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Getting organized: make an action plan and get to work

Saturday, September 1, 2012 Leave a Comment

So... I need some help getting organized (see this post).

When Meighan of Simply Put arrived to help me get organized, my mud room was a clutter of pool towels and shoes. And my desk and the kid's art area looked like this...



And the playroom was a minefield of tiny sharp army men and Legos waiting to impale my bare foot.


Clearly, if I don't get things in order, we'll just have to move.

In this kind of emergency situation, Meighan knew just what to do.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Should I clean up before Meighan arrived? (Decided not to.) Would she laugh at me? (No. She helps people for all kinds of reasons. No judgment.) What's the process? (Up to you - she'll help you plan, help you do it, or just do the whole thing for you while you're on vacation.)

1. Identify the problem areas: She walked me through each problem room, in order of frustration. (1. my office 2. the butler's pantry a/k/a junk room 3. the mud room 4. the playroom 5. the basement) She was taking notes that turned out to be a plan of action - which she left with me to do on my own.

2.  Break it down: When I looked around, things were so overwhelming, I just couldn't think of what to do. Meighan broke it down, room by room, shelf by shelf, and listed a few action items I could do right away. The mud room? Get the too-big bench that's just a place to pile our stuff out of there and put in a cubby shelf for shoes, hats, bags, and add more hooks for coats. Done! Why didn't I think of that? (IKEA, here I come!)

3. Get started - right now: "Should we get started in your office?" Meighan asked me. What- you mean right now? "Sure," she said, "I've got an hour." So we tackled my office: we got a couple of bins to take stuff out (to Good Will or other rooms), cleared the overstuffed shelves, organized the desk drawers, moved the space-hogging printer off the desk to the now spacious shelves, and voila, in one hour, I have a clean desk!

4. Pick a system that works for you: OK, I make it sound easy. But if you set up the wrong kind of system, it will never work. The truth is, I'm the kind of person who likes to have my stuff out and visible. Tucked away in drawers? I forget about it. Stuff falls through the cracks. Meighan took a file stand and we put my piles in folders, labeled them, and lined them up. I can see them, but they're no longer piles. And my desk will always have stuff on it - but with a place to be put away.



Source: bhg.com via Liz on Pinterest

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