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routinehabitFebruary 15, 2013

Hi everyone. I'm new here so I wanted to say hi and let you know I'm looking forward to talking all things organising with you all.
I was working hard at getting my garage organised but as usual life gets in the way. I get out of the habit and before I know it more stuff is cluttering it up again instead of getting sorted.
What is it that happens to stop you guys organising when you'd been making progress prior to it happening?

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Hi Routinehabit. Welcome.
I think you answered your own question. Life gets in the way. I was going strong before the Holidays crept up on me. Once they were over and all the decorations and everything put away, I just haven't been able to get back into it.
But I'm not feeling too guilty. I've been concentrating on living a healthier lifestyle. Eating better, exercising, losing weight, and as a side benefit to my better meal planning, throwing away much less food. That's all part of organizing too.
I know that as Spring approaches I will get a renewed interest in purging and organizing, and hopefully Life will not get in the way of that.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 4:06PM
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In my case, illness got in the way, then a DD starting high school monopolized my time.

Some habits I learned on this forum kept my house from becoming an avalanche of clutter. These are tips you can keep with you forever:
1) triage mail the minute it comes in the house. This is a great habit. Dump the junk mail, organize the bills, and keep in control!
2) 15 minute intervals - when life gets in the way, you can accomplish a lot by simply picking an area to work on, and setting an alarm for 15 minutes. Just give it that much time, and then move on. First, keeps you from becoming overwhelmed, second, allows you to keep chronic problem areas under control.
3) Touch it once - if it's in your hand, go ahead and put it where it belongs. Otherwise, you end up having to touch it twice! (this is a challenge with my teenager, for sure).

Take these 3 rules with you and you will be sure to stay somewhat in control even when life intervenes.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:01AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Hi routinehabit,


What is it that happens to stop you guys organising when you'd been making progress prior to it happening?
I've been pondering that question myself for years, and hopefully the replies will help me too.

I've recently been attempting to make some things routine habits. There is very little structure to my day.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:08AM
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The thing that messes me up is other projects.

or I hit something that stumps me (Where do I put this thing??!? or Can I really bring myself to toss that?), and then I get completely derailed.

Also, I just can't keep it going THAT long. I need to switch focus, just for fun.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Here's an example of what got in my way a few months ago: I cleaned out a big cardboard box that contained old craft supplies that I kept on the floor of a spare closet. I put all the fabric, yarn, beads, etc. that I planned to donate in the back of my station wagon. (So far so good, right?) Then, on my way to work, discovered that the road that passes right by the donation center was closed. It was now out of my way to get there. So, that box sat in my car, and the longer it was there, the more I felt the urge to go through it again, just to be sure I wasn't getting rid of something I might need. Also, it prevented me from going through the rest of the closet because it was taking up the back of my car. I finally bit the bullet and dropped it off. Felt so good to have the back of my wagon empty, I haven't done any purging since.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Hi routine.I am also new to this forum.Your question is right and everyone gets this question in one or another situation.
If we like the work more then we can manage our time and will finish it in any way.I think I am generalizing.
Hope you can make it happen in time.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 3:38AM
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It's important to control the new stuff coming in as well so the clutter isn't growing. I often just declutter on the fly now, e.g. if I open a closet I sometimes end up just scanning through it for things to get rid of. I think we can get so used to looking at the same stuff that we don't really *see it* and question whether it serves a purpose anymore or not. I never really strive for perfection in my organizing because it would just bog me down with indecision, so I try to focus on doing anything that will help the situation, even if that means getting rid of just a few things at a time, tidying up a shelf or closet here and there, going through a box of things.

when I'm working on a project I do end up with a lot of clutter around it that I don't put away because I want things at hand, but I also do a bit of an inventory from time to time and pick out materials, tools, bits and pieces that I know I'm finished with and put them away to reduce the clutter, and one of the things that motivates me to keep going with a project is just being able to gather up all the materials at the end and put them back where they belong (tools back in the garage etc).

Garages are hard though because we don't spend a lot of time in them. I've made some strides with ours to get it more organized by putting up tool/shadow boards and that has made it much easier to find the most used tools in there. But we do hold onto a lot of materials for future projects too, pieces of wood, metal left over from other projects and they do come in handy but also take up a lot of space.

I think anything you do to make progress is a good thing, even small changes can make the most disorganized areas more functional

This post was edited by trancegemini_wa on Sat, Mar 2, 13 at 1:05

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 1:03AM
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I'm also new to this forum. My intention is to start organizing in the winter (I garden the rest of the year). Excuses that come up are: too cold in the basement (needs major work) and no place to put anything in the garage (it's also a mess). Any tips?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 3:34PM
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I think the main tip is, don't organise the stuff, get rid of lots of it :).

It ends up being the same amount of work, I think, sorting through things and deciding what to get rid of, vs. sorting through and figuring out how to store it. But if you don't purge, then you have more stuff to sort through next time.

If you are like me, having too much stuff means you can't remember what it all is and you have to go through it all again next year!

Though there is the bonus of doing like my mom who, when I complimented her on a blouse, said, 'Thanks. I got it at the Goodwill in my basement.'

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 8:54PM
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"I think the main tip is, don't organise the stuff, get rid of lots of it :). "

I totally agree. There's only so much stuff you can organize properly, so you have to purge things once they've outgrown the space. You could start by looking around those areas and set a goal of 5 things to get rid of, or set a time limit of 30 minutes a day to look around for things to toss or donate that just aren't needed anymore. It can be slow going in the beginning but once you start letting go of things and seeing the space open up, you do get a momentum going and it gets easier.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:34PM
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I am implementing my 15 minute rule starting this week on my next big project, now that my little basement bath is done.
That would be our "office", which right now is full of all sorts of flat surfaces with piles of junk mixed with things of value. We plan to remodel, but to do that, it must be decluttered, packed up and unloaded.
It is a big room, and there is so much that I plan to use my 15 minute rule this week, to just hit areas, throw away, organize, put things away, etc. Today's 15 minute result: one trash can full, and several items that were down there that do not belong there, put away in their proper place.

I do find over the years of haunting this forum, that this rule is best used when a project seems too daunting. Will check in at end of the week and let you know how it's going.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Although in theory I agree with Nila and Transcegemini, , for me, sometimes organizing is more useful than purging....or can lead to purging, because I might not have started in the first place if the plan was to get rid of stuff.
Recently I have made great progress in my basement. Very frustrating that it was getting to the point that I could never locate what I wanted, even if I had multiples, because stuff just wasn't where it belonged but scattered all over. It was easier to just corral everything putting all of one type together than to - for me - make decisions about do I need all these? I moved onto the next category without wasting time. ALL the skrewdrivers are in this bin. All the wire is located in that drawer. Anything to do with sandpaper is in this.... At this point I care less that I may have more of this or that than I need: at least I now can find everything!!! One thing at a time. What get's in my way? I think lazyness; not designating a clear place for everything, and then not putting stuff back into it. I'm really trying hard to do it all differently this time!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:51PM
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