Decision-Making While Organizing

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I was in a client’s home today, and it made me think about the decision-making aspect of my job. The client was having difficulty making decisions. It was challenging for her to identify what to keep and what to donate. It truly is the unspoken “hard part” of organizing. It can be so hard to decide what to do with an item, and if you keep it then where does it go? This indecision can be debilitating for so many people and is often a roadblock to getting your space organized. Today I am going to give a few quick tips to help with decision-making while organizing. 

Tip #1: Take away the pressure.
You do not need to fear your decision! A decision is not the end of the world. It can be undone and/or re-decided. For example, for a client we assigned a drawer to be the “tools” drawer. The client questioned why I selected that specific drawer, and we discussed my thought process. Ultimately, even if that drawer doesn’t end up being the “right” drawer for the client, it can be changed quickly and easily. Drawers can be swapped. The decision to cull three separate tool drawers into only one tool drawer for this client was more important than overthinking the location of the drawer.

Tip #2: One decision at a time.
Have you ever heard the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”  It is the same for organizing; you have to focus on one decision at a time. One thing. One goal. Put blinders on and focus on one shelf, one drawer, one “do I keep this…” and then move on to the next. By tackling multiple items or spaces at once, you will become overwhelmed. Please know that I do not discredit the weight or heaviness that comes with making these decisions. It’s not always easy, but I want you to focus on the fact that you can do it! You can make a decision about one item. One decision at a time will add up as you progress, and it does get easier.

Tip #3: Call in support.
Know when you need a helping hand and reach out for assistance. This might be a professional organizer, but it doesn’t have to be. If you struggle making organizing or purging decisions about your things, call in a friend or family member to help with the process. You know in your mind who would be the one to call…lol. We all have that friend/family member who is a keeper of all the things – don’t call them! Call your honest, realistic, minimalist friend who only keeps the important things, and set some boundaries before you begin. If I can tell that a client is struggling with decision-making, here are some sayings that I use to help with the process:

“We can stop when you are feeling overwhelmed.”
“Let me know if you need a break or to refocus on another area.”
“If you want to keep something, it stays…no questions asked.”

Good luck and happy decision-making!


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