first steps to getting organized

First Steps to Getting Organized: the 5-Step Organization Plan

Let’s get our organization on track! Inside this five-step plan you’ll find the first steps to getting organized.

Ultimately, the last few years have been unorganized. That could include physically from staying at home, emotionally from being isolated or from loss, financially from a loss of income. It can mean so many things for all of us.

There was overwhelming negative news, worldwide distress and trauma, and some days it was hard to just get up and get moving. Personally, I even struggled to get through a new novel since my focus was all over the place.

With the new year, I think almost all of us are ready to open a new book and move forward. Let’s work together to make a plan to get organized!

But what are the first steps to getting organized?

1.MY GOAL – What do I want to organize?
Are you looking at your garage in frustration? Are your bathroom cabinets overflowing with face cream and body lotion? Is your email inbox so full you avoid it altogether? Do you struggle to find enough time for your to-do list?
The first step is setting a SMART goal. it’s hard to make a plan if you don’t know where you are going! Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Once you have set your personal goal, it’s time to work on your motivation.

2.MY WHY – How will I stay motivated?
Why did I set this particular goal? What will I do with the extra time or space that I am creating?
Decluttering and organizing are good in their own right, but focus on your true goal. An organized garage is so nice to see but is the real goal to be able to fit a second car in there? If you keep that final mental picture with you, it will be easier to stay on track.

3.MY PLAN – How will I get there?
When you consider your overflowing bathroom cabinets, what do you have in mind to really clean it out? If there are tons of tiny hotel shampoo bottles, consider giving them to a local shelter. If you have piles of unopened eyeshadows, there are websites where you might be able to swap or sell them. When addressing a product accumulation like in a bathroom, one of the biggest tips I can offer is to stop shopping until you have addressed the products you already have.

4.MY TOUCHPOINT – What will get me back on track if I waiver?
Life gets in the way, it happens to all of us. We get distracted and lose track of our goal from time to time. What will you use to get back on track? If you need some help figuring out this step, revisit #2. Getting rid of the extra spatulas in your kitchen is all well and fine, but it really isn’t motivating on its own. If your ultimate goal is to have a tidier kitchen so that it takes less time to clean, then focus on that! Looking forwarding to having a few extra minutes in the evening after dinner to enjoy a cup of tea will keep you moving forward.

5.MY NOTES – Break down the goal into doable tasks
This is the ‘meat’ of the five-step organization plan. The step-by-step that will get you on the journey and keep you moving forward. Sometimes by itself, the goal can seem overwhelming. To clean out the entire garage? That’s a lot! But break it down into small doable pieces. Maybe one weekend a month, you focus on one side of the garage. Four weekends later, you are done with the space! Is your inbox just overflowing with messages you automatically delete? Make a promise to yourself to start opening them instead, and clicking that “Unsubscribe” button. It is a small investment of time that will pay off in the very near future.

If you want to take your organization to the next level, I invite you to take advantage of the Complete Personal Planner in my Etsy shop. It has all kinds of checklists, planners, and tracking pages!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top three tricks to stay organized?

While there are no shortcuts to getting yourself organized, there are a few tricks I can pass along. Among the first steps to getting organized:

  1. Don’t get discouraged if you have setbacks. Evaluate what went “sideways”, adjust, and move forward!
  2. Don’t do it by yourself. If you live with at least one other human being, you will need their active participation to make this happen.
  3. Stop shopping

What are the five rules to getting organized?

The short and sweet version:

  1. Understand that this is a journey and not a destination
  2. Stop shopping (I know I’ve said it several times, but it bears repeating – stop adding to the clutter!)
  3. Declutter before organizing
  4. Reward yourself for small achievements
  5. Appreciate your progress

What are the best three tools to stay organized?

You’re ready to take the first steps to getting organized but you’ve not even sure what you need to have available. It may sound overly simple but the three best tools in your toolbox are:

  1. A personal planner (paper or electronic)
  2. A goal
  3. A plan

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