How to: Tidy Systematically

There's one question that I've found many organization-seekers face. It's an age-old question that plagues the lives of hundreds, or even thousands, a year. That is


If you've decided that you're ready to get organized, you have hopefully already set your goals and aim to target a specific area or "battleground," if I may. Your sleeves are rolled up, the appropriate tunes are streaming through your speakers, and the war paint is on your face. Here's when you may get stumped. What's the next step? How will you tackle your goal? What's the first thing that you need to do?


The most crucial thing to keep in mind is the importance of being systematic. I tell my clients every day that the road to organization is covered in systematic stepping stones. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Keep your head in the game. Stay FOCUSED. I can whip out some more catch phrases but I think you get the point. Here are some pointers for staying systematic during your organizing session.

Work on one thing at a time. For example, if you're organizing a shelving unit, start with one shelf. Don't move to the next shelf until you've completely finished the first shelf. If you're trying to organize your room, work on the closet first and then move onto the desk ONCE THE CLOSET IS COMPLETE.

Don't let any item bog you down. You won't be able to stay systematic if you place a belonging in purgatory. Let's go back to that shelf. To get it organized, consider each item one by one and determine if you need it, how you use it and then where it should go. Don't ignore the items that you're not sure about and are therefore more daunting. Instead, take the time to make a decision before moving along.

Make piles. Items will inevitably need to be relocated throughout the process. Maybe you want to move something to your kitchen or donate that old hat. Create clear piles for the various things and be aware of where you aim to resettle them. Granted, you can run to the kitchen every time you find a belonging that you plan to move there, but that wouldn't be efficient. Making a pile will allow you to kill more birds with fewer stones and save you time and energy.

Don't let the piles get too high. If the zone surrounding you is starting to look like a graveyard of piles, take a few minutes to eliminate those mounds. Go on that trip to the kitchen, move the filled up donation bag to another room and out of the way. This will help you stay victorious (see: synonym for "overwhelmed") and moving systematically.

Stay on track. For real, don't lose focus. If you feel yourself mentally drifting off, take a minute to remember what your goal is. Don't cop out and jump to a new area or even worse, give up. It will take a much longer time to accomplish your goal if you don't stay on target.

Systematic, systematic, systematic, systematic, systematic. I need to do some research on how subliminal messages work.