Building BlocksLast week we looked at the first 4 blocks to an organized lifestyle. Today, we’re going to look at the last 5 blocks to see how we can bring true order to our homes and lives.

Building Blocks towards Order

Once you’ve chosen to pursue order, committed to the process, made the time and got started, and began to make decisions, then you’re ready to move on:

5.  Let go.  I’ve said it before, “You can’t organize clutter!” You may try, but it won’t bring you the lasting order you long for.  The only way to get organized is to let go.

That means you have to declutter and determine what you truly want and need in your life and remove anything that is unused, unloved, or unneeded.  Decluttering can be a difficult process and often a stumbling block for most people. However, once you do, you’ll find your life and your space, brighter and lighter!

6.  Create systems. Once you’ve decluttered and kept only what is important to you, then it’s time to create a system that will allow you to house and organize those precious items.

The problem for most people at this stage is their desire to copy or emulate what is seen on Pinterest or in the magazines.  While those are great sources of inspiration, organizing isn’t one-size-fits-all.  Whatever organizing system you chose, it needs to be based on your personality, your stage of life, your space, and your stuff.

It also has to be a system that can be tweaked and has room for growth.  After using your system for awhile you might find some things didn’t work as you’d hoped.  You haven’t failed, you just need to adjust!  You’ll also need to remember that inevitably, you will buy or bring new items into your spaces.  Can your system handle more? Make sure to leave some empty space in your system for new items so you don’t cause fresh clutter and overwhelm.

7.  Apply the system.  Once you’ve created and set-up your organizing system, you can’t just leave it there and think that it will take care of itself.  It won’t!  You’ll have to work and maintain the system on a regular basis. You see, organizing isn’t a one-time event, but rather a lifelong process.

So how do you do that? Revisit your system frequently and change what isn’t working, identify items that are no longer need and let go of them, and actually use the system by putting things back.  When disorganization slips back into a space, it’s usually because most people ignore or skip this step altogether.

8.  Follow-through.  I like to say that the fortune is in the follow-through! True organizing success not only depends on the blocks you’ve completed beforehand but also the habits you develop to sustain your journey.

Here are a few follow-through habits that you can work on to keep you orderly:

  • Do things now, not later
  • Assign homes to items as they come in the house
  • Purge frequently
  • Finish what you start
  • Establish routines
  • Avoid temptations

As Aristotle said, “We are what we habitually do.”  Try to instill one habit into your life and see how it makes a difference in your organizing efforts.

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9.  Lifestyle.  The ultimate goal of getting organized is not to just have an inviting and pretty space but to create a lifestyle for yourself.  Living organized allows you to be and do so much more – from inviting family and friends over to eating healthy to enjoy the things that matter most in your life. And isn’t that what life is supposed to be about?

While this isn’t a fool-proof or guaranteed approach towards an organized life, it is a great way to start building one.  You may find as you climb these blocks that you’ll take one step forward and two steps back, but it’s not a race.  Do what you can, with what you have and where you are and eventually you’ll reach the top!

What building block are you currently on?

How can understanding these blocks make a difference for your organizing journey?

Leave a comment and let me know!

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