Have you tried to get organized in the past and just gave up? The culprit might be your level of commitment. If you’re in a situation where you haven’t gotten organized for a long time, or clutter has been building up for many years, you’re taking on a big project. No doubt about it. Your commitment must be strong or you’ll slow down and get discouraged, or stop altogether and decide that it’s hopeless.
Getting committed starts organically. You look around one day and realize that you really want to change your environment. Something clicks inside you and you know you’ve got to do it now if you’re ever going to do it. The question is, how do you stay committed?
Of course, the first answer that comes to my mind is to hire a clutter coach like me to help you. But let’s look at what a coach can do for you and see if there are ways you can coach yourself.
As I mentioned, creating a goal or commitment isn’t usually the hard part. It’s the follow through, the actual doing, that can grind on and on, way past the end of your initial enthusiasm. It’s kind of like being in love. At first, you are starry eyed and believe that nothing can go wrong. Then you start seeing bits of reality creep in and they tarnish your original image of love.
Some relationships die at this point. The ones that continue do so because of commitment. You realize that the love relationship you wanted is always still there, despite morning grumpiness and badly squeezed toothpaste tubes.
Coach yourself to remember what was originally exciting and stimulating about your commitment. Feel in your bones the wonderful benefits of decluttering that room, for example. Would you feel lighter? Clearer? More energetic? What about honoring yourself? Making a decision and following through on it? Accomplishing a feat that you weren’t sure you could and then feeling proud of yourself? Envisioning a thrilling goal and then seeing it as reality?
A simple way to keep your organizing vision in front of you is to collect pictures that embody it. These can be of actual, organized rooms or they can be of serene landscapes, happy scenes or other inspirational images.
If you’ve started to get organized and there’s a place that you’ve made to look exactly the way you want, take a picture of it and post it. Appreciate what you’ve done. Celebrate it. This picture can also come in handy if the area starts to get cluttered again. It will serve as a reminder of how you want it to look so you can use it as a template to re-achieve that look.
Acknowledge that you can get organized because here’s photographic proof right here that you’ve done it! If you did it once, you can do it again. Expect that you’ll be successful based on that. Positive feelings about your accomplishments are powerful motivators. You don’t need to know everything right now about how you’ll do it. What you need most is to nourish your commitment so it will carry you through.