The 45 minute Solution: Organizing

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Do you have a long list of organization projects? Do you need a quick solution? You may enjoy my 45-minute solution. Why 45 minutes? It's not too long or too short. The sense of accomplishment is quite high. The objective is to dedicate 45 minutes to a project and 15 minutes to yourself. That’s right, I use it to do whatever you’d like. Here are the steps I follow to guarantee that I get my projects done:

• Write down your Goals - The project has a greater chance of happening when I write it down as a goal. I usually write between 3 and 5 and tackle one at a time. It can be high tech or as simple as writing it on pen and paper. Write it down and see how much you will accomplish!

 Schedule Time - Organizing a space must be an item in my schedule. I am more successful when I schedule organization time while the kids are napping or when they are out with my husband. I am more productive when I have that time for myself.
Done is better than Picture Perfect
• Time Yourself - I set up my timer and work on my project for 45 minutes. The trick is to have everything you need next to you. I use what I have and that’s how I get started, so there is no need to take a trip to the store for extra things. I often listen to a good Podcast or watch a pleasant show while I organize. I find that I work better when I am learning something new.

• Use your own Resources - My latest challenge was to reorganize my girls’ closet. I used the storage I already had. I also used regular bags to sort my “Toss,” “Keep” and “Give” piles. At the end of the 45 minutes the “Toss” pile went immediately to the big trash can outside. The “Keep” pile went to the correct place and the “Give” pile went to my car so I can donate it. I used old greeting cards to label the dresser. My goal was to give the girls more independence as well as learn the days of the week in two languages.
It took me 20 minutes to organize this. I wondered why
it was driving me nuts for so long. 
• Find a Good System - the challenge with organization is that stuff gets disorganized again. It is important to find a system that allows us to stay as organized as possible. For example, my closet organization starts when the kids toss dirty clothes in the right place. It continues with me not ignoring my laundry process. My system also includes donating as many things as I have available. I keep a few items that mean a lot to us but I prefer to donate most things we cannot use. I have found that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Be mindful that sometimes the root of disorganization is a badly executed system.

• Prioritize - Every time I finish organizing an area I remember other areas that can use some love. It is important to focus on one thing at a time. If I don’t focus I become overwhelmed and that feeling paralyzes me. I also learned that ‘done’ is better than ‘perfect.’ Perfection is not the goal of my organization but simplification. I simply want to use our space better.
I told you about the 45 minute solution but I haven’t forgotten about the other 15. I usually enjoy a cup of coffee and a book for 15 minutes. If I have more time in my hands, I continue with another 45-minute block of organizing. If not, I schedule another 45-minute session for another day.

• What is your best organization strategy?