Does the desire to create a perfect space prevent you from getting started on your organizing projects? Even though images in magazines, blogs and on Pinterest make us believe that an organized space is a perfect space, striving to create a perfect home makes getting organized substantially more difficult. When you strive to create a perfectly organized space, you create lots of new problems. So, try this instead:

Strive to be organized enough that you solve the problems you’re having without creating new ones. 

Here’s what I mean. If every morning you rush around looking for your car keys, mobile phone, or purse, solve that. Establish a home for these items close to the door, so you can drop them when you arrive home, and find them easily in the morning. Don’t worry about setting up an elaborate command center, unless that’s the problem you’re trying to solve. Focus solely on the problem you have and fix that.

If getting dinner on the table is a fire drill that often results in calling for carryout and blowing your diet, solve that! Create a simple process for planning your meals in advance so you have the ingredients you need on hand and can quickly get dinner on the table. Don’t worry about creating a crafty meal planning board, until you have a meal planning system that works for you and solves the problems you’re having right now.

If you forget appointments, solve that. Figure out if you’re properly using the calendar system you have. Often the system that’s already in place is perfectly fine. So instead of conducting an exhaustive search for the perfect calendar system, work through the logistics of using the one you have consistently so it works for you. Once you use it consistently, you’ll have a feel for whether or not it is the right system for you, and more importantly, if it isn’t, you’ll know why. (This is the time to search for a new system.)

planner pad - month view

In a nutshell, focus on solving problems first, and perfecting later. To do this, identify the problem you’re having and then brainstorm solutions. Create a list or a mind map of possible ways to fix this problem. If you’ve spent lots of time on the internet looking for ideas in the past, skip that step this time. Instead, tap into what you already know. What ideas are in your head? What makes sense to you?

After you’ve generated some ideas, pick the solution that solves the problem in the simplest, easiest way. Then, put the idea into action, and live with it for a while. Once you’ve used it for a while, see if it addresses the original problem. Then, perfect it or pretty it up if that will make the system better or more enjoyable to you. Or instead, move onto solving your next organizing dilemma.

When you strive to be organized enough and focus on solving problems, you’ll find that organizing is easier and more enjoyable.

What organizing problems are you struggling with right now? Do you think this idea could help you move past perfectionism and get into action? Tell me your thoughts in the comments. 


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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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