Let’s be perfectly honest about perfection.

I struggle with this insane need for perfection daily as a woman, a mother, and an organizer.  I tend to procrastinate (yes, even though I am an organizer, I am also human) a lot, and I’ve discovered that one of the main reasons I do that is because I want to do things “perfectly” or not at all. Stupid, right?  But, I’d be willing to bet that more than a handful of you feel the exact same way. I had a client recently tell me that about her attempts at organizing and getting things how she wanted them ~ she felt like if she couldn’t do it perfectly, she just wouldn’t do it until she had the “time” to do it perfectly.  Oh boy, how I can empathize.

We all know that perfection, much less having the time to do something perfectly, is a pipe dream.  So, why do we trap ourselves into thinking we won’t do something “just yet” because we might have more time to do it better at a later time or date?  I don’t really have the magic answer to that, but I do have a few tips that I am trying to implement to help myself quit procrastinating and just DO something.  Because, having something done, albeit maybe not done perfectly, is better than not having it done at all, and this holds especially true for organization.

Here are a few different ways to tackle organizing projects that you have lying around without falling into the perfectionist’s trap.

1.  Choose a block of time to dedicate to a particular project.  Want to purge and reorganize your pantry?  Do it during your child’s nap time, evening after dinner and after the kids have gone to bed, or on a weekend when nothing else is going on.  Pick one day (say, a Saturday), and a certain amount of time that you’ll spend doing it or whatever your stopping point may be (stop either after one hour, or once you’ve purged the old things in your pantry, saving the actual reorganizing for another day).  If you put a limit on how much you’re going to do, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and frustrated.

2.  Start small.  If your home office is driving you crazy, choose one small area in which to start (your desktop, one file drawer, your inbox).  Tackle it.  Once you’re done with that one small task, if you’re motivated to keep going, great.  Choose another small area.  If you’re just done, then wait until another day when you can tackle another file drawer or another problem area in your office.  Don’t try to do the entire office at once or you’ll just end up exactly where you are now.

3.  Don’t get sucked in to all the different ways you can organize your things.  There are a million and one different systems that you can use to get organized, and not all of them will work for you.  People feel like they need to have the latest and greatest organizing tools, and that’s not true.  Assess how you like things (Out of sight?  In plain sight?) and then pick the most cost-effective and beneficial options for you.  It doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, be complicated!  If you need help, think about hiring a professional organizer (seriously, this isn’t just a plug for my business) to make sense of it all.

Putting aside the need for perfection is extremely difficult, but I’ve learned (and am still learning) that I need to do that if I’m going to move forward.

For example ~ I would love to have the money to buy a system like California Closets for our master bedroom closet.  We can’t afford that, so my two options are to do nothing and give into my need for perfection (in this case, that would be waiting until we CAN afford a closet system like that…which may be a looooooong time), or to make do with what I have and with what money we can spend.  And I’ve done just that.  Our closet is still very organized, even though it’s not “perfect”.  But it’s never going to be perfect, even with something like a CC system.  And that’s okay.

Don’t let the need for perfection stop you from getting your life in order and your house organized.  Do what you can with the time and resources you are given.

Keep it simple ~

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    nanann said,

    I definitely need to just try and tackle one stack at a time. My desk that I’m sitting at right now is SURROUNDED. Seriously. Stack on each side and a box at my feet on each side as well. It is totally stressing me out but doesn’t get done b/c there is so much.

    Ahhh, you might just inspire me — one naptime at a time!

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