Get­ting or­gan­ised

Glean tips from ex­perts to­wards a clut­ter-free life.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - By KIM ODE

ANEW year prompts scru­tiny. We look at our lives, homes and jobs with the goal of be­ing more or­gan­ised. A key step is sim­ply be­liev­ing that we can do bet­ter, whether it’s hav­ing cleaner cup­boards or bet­ter ways of solv­ing prob­lems. We asked sev­eral pro­fes­sional or­gan­is­ers how they tackle achiev­ing a more or­gan­ised ap­proach to life and work. Here are their best tips: Kristina For­tune An­der­son, Vi­tal­ity Or­ga­niz­ing (vi­tal­i­ty­or­gan iz­ing.com)

The first step to get­ting or­gan­ised is to find your big why. Find a deeply com­pelling rea­son why get­ting or­gan­ised is im­por­tant to the vi­sion you have for your life.

To keep from feel­ing over­whelmed, fo­cus your at­ten­tion on the present mo­ment and take one small ac­tion to­wards your goal.

What­ever you do, don’t crit­i­cise, blame or shame your­self for per­ceived past or cur­rent or­gan­is­ing fail­ures.

The best ad­vice for main­tain­ing suc­cess is to take im­per­fect ac­tion and course-cor­rect as you go.

Ex­tra tip: Re­mem­ber that be­com­ing or­gan­ised is a process and there is no one right way to do it. Ex­per­i­ment un­til you find what works for you. Michelle Thomas and Su­san Bues­gens, re­Vi­sion Con­sul­tants (re­vi­sion­con­sul­tants.com)

First step: Ac­knowl­edge the cause and de­cide to make a change. Be­gin by pri­ori­tis­ing the spe­cific ar­eas of your life that need or­gan­is­ing.

To keep from feel­ing over­whelmed, fo­cus on one task at a time, oth­er­wise ev­ery­thing ends up in­com­plete. Don’t over­com­mit. Take back your time by not agree­ing to ev­ery­thing that you are asked to do.

Don’t keep some­thing that isn’t func­tional or that you don’t love. It’s clut­ter and can be a time drain. Ev­ery­thing needs a home, and less clut­ter gives you a clear mind to tackle any as­pect of your life.

To main­tain suc­cess, cre­ate a cal­en­dar and use to-do lists to break down your day into smaller, more man­age­able pieces.

Ex­tra tip: Start small and cel­e­brate lit­tle suc­cesses. It will help you stay mo­ti­vated to con­tinue. Kathy Franzen, Project Part­ners Or­ga­niz­ing (pro­ject­part­nerserv ices.com)

First step: Pick up one item and make a de­ci­sion about it. En­vi­sion what you want the space to look and feel like. But the first tac­tile ac­tion is sim­ply to pick up one item.

To keep from feel­ing over­whelmed, set a timer for a short time (10 to 20 min­utes) and al­low your­self to be done when the timer rings. Fo­cus on a small area and try to make quick de­ci­sions, like keep or toss. Save the more dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions for af­ter you’ve made some progress and you be­gin to feel mo­ti­vated.

Don’t try to or­gan­ise by your­self when you are pressed for time or tired. Or­gan­is­ing when you are emo­tion­ally drained is a recipe for dis­as­ter.

To main­tain suc­cess, spend some time ev­ery day straight­en­ing up and putting items where they be­long. Keep your main­te­nance or­gan­is­ing to a few tasks. If you save it all for the end of the week (or longer), it be­comes a project. Chris­tine Daves, Think Or­ga­nized (think-or­ga­nized.com)

First step: Imag­ine the space the way you want it to be. Clut­ter isn’t lim­ited to just the items you see. It can man­i­fest visu­ally, au­di­bly and cog­ni­tively. Hav­ing too many pat­terns or colours in a space can ex­ac­er­bate a feel­ing of dis­or­gan­i­sa­tion.

To keep from feel­ing over­whelmed, give a task your full at­ten­tion. Hav­ing a ra­dio or TV on asks your brain to work dou­ble­time when it might not be nec­es­sary. Lit­tle things like that can build on ex­ist­ing stress. While many peo­ple be­come skilled at multi-task­ing, it is im­por­tant to con­sider if that is “clut­ter­ing” your mind.

Don’t take some­thing to another room and get caught up in another or­gan­is­ing project. That’s an easy way to get a house full of emp­tied clos­ets, which feels chaotic and over­whelm­ing.

To main­tain suc­cess, have a space for ev­ery­thing. When items have an ac­ces­si­ble, log­i­cal home, it is eas­ier to put them away and re­duce clut­ter.

This doesn’t mean you need to stop do­ing the things you do, but in­stead find ways to sim­plify your pro­cesses. That might mean hav­ing two pairs of gloves – one that stays in the ski bag and one in the ice-skat­ing bag. Keep a list of what you need for an out­ing to the beach with your beach bag. In­stead of rack­ing your brain, you merely look at the list. Th­ese prin­ci­ples can be ap­plied to al­most any­thing you do. Jan Lehman, Can The Clut­ter (can the­clut­ter.com)

First step: De­ter­mine the root cause of the dis­or­gan­i­sa­tion. For some, it is ob­vi­ous, but for many it is the real rea­son they can never stay or­gan­ised.

To keep from feel­ing over­whelmed, we of­ten rec­om­mend you en­list help. The key is to en­list some­one who is non-judg­men­tal. We are hard enough on our­selves – we don’t want some­one who is go­ing to add to any guilty feel­ings. Don’t beat your­self up and don’t be em­bar­rassed to ask for help.

To main­tain suc­cess, have what we call “an ac­count­abil­ity buddy” who can keep you on track as you be­gin your or­gan­i­sa­tional jour­ney. And re­mem­ber that it can take three to four weeks to learn a new skill. – Star Tri­bune/McClatchyTri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Get your ducks in a row: It’s a good time to clear out the clut­ter at home (and at work) and or­gan­ise your space. —MCT

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