Organizing can take a long time to set up properly, but when you have put in that effort only to have the house look messy a month later, it can be really discouraging.
In this blog post, I will be providing 7 reasons why people struggle to stay organized and tips for how to overcome these struggles so that organization becomes a normal part of your routine.
1. You are too busy
This can be a tough struggle. With so many activities and responsibilities, it is difficult to keep up with everything that needs to get done.
However, it’s important not to let the day go by without completing any tasks at all. Even if they have been pushed down on your list because of other commitments or demands. These tasks can include cleaning or organizing.
You may need to minimize distractions by turning off your phone so that you’re not getting notifications every time an e-mail or text comes in. This really allows you to focus on the tasks at hand.
By writing down what you hope to accomplish for the day, you are much more likely to actually make sure some of those items are done by the end of the day.
Sometimes telling someone else about what you’re hoping to accomplish can also be a great way to stay accountable. Somehow wanting to do something doesn’t always result in action, but knowing that other people are either counting on you or cheering you on gives that extra push.
There may be some tasks that need more attention than others in order to stay on top of them properly. Such as making sure there is enough food stocked in the house before running errands or before the kids go to school. Or writing down when bills are due as soon as they come into the mailbox instead of setting them aside and forgetting them.
If you find you are too tired after a long day of work, then try to wake up 30 minutes earlier to get some tasks done before going to work. Even a small amount of progress will add up to noticeable changes in your home if you stay consistent.
Using a timer can also push you to complete more within a set time. Set a 30-minute timer and get through as much of a room or task as you can.
2. You don’t know where to start
There are many things that can get in the way of staying organized. Not just time.
You may struggle with a lack of focus or clarity about how to start and what needs to be done first, which tasks are most important, etc.
To help clear this up for yourself, pick something small from your list and do it. Try to choose the easiest task possible for a quick win and then take a break before starting another one.
Another strategy that can help is prioritizing your tasks based on how important they are, or if there’s any kind of time limit associated with them.
Coming up with a plan ahead of time will not only help you stay organized and focused but also prevent fatigue or burnout from happening.
Ask for help from your family. They also live in the house and can provide ideas about how they like to organize and help with the organizing projects.
Don’t feel that you need to get everything done at once. Taking small breaks throughout the day can actually increase productivity, concentration levels, and creativity which will make it more likely that you will actually finish your organizing project.
Try taking baby steps towards organizing one area at a time instead of attempting an entire room all at once. This will create less stress and provide more manageable goals for you!
3. You can’t find what you need when you need it
This issue often arises when people have an over-complicated system of organization or they take certain items with them to places outside the home altogether (like at a work office or in the car).
Items inside the home
You want to keep similar items together whenever possible so that you are not looking in multiple places to find the item you need.
So first you will need to sort items and put all similar items together. Then create a storage solution for those items where they are used most frequently.
If you have a great system set up and can consistently put items back where they belong, that is half the battle.
Knowing that all similar items are in one place in your home will not only make it easy to locate, it will also help you avoid purchasing the item again when you don’t need it or running out of the item.
Items that you take outside of the home
If you are taking items outside of the home, could you buy those items for the car or office that you could leave there and still have what you need at home?
If not, then get a bin for items that you frequently take out of the house to bring with you. Get in the habit of returning those items to the bin at the end of the day to bring home.
Once home, find a location close to the front door to store the bin, like your coat closet.
4. It’s not your priority
It’s not that you can’t stay organized, it is just a matter of priority.
For example, it may be more important for some people to spend time with their kids than keep the house organized and clean. This is okay and your kids will be thankful. They won’t remember how the house looked, they will just remember how much fun they had with you.
Other people may enjoy looking through their social media accounts rather than cleaning out the kitchen pantry. Again, if this makes you happy, then there is nothing wrong with that.
If your motivation for staying organized isn’t strong enough due to lack of interest or because other things are taking precedence over getting caught up in your home, then try setting deadlines for yourself so you don’t put off chores indefinitely.
