Organizing Myths…Debunked

We all can benefit from being more organized, especially since being organized is one of the keys to being more productive. Many of us are blocked from getting organized because we believe some common myths about the organizing process.

Here’s a look at some of the most prevalent organizing myths and the truth behind them.

  • Organized people are born with a special talent that the rest of us don’t have. While it’s true that being organized comes naturally to some people, anyone can learn organizational skills. Creating to-do lists, prioritizing tasks, putting things in their place and getting rid of junk – none of these skills are actually very difficult. Learning how to get organized just requires time, practice and a willingness to do things in new ways.
  • Getting organized takes too much time. Being organized definitely saves time, so it’s worth the investment in time that it takes to get organized. Don’t be misled by television shows that depict a home being organized in a day. Depending on the state of your house or office, initially getting organized can require a sizable time commitment. The key to not getting overwhelmed is to tackle one space at a time and to just keep going.
  • You need all your stuff. People who live through a catastrophe or other life-changing event and lose many of their possessions are often surprised by how little they really need to be happy. When you have too much stuff, you end up spending a lot of time and money maintaining it, keeping track of it and storing it. De-cluttering and narrowing down your list of necessary possessions will give you more time to focus on life-enriching experiences.
  • Throwing away meaningful items destroys memories. Preserving mementos is a good way to preserve memories, but if you surround yourself with clutter that’s tied to the past, you may be interfering with your present happiness. Disconnect your memories from objects. Getting rid of objects that remind you of the past, whether people from the past or events, will not destroy your memories.
  • There’s only one way to get organized. There are probably as many organization schemes as there are people in the world. You’ll find plenty of books and websites that describe organization systems. You can learn a lot about organization from the experts, but the right way to get organized is the way that works for you. You can get basic ideas and tips from other people, but in the end you have to find the system and methods that work for you.
  • Once you get organized, you’re done. Remember that being organized is a process and not an end-state. Staying organized will require shedding old habits and adopting new ones. In order to successfully maintain long-term organization, it’s important to create your own system that feels right for you and that you can live with.
  • Being organized will limit your creativity. In reality, being organized will help you be more creative. When you’re rushing around looking for things and worrying about things you forgot to do, your mind isn’t free for creative thinking. After your home and workspace are neat and clutter-free you’ll feel more relaxed, less frustrated and more creative.
  • Getting organized is expensive. An entire industry has sprung up around organizing the home and office. Many people fall into the trap of buying products and gadgets to help get organized and then never putting them to use. The truth is you don’t need to spend money to get organized. If you want to get organized on a shoestring, use your creativity to make storage items by repurposing things you already own.
  • People who are organized are control freaks. Being organized and being controlling don’t have to go together. Once everything has a place and you’re feeling more organized, remember that you don’t need to achieve organization perfection. This will help you relax and feel in control without being controlling.

The final thing I want to share is a secret I learned when I recently organized my paperwork and garage – organizing is a catalyst for change. If you mindfully approach the process of getting organized, you’ll find yourself becoming more aware of what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish in life. As you set priorities and shed unnecessary possessions, you will have more space, time and energy. You just might be surprised by how much you learn from the process of getting organized.

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