Just One Thing… Tips on How to Organize During the Dog Days of Summer

Posted by Lisa_Hidgon_Professional_Organizer on July 09, 2012  /   Posted in Blog

It is tooo hot! This summer is turning out to be one of those sticky ones. It’s one of those “don’t want to do a thing but sit and melt” kind of summers. All those ideas about getting the house clean and organized while the kids are on vacation and things are a little more laid back are starting to go out the window.

Don’t let it happen! July is the perfect time to get things done. By August you’ll be gearing up for fall again. Here’s how to get started. Pick one thing, and do it S-L-O-W-L-Y.  We up here in the northern states don’t understand that we really can’t fight the weather. In the southern states and the islands, they get it. They work with it.

With so much clutter and so little summer, how do you possibly choose one project? Go through your rooms one by one. Take some notes. Consider which one causes the most chaos in your life, or which one would be the easiest to complete.

Pick it apart. What exactly is the problem? What would the ideal situation look like? Is it clutter? Dirt? Traffic? Too much furniture? A closet full of clothes you don’t wear? Picture what the ideal situation would look like?

Start working on your “one thing” in the morning when the weather is cool, and then take a break. It’s not important to conquer it all at once. Fifteen minutes before work, an hour, whatever you can do is great. Remember you are just chipping away at it. Most projects will look worse before they look better. It’s a natural part of the process. Plan a place for the unsettled to be, and let yourself be okay with that.

When my pantry gets to the  point of no return, and really needs an overhaul, I take out a card table to put things on as I work. I have things in it, on it, and under it in the middle of my tiny kitchen. It’s in the way, but it’s temporary. If I can’t finish the job in one session, I can live with the table in the way for a few days. It’s kind of a motivator. Just don’t put the stuff in a place that will disrupt other areas of your life. If you put the discards from your closet on your bed, it will be a problem at bedtime. Even a pile on the floor would be a better place. A box that can be filled and brought right to charity would be better.

If you give yourself permission to do a project a little at a time, you won’t beat yourself up for not finishing it in one session. Sometimes we exhaust ourselves trying to finish.

If you have trouble stopping, use a timer. A timer is an organizing tool that many people use to make themselves get started and work for a minimum amount of time on an undesirable task. But in these “dog days” it can be used to keep you from overdoing and burning out.

Just remember, one project, one session at  a time. Before you know it’ll be done! You’ll be feeling the energy, and feeling the positive effects of you efforts! You’ll be motivated to look back at your notes and plan the next project. But wait! Pour yourself a nice glass of iced tea, sit back, and admire what you’ve accomplished.

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