You don’t need all the answers when starting to organize…Just Start!

2.  NOT PURGING…

The key element of organizing is throwing stuff out.  That’s because a key element of disorganization is TOO MUCH STUFF.  You will get backed into a corner if you think the goal is to find a place for everything.  Truthfully everything  does not deserve a place.  So when you are organizing that home office, look at papers critically and get mentally prepared to toss!

3.  TIME IS TOO SHORT…

Truth is getting organized take time and energy.  You shortchange yourself if you plan to do too much in a short time.  If you only have small blocks of time to organize then break the areas down into smaller manageable projects.  Organizing is not like sweeping…it requires decisions and lots of them so go into it realistically with enough time and energy allowed.

4.  ONE AND DONE…

Voila…you completed your organizing task.  You feel great…like the weight of world is lifted.  You enjoy the easy movement around your office.  You are getting things done so quickly!  And then after about a week that weight seems to be returning.  Organizing is about creating a habit…not a complicated habit but a habit nonetheless.  So once you have achieved “organization” then remember you need to move into the “maintenance” phase.

5.  PURCHASED WRONG CONTAINERS…

We’ve all done this.  We see a really cool product in the store.  We buy it because we can imagine how wonderful it will look in the walls of our office AND it will solve an office organizing dilemma.  One month later it still sits in the closet OR it is on the wall but empty.  Containers should be purchased at the end of the organizing process.  This is when you will have a clear understanding of WHAT you need to store and HOW MUCH.

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