Stop for a minute and consider this word: change. Really sit with the word for a second. Change. Say it out loud a couple of times. Change. Change. Change.

How does the word make you feel?

Change is one of those words that creates strong emotion; you either love change, or you hate it. Because organizing is all about creating change, understanding your feelings about change and how to thrive during times of change is a key to success. When you can approach change from a positive place, with enthusiasm and joy, the change will come about easier, and you’ll be happier with your results. Here’s how.

Focus on the positive.

Whether a change is internally driven (your own idea), or externally imposed upon you, there’s always a way to approach it with a positive attitude. Here’s an example. I received an email the other day from a lady who had just moved to a new home with her family, when days later it was struck by lightening. The lightning caused a fire, rendering their home unlivable for several months. Her attitude impressed me. She and her family are now living in a smaller, rental home, which they fondly refer to as their “vacation home.” Let’s talk about putting a positive spin on a change no one would willingly ask for!

If the silver lining of a change you’re facing isn’t immediately apparent, make it your job to find the positive. Simply make a list of all the positive impacts the change will (or could) have on you and your life. Sometimes this requires a bit of digging and creative thinking…but it is well worth the effort. This process works for organizing projects, too. Because organizing often involves letting go of belongings, this can become our point of focus, keeping us overwhelmed and tripped-up. Make a list of all the positive benefits you’ll realize by getting more organized…and then keep those benefits top of mind.

Keep the benefits top of mind.

Once you’ve decided that you want to change, and you’ve made a compelling list of reasons to do so, you’ll want to keep those benefits at the forefront of your thought. Cut out inspiring photos that depict your home and life when it’s organized as you’d like it to be. Write down your benefit words and keep them on a note card by your bedside table. Subscribe to newsletters and my weekly Organizing Quick Tip. When you receive your newsletter, whether the ideas apply to you directly or not, use the newsletter as a reminder to refocus on your goals and the positive benefits you’ll realize by creating change in your home. The more often you can keep your goals, and their benefits, top of mind, the easier it will be to create them.

organized goals board

Anticipate your obstacles.

Once you know what you want to create, anticipate the obstacles you may encounter along the way and put in safe-guards at the onset. A common obstacle when getting organized is that you start your project with a bang, only to fizzle-out before crossing the finish line. Here are two tips.

First, become very clear about the changes you want to make. Create a compelling vision about how things will be when you’re finished, and the benefits you’ll realize by doing this project. With a crystal clear vision, you’ll have greater incentive to keep going when the road gets rocky than if you start with a vague or fuzzy idea about your desired end results.

Second, find an accountability partner to help you avoid organizing burnout. An accountability partner is someone who will hold you accountable; if you say you’re going to organize your bathroom this weekend, you know she’s going to ask you if you did. A friend, a coach and even members of a group you belong to, can become your accountability partner, helping ensure you achieve the results you’re after.

Take Action

stop signThis is the biggest key of all. Change requires action! If you want something different in your life, you have to do something different. The key word in that sentence is “do.” Doing is action, and that action must be different than the actions you’re taking now. You simply must do something different to achieve different results.

The best time to take action is now. If the change of seasons have you motivated to change, but you aren’t sure where to start or which action to take first, get some help. Continue to browse the articles on this site, or consider enrolling in an online class. If you know what you want to do, and what you need to do to get there, go and do it! Get started or re-energize your efforts—today! Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight, but if you arm yourself with compelling benefits, a plan for getting around your obstacles, and solid, steady action—you can’t help but create the change you crave.

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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