Posts Tagged ‘organizing mistakes’

3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Organizing Goals

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

3 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Organizing Goals

If you want to get organized and stay organized, you may need to change how you approach the process in order to get the most out of it. Common organizing mistakes such as picking out the wrong organizers may be the reason why you can’t get organized even though you’re giving it your all. Here are three typical problems people encounter when trying to get organized – and how to fix them – getting you back on the path to big organizing results.

Problem 1: You copy an organizing idea that looks good on paper.

Ever tried an organizing idea from a magazine, and it never really worked for you? The reason this failure likely happens is you try to achieve an organizing ideal – or what you believe organizing should be – instead of organizing according to your own rules. Break this pattern by crafting systems that work with your habits, routines, personality, and lifestyle – systems you love – rather than trying to copy what looks good in glossy magazines.

Problem 2: You try to accomplish too much organizing at once.

It’s a safe bet that the clutter in your life did not build up overnight. It likely has taken days, weeks, months, or maybe even years to become so … messy! In the same respect, getting rid of clutter is typically not an overnight success. For you, as it is for many people, this realization can become so overwhelming that it stops you in your tracks. Counteract this overwhelm by breaking larger organizing projects into smaller, bite-sized tasks. Then (realistically) schedule those tasks on your calendar, and follow through.

Problem 3: You don’t use flexible storage and organizing solutions.

To illustrate what a flexible storage option is, it’s best to describe what it is not. For example, non-adjustable shelves might hinder your organizing attempts, as you could run into dimension issues. Avoid this setback altogether by investing in organizers that can adapt to your personal needs, ones that modify, extend or retract, move, or otherwise give you additional flexibility.

How have these common organizing mistakes sabotaged your organizing goals? Please let me know your thoughts, experiences, ideas, and other comments below.

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.

The Biggest Organizing Mistake of All

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The Biggest Organizing Mistake of All

You’re sure to find a perfectly organized home when you open up any magazine. And those pictures make you think: Man, I wish my house looked like that!

Of course, the ideal home doesn’t have to be in a book, in a magazine, or on TV. You may need to look no further than your next door neighbor or your own family to find the poster child for neat freak-i-ness. And that person makes you think: Man, I wish my house looked like theirs!

With organizing, as with most things in life, it’s sometimes easy to compare yourself with others. And when this happens, it’s important that you give yourself a reality check.

The perfectly organized home? The perfectly organized life? Here it is:


A perfectionist mindset is the biggest organizing mistake of all because it stops you from having the clutter-free lifestyle you’ve always wanted. Why? You become so fixated on how to “get it right” that you ultimately decide not to start or follow through on your organizing projects.

That’s why being perfectly organized should never be your goal. Instead, focus on creating organizing systems that fit your daily routine and help you have quick access to your belongings.

Of course, doing this is one of those things that can be much easier said than done. So it’s a good idea to remind yourself of the “imperfect action” principle … every single day!

A simple way to do this is to print off this article and cut out the phrase < NO IMAGE AVAILABLE >. Then tape it to a spot you see all the time, like your bathroom mirror, or nest it inside something you use a lot, like the loose change in your wallet. You’ll automatically know what it means, and it reinforces the idea inside your head, which is a key step to believing it – and putting it to good use.

© 2012 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

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