The prospect of getting organized at home or at work can seem pretty daunting. Working towards your organizing goals can be energized with anticipation and effort, or can be derailed by frustration and confusion. It’s critical to understand that getting organized is a process – and as such, it will have its highs and lows. Whether your goal is to clear that pile off of your desk, to organize your computer files, or to finally see the floor in your closet, here are some strategies to help you to hit your target:
Have a plan. The most common downfall that people who try to get organized run into is they haven’t planned out their project. Often, they’ll begin without first defining the smaller tasks in the project, and how they will recognize when they are finally finished. Before you start your organizing project, take a few minutes to write down your plan of attack – your goal for the project, the steps involved in getting the project completed, and what some important milestones are. This way, as you complete each task, you can check it off and visually see the progress that you’ve made. And if you run into trouble, a good Professional Organizer can help you develop an organizing plan that’s right for you.
Set aside time. Take a look at your calendar for the month. Do you have an extra 15 minutes each day, or a free hour on the weekend? Those might be good times for you to schedule time to make progress with your organizing. Once you find the right time in your schedule, make sure you write it down as “organizing time.” The simple act of setting time aside for working on your project can go a long way towards your success, because you’ve just let yourself know that organizing is a priority that has earned time in your schedule.
Enlist help. Organizing can be a solitary activity, and if you’re a social person, getting organized alone can be torturous. If you enjoy having another person around to bounce organizing ideas off of, work with a Professional Organizer, or get an “organizing buddy.” You and your organizing buddy can put your heads together on each other’s organizing projects, and can share that extra bit of support when it’s needed.
Reward yourself. As you make progress on your organizing plan, give yourself a treat for reaching important milestones. You don’t have to wait until you’ve completed your project to sit back and enjoy the work that you’ve done! Some great times to reward yourself might be when you can finally see the top of your desk, when you have just gathered a bag of unused clothes to donate, or when you’ve got that undeniable feeling that things are starting to get “under control.” You get to choose your reward for reaching those important milestones!
Remember, getting organized is a process, one that can help you build skills that will last for a lifetime. Individual projects can take awhile, so be patient and don’t get mired down in the day-to-day ups and downs of your organizing. Try the strategies mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way to success!

© 2009 Joshua Zerkel and Custom Living Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Joshua Zerkel, CPO® is a the founder of Custom Living Solutions, a San Francisco-based productivity and organizing consulting firm, specializing in helping busy people save time, space and money by getting organized at home and at work. For more FREE organizing ideas, visit or call 415-830-6345.