How can you tell when it’s time to start organizing your space, your schedule, and your life? The signs are quite clear once you begin to pay attention. Often, they involve feeling out of control or making minor mistakes with potentially major consequences. For example, here are ten common signs that you need to get organized.
You Accidentally Miss a Scheduled Meeting
Sure, this can happen for a legitimate and unpredictable reason (an earthquake, say, or a family emergency.) But what I’m talking about here is when you simply forget, for no good reason, that you have a routine appointment or special event planned. Especially if it happens more than once, this is a serious hint that your current system of organizing your schedule isn’t working for you. Solution: Develop a daily routine so you never miss a meeting.
You Don’t Know What You Own
If you keep finding clothes you don’t remember buying, or purchasing books or gadgets you forgot you already owned (see # 5) it’s time to clean out your stuff and re-organize.
You Keep Misplacing Necessities
Yes, everyone makes mistakes and one-off weird situations do happen. But if you’re regularly losing track of your keys, glasses, or wallet, it means your organization routine is breaking down somewhere – quite possibly at your launch pad or in your handbag.
You Get Frustrated by Mundane Tasks
Most of us have busy lives in which a bit of advance preparation is required to ensure daily tasks, like putting on makeup or making dinner, go smoothly. When these tasks become a source of stress, it’s an indicator that something about the process has to change. Often, surprisingly, less is more when it comes to streamlining your mundane chores. For example, if getting dressed takes forever because you have “nothing to wear,” you might actually have too much, and a minimalist wardrobe could be the answer.
You Find That You’re Always Shopping
Sometimes when you think you need more stuff, it’s just because the stuff you already own is so poorly organized that you don’t realize it’s there. Decluttering and organizing your belongings, especially those stashed in storage areas like closets, will clarify what you already have and whether you’re unintentionally accumulating duplicates you won’t use.
You Can’t Locate Everyday Items
If you’re always wasting time rummaging through your desk drawers, your bag, and the back of your closet, it’s probably high time to establish a rule whereby everything you own has a dedicated “home.” Once the habit of returning things to their proper place when you’re done using them becomes second nature, the rummaging will stop.
You’re Easily Distracted
Clutter isn’t just unattractive – it can also be a big distraction. If you can’t seem to get anything done, clear the clutter from your workspace and see what happens. Remember that even hidden clutter (e.g., a stack of documents waiting to be filed inside a storage box) can drain your mental energy. And keep in mind that clutter isn’t just a problem when it comes to concentrating at work. It can also be a visual or mental obstacle to relaxation.
You’re Feeling Drawn to Organizing Products
We all want miracle solutions to our problems, and we’ve been conditioned to think those solutions should come from a store. But although carefully-chosen organizing products can work wonders in the right circumstances, they’re not magic. Still, feeling a sudden need for new shelves and boxes can signal a real dissatisfaction with your current system of organization. It can also be a hint that you have too much stuff, and getting rid of it – rather than neatly organizing it – will make you feel better instantly.
You Feel Overwhelmed
At some point, almost everyone feels like they simply have too much to do. And it is possible that you do quite literally have more items on your to-do list than the limited hours in the day allow. But you can’t know for sure until you acknowledge, sort, and prioritize those items and learn to manage your time instead of just reacting haphazardly to every task that comes your way. If you don’t already have a daily routine try creating one now.
You’re Ashamed of Your Space
If the thought of inviting a friend into your home makes you feel ashamed, or if looking at your messy desk makes you feel guilty, yup, you need to get organized. The mess may not be nearly as bad as you think once you get started.