National Procrastination Week: It’s Time to Organize

father and daughter running a small business, staying organized and not procrastinating

National Procrastination Week: It’s Time to Organize

Since national procrastination week is coming up next week, we thought we’d get ahead of the game (see what we did there?) and talk about one of the most important things that we all tend to put off:  organizing the spaces we live and work in.

Why should organizing your space be one of the main things you do now instead of… someday?  Because chaos in your living and working environment makes it harder to find things, slows everything else down, raises stress levels, makes it harder to think and generally makes life more difficult and depressing.

So procrastinating about getting organized makes life harder.  Until we stop.

The bestselling book The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan talks about the power of finding One Thing that can make other things easier or unnecessary.

Could that ONE Thing be organizing your space?

For one thing, In 2020, home became the workplace for many millions who used to go somewhere else to work during the day.  Although there are many benefits to this change, one of the major challenges it raises is that the way you organize your home now has the power to harm or help you quite literally 24 hours a day.  It has the power to help make or break not just your life, but your livelihood.

Even a small home office that really needs to be a home office can really change the organization picture in a home.  Many people don’t have a lot of spare space as it is, and find themselves pushing into spare bedrooms or dining rooms.  Those are also the places where a lot of extra things in our lives get stored, and those spaces can get really crowded and chaotic.  Exactly the kind of environment that does NOT lead to productive thinking and work.

Add a homeschooler or remote student or two, and now the chaos is affecting your kids’ education.  In fact, much of the most useful advice on doing school at home is about how to build a school in a small space.

So if it is so important, then why do we put it off?  One of the main reasons we put off organizing our spaces is because of that little voice that tells us that if we clean it up, it will just get messed up again in a couple of days.  In a way it makes sense – and many people just conclude that it’s more efficient to live with “their mess” and adapt to being disorganized.

Marie Kondo has taught thousands of people what is wrong with this way of thinking:  cleaning up is not organizing, and neither is rearranging the piles of stuff in your home or workspace.

What really needs to be done is actually also the reason we choose to procrastinating instead of doing it, even though it’s right there bothering us at some level all the time.

According to Kondo, we have to have a change in our relationship to our stuff.

The problem is not that we don’t have time to clean.  The problem is that we don’t want to face a difficult decision. That’s the real reason why most people are living under a bunch of stuff, and doing everything they do more poorly because of it.

Kondo teaches people to make that decision:  “Which of my possessions do I truly love?” She makes the somewhat radical claim that everything else needs to go away.  Further, she guarantees that once we are down to the things we really love, keeping them organized becomes a permanent state requiring very little effort.

As unlikely as it may sound at first, many who have tried this approach have found it to be true.  I first tried it with a hopeless sock and underwear drawer that required digging, cramming and shoving and constantly generated lonely socks without mates.  I got rid of what I didn’t love (and it was easier than I thought), and I can testify that the same drawer has been perfectly organized for over 2 years and takes no real effort to keep it that way.

It might sound crazy, but it makes me a little happier every time I open it.

Valet storage adds an extra new dimension to the ability to organize your space.  What about the things in your life that you love and need, but you just don’t need right now?  What about Christmas and Halloween decorations, seasonal sports equipment and all those bulky winter clothes when it’s 90 degrees outside.

And what about all those things we don’t love at all but are saving for people that we do love?

This kind of on-demand storage option gives us the freedom to have only what we love and need right now in our space.  That lets us eliminate the friction and frustration, but also lets us get other things we love back when we need them at the touch of a button.

Even if we decide to procrastinate taking down the tree until the end of January.