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My Workspace is Chaotic: How to Make Organizing Progress in (Very) Small Steps

Parts of my office are chaotic.

That may surprise you. After all, I co-wrote Organizing from the Heart, and I share tips about organized productivity and other life skills on a regular basis.  You’d expect my home and office to be very organized with everything in its place.

Not so.

I’m pretty organized when it comes to a lot of things because one of my strength-gifts is administration. But I’m also a creative, who has a hard time getting rid of stuff, especially if it has at some point been important or inspiring to me.

So I’ve been on a “continuous improvement” journey for several months now, making it part of my routine to (nearly) daily do a very small task that helps improve my home or office.  I also write down what I did, so I have a running record that something is being accomplished.  And, it’s paying off!

Recently, I tackled one section of the top of some storage cabinets in my office.  I moved things out of the way and dusted it off. I’ll be looking for some plastic storage crates I can turn on their side to provide shelves for notebooks I want to keep but that are taking up valuable accessibility space in the cabinet below.  To be honest, that whole section of my office is overwhelming. But I feel a small sense of contentment knowing it’s JUST a bit better than it was.

Try it yourself. Set a timer for five minutes and tackle one VERY small spot in your office or home.  Do that every day for a week. You might be surprised by the end of the week that you’ve actually made some great progress.

Key things to remember:

  • Choose a very small area to work with (i.e. one drawer, one three-square-foot area of a room, one shelf of a closet)
  • Understand that it may take several days of a “work in progress” pile before it almost suddenly feels organized.
  • Make sure to attack the project for at least a few minutes every day. Continuous improvement doesn’t work if it isn’t continuous.
  • If it would be encouraging, start keeping a list of what you worked on each day.  “Done” lists are sometimes more energizing than “to do” lists.
  • Avoid the temptation of having too many of these small projects going at once (guilty) or your whole workspace/home will feel too chaotic.

Anything you do today to organize your home or workspace makes it better than it was the day before!


Freebie Focus:  Print out the May Hope Hints sheet for a tip for every day of the month.

Free book: Organizing from the Heart will be available for Kindle free May 6-10.


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