Procrastinating: we all do it. I know getting the ball rolling on any organizing project can be hard. You look at a gorgeous closet or pantry on Instagram and say, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want my house to look like!” Yet your reality is far from the image staring back at you. So how do we get from where we are, usually some state of panic, anxiety or overwhelm, to a picture perfect daily existence? I’ve come up with a four step process to help you get going even when it feels impossible.
1. Begin with the end in mind
Knowing what you want is the key to fulfilling any goal. Create a very clear vision for each of the spaces you want to organize BEFORE you do anything. If you don’t know HOW you want each of your rooms to function, you will go down an very disappointing path. It’s kind of like going to a lender for a business loan without a business plan. You can’t walk into the bank and ask for a loan without explaining in great detail what it is that you plan to do with the money. Do the same for yourself and your home. How do you want your spaces to feel? What kinds of activities do you plan to do in each space? What supplies will live in each room?
It’s too vague to say, “I want my house to be organized.” That’s not enough information to create a plan. If you believe in the spiritual side of things like I do, The Universe likes specificity. In order to have your wishes granted, try to be as detailed as possible while writing down your desires. Make a vision board. Make a Pinterest board. Get creative with your roadmap. Designating the functions and feel for each space will make a world of difference when deciding what comes in and what goes out of your home.
2. Let go of perfectionism—stop procrastinating
Most of us look at the pretty pictures on Pinterest and Instagram and have no clue the amount of work and maintenance that goes into those spaces. And let’s be honest, most of the images you’re drooling over are staged and are 100% NOT how real people live. Even my pantry doesn’t look like the ones I post on my page (truth bomb).
The truth of the matter is, we will spend more time in our head trying to work out how to get something done instead of just doing the damn thing already. Why do we do this? We usually fear doing it wrong so we simply don’t start. Sound familiar? I hear it time and time again, “I just don’t know where to begin. It’s so overwhelming.”
Get out of your head and get into action. I love to do breathwork meditation with my clients for this exact reason! It’s a very physiological meditation practice that helps us to feel instead of staying stuck in ruminating thoughts that often paralyze us. If you have a regular exercise routine, I suggest doing that prior to starting an organizing project that feels daunting. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, dance it out, breathe, do whatever you need to do to get in your body and out of your head then jump in!
3. Start with something simple
If you commit and follow through with something relatively painless, you may find that your momentum will naturally build. Let’s say you clean out your sock drawer (don’t forget about all the lonely socks hanging out in your laundry room or behind the dryer). I’m guessing you’re gonna want to go through the underwear drawer next and then your t-shirts and so on. Humans enjoy the feeling of completion. Start with a doable task and build-up to the ones that feel more challenging.
4. “Bookend” your commitments with a supportive friend or loved one
Stating your commitment out loud and being accountable for it makes you way more likely to actually do what you said you were going to do. I learned about “bookending” my commitments when I was a member of Overeaters Anonymous. It was a really supportive way for me be a woman of my word on a much deeper level. If I told a fellow that I was going to have a certain meal, I committed to it and once I was started eating I checked in with her. Once I was finished, I let her know. It felt really good to have followed through with my commitment and be held in high esteem. By consistently following through and sticking to my word, I built up my self confidence and strengthened a set of muscles that I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own.