Getting to the last little bit. 
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The Leftovers


Background

 

Getting started on an organizing project is half the challenge.  What's the other half, you wonder?  It's putting away the leftovers.  In organizing, starting can be incredibly hard, sorting can be okay, making decisions and finding homes can be empowering (although yes, challenging, too), but dealing with the leftovers – the stuff that needs to be moved or donated or taken out to the trash or put who knows where else – that's hard, even painful!

Most of us think,  "I'll just finish that last bit up later.”  Or we may even fail to see that there's anything else to do.  We feel done so we act done.  But the leftovers remain.  They annoy us each time we walk past them.  They dampen our sense of accomplishment.  Their little heap of clutter invites more clutter to join.  The pile grows, along with the challenge of addressing that pile.  Our leftovers come back to haunt us.
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Leftovers

What to do

  1. Instead of falling victim to leftovers, consciously consider them part of your organizing project.
     
    ORGANIZING PROJECT
    start
    sort
    make decisions
    find homes
    address leftovers
    maintain

     
  2. Decide how much time you are going to spend on the project and leave a quarter of that time for leftovers. Set an alarm to help yourself remember.
     
  3. When you think you are done with leftovers, do a purposeful scan to make sure you haven't missed anything.  Imagine the room as a clock.  Place yourself in the middle of the clock, and scan the noon space.  Scan and turn, once for each imaginary number, until you return back to twelve o'clock. ​

Maintenance (a side note)

 
Maintenance is a very important part of the organizing project and often a forgotten step.  Maintenance means figuring out how you get stuff back to its home after use.  Maintenance also means deciding on rules for new things so that overcrowding doesn't make your space awkward and/or unusable.
 

Finally

 
Remember to congratulate yourself!  You can congratulate yourself after each step of the organizing process or you can wait until after you've made your way though all of the steps.  But the most important thing is to take a moment to acknowledge the work you have done! 
 
To progress, not perfection!

Copyright © 2016 Susan Hunsberger Professional Organizer, All rights reserved.


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