Just like housework, organizing and decluttering are never complete. There is always something else to do. If you neglect maintenance for too long, backsliding can, and often does, happen.

Losing ground with your organizing progress is common and normal. If this happens to you, don’t worry. It’s easy to get back on track.

First, assess the reasons why you lost ground. Backsliding generally happens for three reasons:

  1. Your needs changed. To be effective in the long term, organizing systems must keep pace with your changing needs. Did you take up a new hobby or sport? Perhaps you inherited belongings from a loved one who passed? If you experienced these or other changes, then old storage systems that worked fine previously might now be ineffective given your new requirements.
  2. Your lifestyle changed. Did you become newly single? Was there an addition to your family? Did you move into a different home?
  3. Your results were not maintained. Did you lack the motivation to perform regular maintenance activities? Or was it an ability issue or a lack of time?

Whatever the reason that you experienced backsliding, you can get back on track. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Reassess your needs. Declutter your problem space, sort and categorize your belongings, and create a place for everything.
  2. Address your challenges. Whether motivation, ability, or time is your issue, here are some tips to help you move ahead:

    Make it fun. Choose a day when you are free from other distractions, pour yourself a glass of wine or other beverage, crank up the tunes, and get moving.

    Get help. Invite a family member or friend to help you or hire an Organizing Pro to do it for you.

    Reward yourself. Once you are finished, treat yourself to a nice meal at your favourite restaurant or something else that you really want.

  3. Create a schedule for regular maintenance.

    Add organizing to your housekeeping routine. When you are doing your weekly cleaning and tidying, take the time to put things back in their place and remove items that you no longer need or want.

    Schedule monthly or quarterly organizing maintenance sessions. Target your problem areas. For example, if your closet tends to get out of control, declutter and your wardrobe every time the season changes.

    Re-assess your organization systems once a year. Consider your present and near future needs and change or upgrade as required.

By performing regular maintence, you’ll stay organized for life. If you backslide, recognize that it is a normal and temporary occurance and that you can get back on track.

If you begin to feel anxious and overwhelmed, consult your Organizing Pro for assistance. We can help you to become empowered and regain your control.