When you’re working through a to-do list, urgent tasks become top priority, while other items on your list may be put off for a long time. Often, home organization may be one of those tasks that falls by the wayside because it may not be urgent. One motivational tactic to help improve momentum when tackling home organizing projects is to develop a sense of urgency. If you do not have a timeline in mind, it can be hard to feel compelled to keep organizing.
Although home organizing is never a one-time task, because it requires almost daily upkeep to keep a space organized, setting a deadline to tackle your major organizing goals can be incredibly motivating. When I first meet with my home organizing clients, we discuss goals, priorities and timelines before starting the organizing projects.
Here are some tips to help you move forward and set deadlines when working on organizing projects:
Turn “Someday” into a Date on the Calendar
If you’re decluttering and organizing because you’re going to move “someday”. Narrow that someday down. Perhaps you’re moving after your children have left the nest, when you get married, before the birth of a child, etc. You can narrow the date down to a year, month, or season. If you’re moving even sooner, discuss the date that your home will be put on the market with your realtor, and that day becomes your FINAL declutter date). If you want to get organized on the other end, when you move in to a new house, finalize the date that the moving truck will arrive at your new residence, and that is the start of your project. If you have a wedding date or expected arrival date of your child, those are your deadlines.
Invite Others to Your Home
Other than moving or other life transitions, the times that I’ve seen the most motivation and momentum to get organized are when visitors are coming to your home. You’ll want to make friends or family feel comfortable in your home, and create a good impression with an organized and clean space. If you don’t have someone scheduled to visit, inviting them on a specific date will give you your end deadline to help move you forward. Some examples are visitors for Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer vacations, dinner parties, weddings, family reunions, or even a sleepover for your children.
Make a Deadline to be Ready for the Unexpected
Many times, decluttering and organizing is needed because of an unplanned event. For example, when someone suffers an illness or ailment and has to move to a rehabilitation or senior living community. Although these dates can never be certain, you could make a plan to be organized by a certain age…maybe select a certain birthdate or your retirement date as your organizing deadline.
Aim for an Important Date
Make getting organized a gift to yourself for a special occasion. Choose your birthday, an anniversary, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. Set your own deadline, and tell others about it for accountability to help you stick to it!
It is great to want to get organized for peace of mind, and to reduce stress and save time and money in the long run, but making or having a deadline will really keep the ball rolling. If you’re in need of organizing services, tips or accountability from an experienced Certified Professional Organizer (virtually over Zoom nationwide, or in-person in the Raleigh, NC area), feel free to reach out to me for a consultation call to get started on your journey to a more organized life.