How to Be More Organized at Home (When You Already Slay at Work)
I work with amazing individuals, most of them women and most of them moms, to help them declutter their homes and their schedules so they can be more organized at home. I also work with small businesses and other corporate clients to help them streamline their operations and optimize efficiency. On the days that I am in a corporate setting, where I spend roughly 20% of my working hours, I am always struck by the parallels between organizing workflow and organizing our homes.
I have several friends who are moms and total rock stars at their jobs outside the home, and yet cannot seem to run their homes and their lives with the same efficiency. But the truth is, learning to be more organized at home involves a lot of the same skills that they already use in the workplace. I’ve shared the following work/home organizing parallel with them, and it really seems to resonate.
Where Home Organizing and Your Career Overlap
Now, let’s start with a major and obvious caveat. When we work outside the home, whether or not we are mothers, we are likely exhausted in our free time. Reason number one that our home organization might be slacking.
Also, at work, we typically operate under a framework of accountability (through coworkers, a boss, or our employees) and external motivation (deadlines, financial compensation, and output expectations). The absence of these at home is reason number two we might be slacking. We’ll address these more below. But assume, for a moment, that these were not a factor.
So, how does this parallel line up?
Let’s say you are a writer for a living. When you write, you organize your thoughts into an overarching theme, and then by paragraph. Within each paragraph, you group ideas together that make sense. You delete sentences or thoughts that are redundant, with the goal of producing the most well written, least redundant, articulate piece possible within the confines of your word limit. These are the same principles of organizing.
If you analyze data in your job, you first need to collect the data and then either aggregate, analyze or simply arrange it to present it in the most logical way. These are the same principles of organizing.
If you travel for a sales job, you book all of your meetings in a particular city in tight timeframe to reduce redundant travel. You do research to determine which of your products will be the best fit for your client. And you put together a compelling pitch that makes sense, is concise, and will best meet their needs. These are the same principle of organizing.
The Mindset Shift Needed to Be More Organized at Home
Think of your house as your work assignment, and each space in it as a subset or smaller assignment. So, all like things need to be grouped together (put all similar items in the same spot). And all things within that grouping need to be arranged in a way that makes sense and looks nice (drawer dividers, filing systems, consistent hangers).
Each space should be presented in an easily understood and aesthetically pleasing manner, and all redundancies should be eliminated (throw out anything you don’t need and get rid of duplicates).
If you draw on the efficiency and strengths you use everyday at work and see how applicable they are to organizing, you just might surprise yourself at your organizing prowess.
The Missing Pieces of the Puzzle
Ok, now back to the time, motivation, and accountability pieces. Those are very real factors in helping us get anything done.
I suggest finding a buddy with which to do an organizing challenge, or follow along with the free challenges I offer a few times a year on the Grid + Glam Facebook Page. My challenges motivate, offer accountability, and tell you how much time you actually need to spend each day or week on a specific project. This can help not only motivate and hold you accountable, but also help you carve out the time to do it.
If it still seems impossible, consider hiring a professional organizer near you to help you in your journey.
Good luck! You slay at work. I know you can slay your organizing at home, too.