My social feeds have been going bonkers with friends who burned the midnight oil after watching episodes of Marie Kondo’s new show on Netflix. Tired and exhausted, they are proudly posting their before and after photos with the side note that they only got two hours of sleep.
I love everything this show promotes, but it is stressing people the eff out. Last week, I had a random night home alone without my husband or dog, and I decided I should see what the fuss was about. I watched one episode, and I can’t go back, because I felt my chest tightening and anxiety bubbling.
“Wait, I need to Marie Kondo too…right!?
“If I start do I have to finish it tonight?”
“It’s 11 PM…maybe I should start?”
“Will I EVER finish it?”
“OH MY GAWD! What if I give something away that was really important and in my sleep-deprived daze I just tossed it aside to the ‘no joy’ pile when it was REALLY, REALLY JOYFUL?”
Can you relate? Holy smokes.
If you are feeling the urge to get organized but you aren’t sure how or where to start and the idea of going full-on Marie Kondo is causing you heartburn, keep reading. I like things to be easy to integrate. Not that I don’t believe in extreme measures sometimes (hello, 90-Day No-Shopping Challenge), but you can get organized without pulling an all-nighter or giving away everything you own. Let me just say this…it’s okay if you like your stuff. Truly. Yes, I believe that most of us can live with much less then we have now, but not everyone is made for the minimalist lifestyle. No shame.
Let’s get to it.
3 Ways To Ease Into Organization:
1. Break it WAY down.
I LOVE the reason behind putting all of your clothes on the bed and seeing just how much you have…however…#life, friend. For most of us, it’s hard to find time to organize our sock drawer, eat breakfast and call our mom on her birthday, let alone go through every.single.item in our home in one shot. If extreme is your speed, go for it. But if that has you stressed out, take the slower approach.
Select a category and really break it down. Instead of “closet,” or “shirts,” get specific: red shirts, skinny dark jeans, athletic socks. Get it? Turn on a timer for 15 minutes a day and crank it out. Creating tiny categories makes it a bit easier to digest. You’ll be surprised how quickly it will go and how much you can get organized.
2. Use it or lose it.
This is all about being mindful in your daily routines. When you use something (especially if you have multiples), take note when you are using it and ask yourself, “Do I like this?” Yes, this is similar to asking “does this bring me joy,” except instead of trying on your clothes in your room, we are doing it in real time…out in the wild. Right? I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have pieces of my wardrobe that fit perfectly in my bedroom until I have to sit in them for eight hours at the office.
Be sure to designate a space where you can distinguish your “yes” pile from your “no” pile. This is similar to flipping all of your hangers one way in the closet and then hanging them the opposite when you wear something. My tip: put the things you like back in the closet, but the items you want to get rid of in a bag to be donated once it is full.
3. Start where the stress is.
Most of us have an area in our house that we can’t seem to keep organized, and it is absolutely driving us bonkers. Mine is the front entry hall mail frenzy. It’s the bain of my existence. If you have an area like this, start there, friend. Whatever area it is, break it way down and get specific so you are doing it over a few days. Before you start, be mindful of your behavior around that area for a few days to a week.
This is important because it tells you why it is hard to keep it organized. Too much stuff? Wrong system? Can’t see things? It’s highlighting the missing link. Once you identify the main culprit, then you can take action to make it easy. Keywords: MAKE IT EASY.
My biggest tip for overall organization: It must be easier to put away than it is to take out.
Brianna Firestone is the founder of The School of Betty, a platform that empowers women to create better relationships with their money, time, and energy so they can build financial freedom and lessen stress. Download her 5 Actions to a Badass Money Relationship here.
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