Today I’m kicking off a mini series about staying organized. (And the crowd goes wild.)

Okay, not really. The crowd is just mildly interested, and it makes sense. When it comes to organizing topics, staying organized definitely takes a back seat to getting organized. After all, who can resist the allure and drama of before and after photos depicting the incredible transformation of an organizing project? Very few of us, that’s who.

Staying organized really is boring in comparison to getting organized. But I would argue that having tools in your organizing tool kit that will make it easy to stay organized, is an incredibly important piece of the overall organizing puzzle. What’s the point of completing an organizing project if deep in your gut you know that the results are going to quickly unravel?

If you’ve been stuck on your organizing journey for a while, this mini series is for you. If you’ve been afraid to get started organizing because you fear the results won’t stick, this mini series is for you. If you’ve completed just one organizing project, and you’re raring to keep going, this series is for you! As glamorous as it isn’t, knowing how to stay organized is important at each and every step of your organizing journey. It will help you get started with confidence, and keep going until you’re finished, because you’ll see your organizing efforts are sticking!

So, let me say it again: Today I’m kicking off a mini series about staying organized. (This time, you really are going wild, right?)  :-) Great! I’ll get right to it. But first, I’d like to share that the three posts I’ve put together for this mini series come directly from my online class The Secrets of Staying Organized. You’ll get a taste of what this class includes in terms of content, plus, you’ll get a few actionable ideas you can put into practice today, no matter where you are in your organizing journey. (Don’t you just love a win-win?) Let’s get to it!

Know what’s important to you. (Secret 2 of 21)

Why is being organized important to me? |

Okay…so you might be wondering, what this has to do with staying organized. Let me explain.

I believe it is easier to do anything when you are conscious about why you’re doing it and why it’s important to you. It’s also easier to prioritize and take the right actions when you connect your actions to your goals and values. In short, this secret is all about being consciously aware of how “being organized” supports other things you value in your life.

For example, if you place a high value on your time, being organized allows you to be more efficient and use your time wisely. If you value entertaining and creating a comfortable environment for friends and family, being organized allows you to be comfortable welcoming people into your home. If you value integrity, when your home is organized you have nothing to hide. You don’t have to make up little white lies to explain why you were late or to explain why no one should go into that “one room.”

Here’s one more example. Let’s say that you’re a mom and it’s really important to you to be present and attentive with your children. You don’t want to be distracted or stressed when you interact with your family, but instead you want to be positive and focused. If you also know that when your home is extremely cluttered you have a hard time focusing, and that clutter stresses you out, then it will be easier to make the choices necessary to stay organized. When you recognize that making these “stay organized” choices will support something that is even more important to you—being the kind of mom you want to be—it’s easier to consistently take those actions.

Finally, when you make the connection that being organized has less to do with making your home look a certain way, and more to do with creating a place that allows you to live your life in the manner you would like, then those all-important day-to-day choices become easier to make. It’s easier to put things away right away, instead of dropping them where they don’t belong, if doing so supports a higher purpose to you.

stop signTake action: Take a few minutes right now to consider what you value by answering this simple question: What is important to me? Jot down your thoughts on a piece of paper. You don’t have to get it perfect, just capture whatever flows out of you. Next, consider how being organized supports these values. Jot down those ideas, and then share your thoughts in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!


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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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