Tackling an Organizing Project… Is the DIY Approach for You?

If you go out of your way to avoid pop culture trends, you may not have heard about the recent craze for Netflix binge-watching – “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”. Whether you are familiar with Marie’s popular organizing books, or never even heard of her name let alone her organizing philosophies, this is one show that can become an obsession to the point that you feel compelled to promptly start organizing an area in your office or home.  

Getting bitten by the organizing bug is a great thing. Many have been inspired by shows on Netflix, HGTV, and other cable networks and are gearing up to tackle organizing projects that they had previously put aside. Those ready to take immediate action are diving right into the pool of possessions that are cluttering up their closets, offices and more.

However, the issue with these shows is that the complete picture isn’t always shared with the viewing audience. As we watch these organizing shows, we are quickly convinced that success is well within our grasp and all we need to do is pull out the large black garbage bags and get to work. A significant amount of footage is shot and then edited into a 30-minute show.  Hence, what may appear to be a simple, be done in 2-hour project could in reality take 10 or more hours to complete.

These programs are reinforcing the message that an organized life is more productive, more efficient, and ultimately more enjoyable. But a reality check is needed….taking on an organizing project by yourself may not be a suitable approach for everyone.

While I appreciate the enthusiasm that starting a project will elicit, I also want you to be successful. Ask yourself this question before getting started: are you confident that you will be able to see the project through to its end regardless of the amount of time that it will take? Consider all the decisions that you must make concerning your possessions as you work through the organizing process…. Will you be able to make them?  In addition, managing the process so that you approach the tasks in a logical sequence will be essential.

Not everyone can successfully tackle an organizing project by themselves. These projects can be very overwhelming and that can be compounded by not knowing where to start. Staying focused and not being easily distracted will be important. Struggling with deciding what to keep can slow you down or even result in abandoning the project.

You may need assistance to accomplish your goals and it’s important to acknowledge this so you can plan accordingly. Possibly a friend or family member can act as your accountability partner and provide encouragement along the way. If more hands-on support is needed, hiring a professional organizer may be the right move. The benefit of working with a professional is that you’ll be guided through the process of de-cluttering and will re-organize the space utilizing customized systems suited for your specific needs.

So, is the DIY approach the best option for you?  Before starting, be sure that you have time set aside on your calendar, the appropriate resources on hand, and the commitment to see the project through to its end. You want to avoid having another partially completed project cluttering up your home or office.

Stephanie Shalofsky
About Stephanie Shalofsky 2 Articles
Stephanie Shalofsky, founder of The Organizing Zone, specializes in working with small companies with up to 25 employees down to solopreneurs in home offices to gain control over their work environment resulting in improving productivity and profits. Stephanie brings to her work the discipline, professionalism and project management skills that comes from years of corporate employment. She combines that with her impressive leadership and organizing credentials including work on the national committees in NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and within its New York chapter where she served as President for 2 years. This combined with her training as a Certified Productive Environment Specialist and her non-judgmental and empathetic style enable her to create highly functional and organized workspaces for her clients.