Rally the Troops! When it comes to having a beautifully organized home or office, it’s important to keep key players in mind. If you aren’t the only inhabitant of the space it will take a group effort to transform the area from cluttered and chaotic to functional and inspiring. You will be more successful if you can get buy-in as well as input as to what systems will be easy to adjust to for everyone.
Respect your investments. Our homes and belongings are the result of great effort and care: hard work, time, and money has gone into every aspect of your home. Each piece has a purpose it was designed for. When we respect our spaces and our belongings by using them for their intended purpose, we extend their value and usefulness. Using them improperly breaks them down faster, meaning it will need to be replaced or repaired sooner.
Start with a clean space. When embarking on a new project I recommend giving the room a good clean start. Identifying what is dirty vs. cluttered before you start making changes will improve the process. This extra step gives you a chance to see what you have to work with while removing anything that could slow down the progress. Working around a mess is always more work.
Develop habits and routines. One solution I have found when dealing with clutter is creating a quick tidy up routine. This often means having empty, decorative baskets handy on a shelf. It takes little effort to grab one and fill up before heading out the door in the morning or before heading to bed at the end of the day. Then the basket’s contents can be taken care of at a set time each day.
Implement a chore chart. Most people have already tried a chore chart. If you have and you did not see much success, now is a good time to give it another chance. In combination with the first four tips, charts can add structure and accountability to these developing habits. Now you have 1) the family on board, 2) a mindset of respect, 3) a clean place to work, and 4) simple routines with systems that function well. Your family is now set up to succeed with a maintenance schedule. If just one task gets done a day then the weekend is not spent catching up on a week’s worth of house work. Instead everyone gets to enjoy quality time together.
Reaffirm boundaries. Continuing to build on these tools, it could be time to evaluate the expectations set for the group. Setting boundaries, communicating expectations, and leading by example can reinforce and strengthen the systems you have built. I like to keep in mind that there is a time and place for everything. Imagine trying to play football on a basketball court. It would be impossible to do well because the space is not designed for that kind of use. We get more out of our space when we design and use it with intention and purpose.
Get Creative! Be resourceful, work with what you’ve got, take chances, and shake things up. And if needs be, let me be your DIY buddy! If you have something you don’t use anymore, see if you can repurpose it. Many of my clients have felt such joy from taking on a project and truly surprising themselves by what they can create. These creations often become the center of attention and the first thing they show their friends after the redesign is complete.
Need tips for getting organized at work? You’ve already got them! Replace “home” with “office” and “kids” with “team members” and you are on your way. To make big changes to improve efficiency and function in the office you will need 1) buy-in from members, 2) an understanding of how resources should be used, 3) a clean area to work in, 4) small systems that hold up throughout the day and work well together, 5) a schedule for maintaining those systems, 6) clearly communicated expectations and boundaries, and 7) a willingness to get creative and be resourceful.