Even though she and her family live in Wisconsin and I live in NY I have dropped in on them unexpectedly at least twice in the last five years and the house is always neat!
I asked her for something that would help my readers this time of year and here it is. For more info about Maria and how she can help you, click HERE!
We all want to get organized but, let's face it, sometimes
it's hard to keep the momentum going. So, what can we do to
keep the momentum going?
1. Start smaller! It's understandable that you would be
anxious to get a lot done in a little time. But, being
realistic means you realize that you physically can't get a
lot done in a little bit of time. So, rather than trying to
tackle your entire house or even an entire room all at once,
set your sights a little lower. Aim for one small,
manageable section, or part of the room. For instance, is
your kitchen the room you're aiming to organize? Start with
one drawer. That is something you can easily accomplish in a
short amount of time. Accomplishing a task is always a good
motivator to keep moving forward
2. Reward Yourself. You know it works to spur everyone on,
adults and children alike. It doesn't have to be a reward
that costs money. It can be something along the lines of
uninterrupted time to sit and read a chapter in a favorite
book. It can also be something like a visit with a good
friend. Think about what kind of reward would motivate you
and use that. When we have a reward to look forward to, it's
easier to keep our momentum going.
3. Make It A Game! Does your family enjoy friendly
competition? Put that to work in your favor. Assign everyone
a task, set a timer, and watch them go, or tackle your own
assigned task. Of course, it is possible to do this even if
you are only competing against yourself, without the family
involved. That's right--set a timer and challenge yourself
to beat the clock! Take note of how long it takes you to
complete the task. Next time you start another task, try to
beat your time. Just that little bit of self-competitiveness
can be a great way to keep your momentum going.
4. Get Yourself A Cheerleader! Encouragement is a great
motivator. Too often, we feel more discouraged than
encouraged. So, derail the discouragement train with an
encouraging friend to cheer you on. This doesn't mean your
friend needs to be physically there while you organize. If
they can, obviously that would be great! But, if she can't,
arrange for a phone call to get cheered on. It's amazing how
motivating a little encouragement can be.
5. Be Accountable! Tell people what your plans are and what
your progress is. We all know how easy it is to
procrastinate, or let things go altogether if we have no
accountability. Keep in mind that you don't want your
accountability to turn into a rigid, unrealistic set of
expectations that you or anyone else puts on you. You only
want to let someone know what you are doing. It's somehow
easier to get started and easier to keep going when you've
told someone what you're planning to do. You also feel a
sense of accomplishment when you note your progress and
share that with someone else.
6. Set A Deadline! We don't all work the same way but for
many of us, a deadline is a great motivator and a great way
to keep the momentum going. No matter what your deadline is,
you at least know better how to plan what needs to be done
and when to meet the deadline. If your deadline is a
charitable donation pick-up, you have a date to work
towards on your decluttering. If your deadline is a party
you are hosting, you have that date to work towards. You get
the idea. Set a deadline for yourself and work towards that
deadline. Just remember to keep it realistic.
7. Partner Up! Everything is easier when you're working
alongside someone else. You've heard it, `many hands make
light work'. It's true. You can reciprocate and team up at
your friend's place later on. The shared work not only goes
faster, you also have momentum to keep going. So, talk to a
friend and schedule time together to work at decluttering
and organizing. An added bonus to working with a friend is
their ability to be objective when it comes to what to keep
and where to put it.
8. Make A `Job Jar'! Another way to keep your momentum going
is to break down your organizing into manageable tasks.
Whatever your goal is, you can write out each individual
task on slips of paper. Then put all of your slips of paper
into a `job jar' and pull out one slip of paper at a time.
Whatever task is written on the slip of paper is what you
do that day. You only have to do one a day, although, if you
are really motivated to continue (there's that momentum
again), you can pull out more than one task. Just stick to
one at a time. Watching the contents of the jar disappear
can give you some wonderful motivation/momentum to keep
9. Delegate-Delegate-Delegate! It can be pretty overwhelming
when we feel like we have to do it all. DON'T! Don't do it
all and get overwhelmed, then fall further behind. Get that
job jar made and then assign each family member to take a
slip of paper out and complete the task, no matter what it
is. Resist the urge to go behind and re-do. That's the
secret to cooperation. Every member of the family can work
as a team, and together you'll tackle what needs doing.
Knowing you don't have to do it all yourself is pretty
freeing and motivating.
10. Photograph Your Journey! Sometimes in the thick of
organizing it can be hard to see the progress you are really
making, and then your momentum flies right out the window.
So take pictures of your `before', `during' and `after'.
This gives you visible proof of progress. And, physical,
visible proof of progress is great motivation to keep the
momentum going. It all comes back to encouragement. Seeing
progress is encouraging and motivating. So photograph the
journey from start to finish!