We all have them. They are bright and cheerful and full of promises. They claim to fix our time management problems, do our small space planning, and organize every aspect of our life and room in our house. But have you ever read through one and immediately become overwhelmed? Or thought that the steps sounded like they might work for someone else but not for your situation? The Maniacs have read a ton of organizing books and we’ve discussed them all. After spending years reading books and working in people’s homes, I’ve come up with a few rules for myself for organizing books that may be helpful to you in your pursuits. So, here goes – one organizer’s thoughts on home organizing books.
Have a clear picture of your goals before you start the book
There is so much involved in organizing and it covers almost every aspect of life, from transitions like moving, to relationships, to space planning, and time management. Most likely, there will be sections of the book you’re about to read that cover all these topics and more. If you don’t spend some time prioritizing and really nailing down your goals for getting organized, it’s likely that you will be overwhelmed by the amount of information you’re about to read. Having a clear idea of the areas you want help in will allow you to hone in on the specific parts of the advice that apply to you right now.
Take the advice with a grain of salt
Remember that these methods are merely suggestions of things that could work for you. If something you tried from a book doesn’t end up fitting your lifestyle, it by no means indicates that there is something wrong with you or that you’ve failed at your home organization efforts. It simply means that system isn’t the right one for you. See if you can figure out what about it you liked and if you can tweak it to better fit your needs. Or, move on to the next suggestion and feel proud that you’re still moving forward with your organization goals. Trial and error is a great way to learn anything – organizing is no different.
Organize yourself with compassion
Remember that if you’re picking up an organizing book, it’s because you’ve decided to make a change. Change can be wonderful, scary, exciting, hard, and exhausting – often all at the same time. Allow yourself to move forward in your goals while knowing that success is rarely a straight-line process. As you move forward, you are bound to take a few steps back. And that’s ok. Just because the author of the book writes that if you try that one trick, it will work like a charm, doesn’t mean it will for everyone. Remember, they are writing for the end goal, but getting there may involve some ups and downs. Stick with it, remember why you’re doing all of this to begin with, and always remember to praise yourself for the amazing efforts you’re putting into changing your life.