5. Set goals.

“Goal setting is one of the most important steps you can take in your quest to become better organized,” according to Jordan Kravitz. “Without goals, it is very easy to become distracted, and before you know it, you are wandering around from one task to the next, with no direction and no success.”

To set your goal, think about what an organized space means to you. Close your eyes, and envision this space. Do you see a calmer room, “clear kitchen counters” or “no more paper piles”? “Think about what you want to see when you are finally done with all the work. These visions are your specific goals for your projects.”

Next, write down your goals, which Jordan Kravitz says “gives them importance” and helps you “stay on track and on task.” She also suggests thinking in terms of “yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.”

6. Create a command center.

She writes in a post on her blog:

“A Command Center manages: input (papers coming in), processes (what we need to do with those papers), output (papers going out), supplies and frequent references.”

Put your command center in a centralized place, such as in a kitchen cabinet or home office. Also, use a corkboard or magnetic board for phone numbers, invitations and your grocery list. For more specific tips, read part one, part two and part three of creating a command center at Jordan Kravitz’s blog.

Prevailing Over Procrastination

Since procrastination is a big barrier to getting organized, Jordan Kravitz offers several tips to help:

1. “Break your clutter-busting sessions into manageable steps.”

Many of us don’t start simply because we’re overwhelmed. Separating a big project into doable chunks and tackling each step one by one helps tremendously. She also suggests using a timer for each task.

2. Have an accountability partner.

“If clutter is just too overwhelming, ask for help,” she says. It’s less likely that you’ll procrastinate with another person involved, she adds.

3. Give yourself a reward.

Human beings love reinforcement. If you’re tackling a dreaded organizing task, provide yourself with extra motivation after you’re done, such as “a dinner out, an appointment at the spa or even just a lazy weekend afternoon.”

4. Focus on the finish line.

Ask yourself, “what will be better in [my] life as a result” of de-cluttering and cleaning up? “Keep this uncluttered, relaxing and peaceful space in mind as you work to help motivate you to the finish line.”

5. “Just do it.”

There’s such a thing as overanalyzing. Sometimes too much thinking can lead to inaction. So “Don’t think about it too much, just jump in and get it done.”

Photo by Evelyn Giggles, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.