Are you looking for some quick organizing projects? They can help make you feel like you’re still in control. Are you trying to find ways to minimize clutter without having to miss a fun summer day? Keep reading! We have ideas, motivations, and insights to help you make short organizing projects work to reduce your stress and clutter.
Don’t Feel Bad If You Didn’t Accomplish Everything
Just like that, school supplies are back on the shelves. Schedules and classroom assignments are being posted. And those long, lazy days of summer that were stretching before you now seem to be contracting just as quickly. How is it almost fall already? It’s not – but wow, does it feel that way!
You may have had some major organizing projects on the agenda for the summer. Between summer trips, kids activities, visiting family, and every day responsibilities, it’s hard to keep up. Many of us are looking around our homes, reminded of projects that we had every intention of doing this summer. If you have not yet found the time, don’t despair! If you still want to get some organizing done, these quick organizing projects can help – without costing you a lot of time!
Quick Organizing Projects When Time Is Short
The goal of organizing is to make your life easier and less stressful, so when choosing projects to do when you’re short on time, try to pick something that will have the biggest impact. What area of the house slows you down or stresses you out the most? As you think about what you really need to be more organized before summer is over, consider these ideas:
- Under the bathroom sink. Small places like under the bathroom sink. These are areas that are often neglected but can feel so rewarding when cleared out. Go through items and identify those you no longer use, those that are expired, and make room for the things you really use and need easy access to. The trash can is your friend with this project
- Tackle the closet. Most of us, even if we’ve organized the closet before, need a refresh. .If you’ve only got a few minutes, try doing a quick sweep of your closet. Look through your hanging items and pull out any that you haven’t worn in a very long time, no longer like, or aren’t your style, and bag up these items for charity. If you have damaged clothing, bag it up and donate it to a fabric recycling area. Congratulate yourself – even if you don’t completely overhaul the closet, it’s a productive start.
- Clean out the pantry. The pantry is the perfect spot to look for a quick home organizing project. If you don’t have time to fully organize your whole pantry, you can accomplish quite a bit with a few minutes here and there. Start by pulling out and tossing expired food and spices. If you don’t have time to remove everything, tackle one shelf at a time.
Why Quick Organizing Projects Work
When it comes to organizing, short projects sometimes work best. While we’d all love to do a complete reorganization of the entire house, these shorter projects serve us in a variety of ways.
- We feel more accomplished and more motivated, so early, quick successes can help us do more. Once you realize that ten minutes of your time can make such a huge difference in the way a drawer, a shelf, or a closet works so well, you’ll be more likely to do it again.
- We’re all more pressed for time than we want to be, and the idea of having to set aside an entire day for working on a big project is daunting. You can easily break that big project into several small ones and achieve the same results without spending a whole day.
- Little accomplishments reduce stress in little ways that add up.
Small Projects Help You Control Clutter
Controlling clutter is a constant challenge for all of us. But for some people, especially those who suffer from chronic disorganization or ADHD, clutter adds debilitating stress. Any organizing project can be broken into short, 10-15-minute projects that help you take control of clutter.
Four insights to help you take control of your clutter from some of our favorite authors
Admit that something is wrong.
In Dr. Ari Tuckman’s book More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD, there is a section entitled “You Can’t Control What You Don’t Accept.” It’s a strong message and an appropriate starting point for anyone hoping to change their life.
“It’s as if admitting to anything will somehow make things worse, as if it would add insult to the injury of their daily struggles. Of course, it’s the obvious struggles that are the real problem, not the label of ADHD. The disorganization and forgetfulness are far more damning and lead to far more criticism than admitting to themselves that they have a treatable condition.” (Tuckman, pg. 199)
Work with your natural learning style.
Judith Kolberg tackles this tip in her book, Conquering Chronic Disorganization.
“Organizing, like reading, is a learned activity, it reflects our learning style… Show me a person who tries to use organizing systems that are incompatible with her learning style, and I’ll show you a person who is chronically disorganized.” (Kolberg, pg. 43)
Connect your body and your mind to reach your goals.
Authors Roland Rotz and Sarah Wright remind us of this in their book Fidget to Focus – Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD.
“Movement is one of our most effective strategies. Many people have noticed how standing, walking, or running can make a huge difference in their ability to attend, even after the activity has stopped.” (Rotz and Wright, pg. 53)
Quit the habit of all or nothing.
Lee Silber has unique approaches to everyday struggles in his book Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain: A Creative Approach to Getting Organized. He cautions the right-brainers from falling into the all or nothing trap. He writes about his experience with organizing projects in a way I think all of us can relate to.
“If I didn’t break the project down into bite-sized morsels, I would, by nature, try to shove the whole thing down my throat and choke on it – or I wouldn’t even nibble on it out of fear… Take that energy and enthusiasm you have when you first decide to do something and focus it on an organizing project that you have the time to tackle in one sitting. Instead of trying to rearrange the whole closet, take on one shelf or one bar at a time.” (Silber, pg. 13)
Hopefully these ideas, motivations, and author insights will inspire you to try a quick organizing project today!
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