Being “organized” can mean different things to different people.  But to dispel any confusion, it is not about being perfect, nor is it about being neat (believe me I’ve been in a lot of “neat” homes where clutter was hidden in cabinets, closets, bedrooms, etc.:-) Being Organized means, “things go where you decide they go AND you can find them when you need them.”  It’s a pretty simple definition, but if you want a more detailed explanation keep reading:

Orderly – When you’re organized, you have a semblance of order to your life and the things around you.  You know how to deal with the “stuff” you encounter every day, be it things or information – you make a decision, act on it, and move on!

Recover Quickly – Life happens and even the most organized system can sometimes get out of control.  A few extra kids in the house and your categorized toy bins are a jumbled mess on the play room floor.  Or, you’re on a big deadline and what was once a clear surface on your desk is now covered in piles.  Whatever the cause, you can easily get things back to the way they were because you have a system and you know where things go.

Good Handle on Your Obligations – You know who you are accountable to and where your priorities lie.  Thus you know when your plate is full and can more easily say “no” when asked to volunteer or take on an extra project at work.

Arrive on Time – If you’re organized, you are rarely late (notice I said “rarely” as you’re not striving for perfection.)  On time arrival keeps the rest of your schedule on track and prevents the spiral effect of one delayed meeting putting you behind.

Not Striving for Perfection – but trying to be effective.  Your house might not look like a page out of a Pottery Barn® catalogue (otherwise known as organizational porn), but you and the other members of your family can find what you need when you need it.  It’s organized enough!

In Control of Clutter – Clutter is not controlling you.  Clutter is a result of delayed decisions.  You make decisions about the items that come into your home or office so the piles don’t get beyond what you can deal with in a reasonable amount of time.  You are determined not to let things get so out of control that you become overwhelmed, close the door, or just stuff everything in a cabinet or closet.

Zen-Like Environment – You have a home that makes you feel relaxed and peaceful.  And, your office is a calm and productive space where you can focus and complete tasks easily with limited stress.

Efficient Use of Time – You know how to invest your time and energy so that you don’t end up wasting either one.

Defined Home for Everything – Everything you bring into your home has a place to go.  You recognize that if you don’t designate where an item will live it; it will end up on the floor, on top of a counter, or shoved somewhere it does not belong never to be found again.

I’ve given you my definition of “organized”.  What does “being organized” means to you and what steps do you need to take to get there?  I’m always here for tips, support, and encouragement if you need it.