How to Find Time to Organize Your Home

posted by Aby Garvey on March 21, 2013 2 Comments

This is the fifth and final post in a new series on How to Organize Your Home. The series will focus on what it really takes to organize your home so you and your family members are happy with the end results. Enjoy!

roadblock road signIf a lack of time is an obstacle for getting organized, consider this. According to a 2003 study conducted by “Real Simple” magazine, American women spend nearly an hour a day looking for things! One hour per day vanishes into thin air because we can’t find our stuff! By investing time to get organized, you can gain up to an hour every single day. That’s a pretty good investment, don’t you think? In the meantime, here are some additional ways to find time to organize.

Schedule short organizing sessions.

Short sessions add up and they can boost your energy, too. If your schedule is jam-packed, waiting until you have several hours free to begin organizing only adds to your frustration. Embrace the idea of making progress in shorter sessions, by working on your projects for as little as 15 minutes at a time. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make during these short sessions, and you’ll love how energized you feel when you’re done! (You may even look for ways to keep going!) The key is to consistently look for ways to fit in 15 minutes of organizing into your day. Make organizing a daily habit, or better yet, something you do habitually several times a day.

Schedule longer organizing sessions.

If 15 minutes at a time isn’t making a big enough dent for you, then pull out your calendar and schedule longer blocks of time for organizing. Do you have a free weekend or Saturday afternoon coming up? Schedule an organizing appointment with yourself. Do you have vacation days building up at work? Schedule a day off and use it for organizing. If you see any big openings in your calendar, then stretch your 15 minute sessions. Instead of organizing for just 15 minutes at a time, go 5 or 10 minutes longer. Over the course of a week, you could add an hour of extra progress, just be tacking on a little bit of time onto your shorter organizing sessions.

Eliminate or minimize less important activities.

If finding extra time to organize proves challenging, take a look at how you currently spend your time. Are there any activities you can do less of during your organizing journey? For example, could you spend less time on Facebook, watching TV, web surfing, reading the paper or talking on the phone? You don’t have to give up all of your fun activities, just do a bit less of a current activity to create pockets of time to organize.

Up your energy level.

Often it isn’t just time that we’re lacking, its energy. If you’re feeling lackluster mustering up the enthusiasm to organize can be tough. So look for ways to boost your energy level and keep it up. Eliminate a recurring task on your to-do list that depletes your energy. Add healthier, energizing foods to your daily meals. Take a walk on your lunch hour or listen to energizing music on your drive home from work. Remember, too, that as you eliminate the clutter from your home, your home will become a more energizing place to be, too.

Get help!

Once you understand the process of organizing a space, you can show others how to help you, thereby minimizing the time spent organizing. Ask your kids to help, or hire a neighborhood teenager for a few hours a week. Even young children can help with sorting, and many kids find organizing fun. Another option is to get help with other household chores, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry or childcare, to free up your time to focus on your organizing projects.

Attack the other side of the equation.

One of the best ways to get caught up is to slow the inflow of new stuff into your home. Stop adding to the clutter by becoming extremely intentional about what you bring into your home. While you are in catch-up mode, only allow into your home items that you absolutely need. Additionally, focus on creating the habit of putting things away as soon as you’re done using them.

Whenever you hear yourself saying, I just don’t have the time to get organized, pick one of the ideas from this list and give it a try. As you make bigger and bigger dents in the clutter, it does get easier to catch up and stay caught up, too.

How do you find time to organize your home? Thanks for sharing your ideas!

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P.S. When it comes to organizing your home, are you facing other hurdles besides time? Come chat with me about it on our Facebook page from noon to 1 CDT today. Post your questions and get answers from me today!

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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 coaching program

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  • March 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I’m working on putting all my recipes in a computer program so I can actually find a particular recipe and to get rid of piles of printout from the Internet, pages torn from magazines and pieces of food boxes. I often go weeks between input sessions – killing time reading instead.

    I think I’ll try scheduling time every evening to do at least a few recipes before picking up my book and maybe a longer session on the weekend while I’m doing laundry.

    • March 21, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      As much as I DO NOT like to admit it, I am highly distractable! Consciously trying to minimize “less important activities” is always a challenge. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at keeping my life in order. :)