Building Blocks of an Organized Lifestyle

As you start a new year and resolve once again to get organized, you may question if that’s even possible for you.  You’ve tried before in the past, without much success.  It just doesn’t seem that you were meant to be an organized person.

Perhaps, you wonder, if being organized is a trait only a few are born with? Or is there a specific formula you missed and if you could just apply and follow it, you’d be able to accomplish your dream?

Sadly, there’s no evidence supporting organizing as a character or personality trait, nor is there a magical formula or method for you to put into practice.  In truth, being organized is a skill anyone can learn. 

And as with any skill, there is a  series of steps or building blocks,  you have to follow in order to master the skill.  Being organized is no exception.

So what are the building blocks of an organized lifestyle?  Let’s take a look….

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The Building Blocks of an Organized Lifestyle

While there are some people who have a talent or strong inclination towards a skill, most people are starting from square one.  They are learning the basics first so that they can build a firm foundation that will allow them to become a master.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what steps or building blocks someone would need to complete in order to consider themselves an “organizing guru”.  They would look something like this:

Let’s take a look at the first few blocks and see what each one entails and how you can conquer them to build an orderly life:

1. Choose – No one can make you be organized. Granted, they may try, but in truth, the decision is ultimately yours.  You have to choose order over chaos. You have to choose to develop the skill.  You’ll also have to choose to: break up with your clutter, gain knowledge,  make the time,  get started and put in the effort.  Until you make a choice, nothing will ever happen.

2.  Commit – Once you’ve made the choice to get organized, then you have to commit to the process. Commitment is defined as “dedication or devotion to an activity”.  In other words, no more lip service and no more excuses.  Committing to an organized life means doing the work, however hard it may be.  It means pushing through, even though every part of you wants to quit.

One thing that might make the commitment process easier for you is to define your “why”.  Before you can learn the “how” of being organized you need to establish “why” you want to get organized.  This “why” will be your motivating factor and will be what keeps you going when you want to give up.  Although you may make the choice to get organized, if you don’t commit fully to the process then you’ll never master the skill.

3.  Start – While it may seem like an easy block to conquer, getting to the starting line can be much harder than you think.  You may find that once you commit to the organizing process, things will come up in your life to distract you and keep you from starting the process.

Fear, doubts, situations, and other people may paralyze you from taking action.  Regardless of how you feel, or what others may think or say if you truly want an organized life you have to put one foot in front of the other and walk up to the starting line. Once you do, you’ll begin the journey of a lifetime.

4.  Be able to make decisions.  Barbara Hemphill says that clutter (and ultimately chaos) is the result of postponed decisions. Uncertainty, doubt, and fear can keep you from making a decision about whether or not to keep something and where or how you should create homes for the items you own.  The inability to make decisions is a major stumbling block for many people.

You need to be willing, and able, to make decisions (and lots of them!) on your journey to an organized life.  While it may seem difficult at first, the more decisions you make, the more courage and confidence you’ll gain in your decision-making.  Eventually, you’ll reach a point where deciding on something no longer torments you and in fact, becomes second nature.  When that happens, you’ll find the next building block much easier to tackle.

We’ll take a look at the last 5 building blocks in next week’s post, so stay tuned!

But before you go, what are your thoughts about the four building blocks of an organized lifestyle? Have you ever given much thought to them or realized how essential they were to your organizing journey?  Let’s start a conversation – leave a comment below!


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