Organize It!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

If you want to get organized there are some basic rules to follow. These are my rules otherwise known as "organizing it's":
  • Leave It
  • Love It
  • Lid It
  • Loose It
  • Lean into It
You'll hear a lot about these if you visit my blog often. This is a short overview for each "it."

Leave It
One of the biggest barriers to getting organized is that you keep buying stuff. Quit it. If you see something at the store you really like, ask yourself these questions: Do I already have a place for this? Do I want this more than I want the money it will cost? Do I want it enough to dust/launder/clean/maintain it?

Think of every purchase as a commitment. If you buy it, you are committed to caring for it. Are you really up to that kind of commitment for that particular item? If not, leave it at the store and you can go back and visit it any time.

Love It
Because everything you own comes with a commitment, it's okay to keep the stuff you're really committed to. LOVE your stuff. If you don't love it, you don't need it. How do you know if you love it? Think of the thing and see if you can insert it into this sentence, "You can have my _____, when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands." Now that's love!

You love it if you can think of creative ways to use and/or store it. One client of mine loved a green, sequined skirt she wore in her high school show choir days. She could not part with it (despite my pleading). So the skirt is now her Christmas Tree Skirt.

Little tip: if your thing has been in a box in the garage for six months, you don't love it.

Lid It
To be organized, you need boundaries. Where they aren't naturally, create them. You have some boundaries you must stay within, the top, bottom, and four walls of your house for example. Your stuff must fit within these boundaries. Technically, you can spill over and put your couch on your front lawn, your stuff in a storage shed. But don't. You'll be surprised how effectively a simple boundary will keep you organized. Look around. Where there is a trouble spot, see if you can use a lid to solve the problem.

Loose It
Ah, the fun part. This is the It everyone thinks of when they think of getting organized, the It where you sort and get rid of stuff. There are so many ways to make this a fun process like using a friend or having a purge party. It boils down to this: You can simplify. You don't need everything you have. Getting rid of it will make you feel like a new person.

Lean into It
Have you ever noticed things that seem magical almost always seem magical because someone has put A LOT of behind-the-scenes work into them? Organizing is hard work. You need to know that and lean into it the way you would when walking in a hurricane.

Lean into it is also about putting systems into place that work for you and not the other way around. This will require some trial and error so stick with it.

So that's my philosophy in a nutshell. What do you think? Have the "it's" worked for you?


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