This will help motivate you to complete tasks faster without feeling like they take too much time away from other activities.
If having an organized home is important to you, you will make the time.
Even just picking one day each month that you can set aside strictly for organizing your house will make a huge impact. This could just include throwing away items that are garbage or donating things that you don’t use.
Clearing away the clutter makes it easier to organize what is remaining and you’re more likely to find a solution to contain the items that you use.
5. Lack of storage space in your home
Not everyone has a lot of closets or cabinet space, so this can make organizing items more difficult.
You will have to get more creative with how you organize items and be more strict with what you bring into the home.
First, only keep what you need and love in your home. It will make cleaning up more manageable, too!
Donate or recycle unwanted items. This will ensure that you are not creating spaces for items that you don’t even need or use.
Plan ahead before buying new furniture or any large items by considering how much space it will take up now and into the future.
If you don’t really have the space for the item, it doesn’t mean you can’t buy larger items. You will just have to buy similar items that take up less space.
Create a system for storing items in your closets and cabinets so they are easy to find when needed. This could include bins or shelving.
Use the space under a bed for storage if needed. This space is often forgotten but can store many different items.
Read more about how to find storage solutions for small homes here.
6. You have too many things to organize
If you just have too many items to organize, then you need to start decluttering.
Set aside some time to work through each room of your home to see what could be sold, donated, or thrown away.
The easiest items to get rid of are things that are clearly garbage.
Then move onto items that don’t have any sentimental value attached to them and determine if you really love and will use the item. If not, put it in a pile to donate.
For sentimental items, you may need to set them aside for now because they take longer to process whether you are okay letting them go.
If you have any sentimental items that you know you will never use but that hold a special place in your heart. Create a space for that item in a hidden area (such as a closet) so that you can look at it again later.
Tip: If you haven’t looked at that item in 2 months since you set it aside, take some pictures of it and then donate it.
If you ended up taking it out of storage to use it, then put it back in the area where you used it so that you will remember to use it more often.
Do you have somebody in your life that is holding onto way too much stuff? If you have a friend or family member that you would consider a hoarder, this post will help work through their home.
7. You don’t have a good organizational system
A good organizational system can make all the difference. If you don’t currently have one in place, it’s time to create one!
This may be difficult at first, but once your new system is set up and running smoothly, you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Your goal should be to create an environment where you can thrive. So don’t choose a time to work on organizing that you know you’re going to be really tired and not motivated to work.
If you’re a morning person, this is when you should create some time to focus on organizing. Or if you get a burst of energy in the evening, that is when you should tackle your projects.
For someone who struggles to keep their home organized:
- They may have systems that are too complicated or they don’t know where things go when they’re done using them
- Organizing anything feels like an insurmountable task that will take forever and never be finished
- Items may accidentally get thrown away or lost due to the lack of organization
- They may need to repurchase items, which is costing them more money
- Time is wasted searching for items that are in the home, but can’t be located
People who have a good organizational system in place in their home:
- Plan meals ahead of time
- Have a calendar or a planner, to write down commitments and tasks for the day
- Has places for everything in their home to return to
- Don’t struggle to stay on top of their work or kids’ school projects
- Can find what they need at any given moment
- Take inventory of their pantry, fridge, and freezer, so that they only purchase what they need
We all struggle with staying organized at times. Even the most put-together people have days when they’re not able to keep everything under control! It just takes some time to figure out what works best for you as well as using tools like planners and apps to make things easier.
Organizing should be made a priority in order to keep your home manageable, but don’t stress too much if your home isn’t perfect all of the time.
If you are really struggling to get rid of items, or can not find organizing solutions that work well for your space, it may be time to get some outside help. There are professional organizers who can come to your home and get everything in order for you. They will make sure that you know how to keep up with the new organization system that has been set up.
It’s never a bad thing to be organized, so get started today!
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