Getting Organized: Three Myths About Organizing

Getting Organized: Three Myths About Organizing

Getting organized is a change that will improve your life, but it requires motivation and perseverance. When getting organized you need to recognize the things that cause disorganization in the first place, understand your personal style, and choose the correct systems to implement moving forward. Here are three myths surrounding the notion of getting organized.

Myth #1: All I have to do is buy organizing product to get organized.

Reality: Don’t stop here. Getting organized requires that you actually use the products you buy! And yes, you must continue to use them. Oftentimes products go unused because the buyer didn’t ask these simple questions first.

  1. What is causing my disorganization?
  2. What type of products will help me create a system or enhance my current system?
  3. Does this product match my style?
  4. Should I sort and purge before using my new product?

The most common mistake people make in getting organized (and staying that way) is waiting too long to buy the product or replacement products. If you wait until the piles of paper have become unmanageable, you have endured a lot of unnecessary stress. The second most common mistake in getting organized is buying something that does not match your personal style. For example, if you like to create file labels on the run, consider label systems or tabs you can easily write on. If you prefer a more finished look, select an electronic or computer-based labeling system.

Myth #2: Only handle it once (O.H.I.O.)

Reality: While this often-heard rule applies to items such as junk mail, it definitely doesn’t apply to on-going projects. Let’s face it. Some papers have to be handled more than once but “filing by piling” isn’t an efficient alternative either.

In order to avoid misplacing papers and spending time rifling through a stack, sort your papers into 6-8 categories. Then place each category into its own file folder, hanging file or project jacket. Take time to label each. Doing so will allow you to locate an item faster and avoid losing an important document.

Myth #3: Once I get organized, I’ll be organized the rest of my life.

Reality: Getting organized and leading an organized life are two different things. For some people, the actual cleaning and organizing of an area is one thing; maintaining it is another. After getting organized, your spaces will become functional and will be enjoyed and used more often. This is a good thing. Learning to maintain an area doesn’t have to be sheer drudgery. Devote a few minutes at the end of your day to “visit” your recently organized area to assure that items are getting returned to their proper places.

As with any new habit, allow yourself the time to adjust to a new way of doing things. Getting organized (and staying organized) is on-going but it certainly allows for more peace and less stress in your day-to-day life.

By Audrey Thomas