Organizing — Part 1: Tips for the Busy Woman!
Today we are kicking off The WINning Touch Blog with some tips from one of our favorite WIN ladies, Amber Taggard, with The Organizer Chicks. This blog is designed to provide helpful tips for busy working women from experts in their industry. Thank you Amber for being our first contributor and giving us some ORGANIZING TIPS that we are certain every busy lady can use! Look for daily blog posts from some of your favorite WIN Ladies that want to use their business/industry knowledge to help working women with their busy life!
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Here we go! Our first Blog Post brought to us by….
Several years ago, while I was working on my graduate degree in Counseling Psychology, I came across an astounding statistic: The average person spends 17 minutes each day looking for something they’ve misplaced. 17 minutes! That adds up to right at two hours a week, which is nearly 9 hours in a month, and a whopping 107 hours in a calendar year. That’s more than 13 work days of aggravation and loss of productivity, and all of it avoidable through the power of organization.
It was with this in mind that I decided to go into business as a Professional Organizer, and over the years, I’ve had many clients say to me, “This is just so overwhelming and I don’t know where to start.” So I’ve come up with the following list of best practices for getting started on your organizing project.
- Schedule organizing as an action item. The first step is to make a set-in-stone time to accomplish some organization. Use your calendar or day planner to schedule the appointment with yourself. Set an audible reminder if need be. When the day comes and that timer goes off, honor the appointment. You wouldn’t just skip out on a meeting scheduled with a business associate, friend, or family member, so give yourself permission to treat this organizing appointment with that same level of respect.
- Remove distractions. That phone that you used to remind you of the organizing appointment? Turn the ringer off during your scheduled organizing time, or leave it in another room all together. Emails and texts can wait, I promise! Also, I highly recommend bringing into the space something that I call the “elsewhere basket.” It’s a basket, bin, or box that you keep in the space and use each time you find something that goes somewhere else in the house. This keeps you from leaving the organizing space with the good intention of putting something away, and then getting distracted along the way.
- Bring in some fun. Turn the radio on to your favorite station and open the blinds or windows. Let the natural light into the space and keep some snacks and a drink on hand. Any task will feel like drudgery if you’re doing it in a semi-dark room while hungry, so fuel yourself, enjoy the light, and whistle (or dance!) while you work!
- Pick a starting point and stay on task. The magical answer to the question, “Where do I begin?” is, “It doesn’t really matter!” Personally, I walk into the space and typically start with the thing on the farthest right-hand side. Work in a sweeping motion, touching and dealing with every item you come across as you work to the left, and eventually around the whole room. Use the “elsewhere basket” to keep from leaving the space and before you know it, the room will be complete
- Get help when needed. If you’re overwhelmed by the task ahead of you, don’t go it alone. Call a friend, family, or Professional Organizer in to help. Sometimes, you can truly be “too close” to a situation to be able to see issues and solutions clearly, and having a non-judgmental third-party on hand can make all the difference. .
- Celebrate your success! Take a “before” and “after” photo and be proud of yourself! You did good work!
Stay tuned for the 2nd in this 3 part series on getting organized: Purging and Sorting, and be sure to find us at Facebook.com/TheOrganizerChicks for more tips and tricks, as well as some inspirational before and after pictures!