Organize + Energize: 5 Organizing Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


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I constantly see people making organizing mistakes that cost them time and money. Remember that getting organized is a lifestyle change and it’s just not about making a space look pretty for the moment. It’s not about clearing spaces once a month, wasting time and energy. It takes motivation, dedication and persistence to start the process and keep it going. 

Here are 5 common mistakes:

Not planning for your project. You can’t decide on a Thursday afternoon that you are going to jump into an organizing project, especially if you have somewhere to be in a few hours. Not planning will set you up for failure. Write out your priorities, mark your project on the calendar, set aside 3 hours, and limit your distractions. You’ll finish your project in record time and won’t leave a half-finished project. 

Placing things in a temporary spot.  You’ll put something in a temporary spot and say you’ll get to it later. If you are great at procrastinating, this will never get done. Other things in the home will take priority and this will get pushed aside. If you have something in your hand, decide where it should live and then develop a routine around putting it back once you’ve used it. 

Not letting people know about your systems. Most organizing systems fail when the person who designed them doesn’t let the rest of the family in on it. Have a family meeting and walk them through the home and all of the new systems. Follow up with everybody to ensure they are maintaining them. 

Thinking a product will fix the problem. So many people get excited to get organized and they rush out to the store and spend hundreds of dollars on organizing product that don’t work. You have to think about how you want to function. Organize the space, measure the space and then head to the store with measurements in hand. Never go unprepared to a store to purchase supplies. The big box stores will sell you anything to make a sale, knowing that you probably won’t return it if it doesn’t work in the space. If the product doesn’t work, the system won’t work.

Having your friends help you.  Your friend will tell you that she can help you organize your entire home, but leaves out the fact that she’s going to organize it according to how she functions. Your organizing systems have to be designed around how you and your family function. Everybody functions differently which is why there so many variations on organizing systems. 

Don’t set yourself back by making these mistakes. Take the time to really think about how you are going to tackle your project instead of jumping in head first. You’ll have a better handle on it and be able to make solid decisions that will get you closer to your organizing goals.


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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on   


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