Archive for the ‘For Home-Based Business Owners’ Category

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #5

January 5, 2012

#5 in the list of 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects

Let the unwanted stuff hang around

is so easy to rectify.  But first the reasons why you should avoid this mistake at all costs.

You’ve done the hard work sorting your stuff and deciding to get rid of some of it.  Some of those decisions may have been particularly hard.  Your main aim was probably to make some more room at your place.  If you let the unwanted stuff hang around, waiting for

  1. time to take action on the next step – removal
  2. another decision – where or who this stuff is going to
  3. another step – garage sale or eBay

you run the risk of

  1. getting used to the pile of unactioned, undecided stuff
  2. second-guessing your hard-earned decisions
  3. having the piles of stuff to go and stuff to stay getting mixed together
  4. feeling hopeless because all your hard work has not produced the clear space you were hoping for
  5. having to sort it all over again

So, like I said, this mistake is rather easy to avoid.  Just take action immediately.

  • If you’re going to have a garage sale, set a date in the near future and go for it.
  • If you’re going to sell on eBay, either get online and do it, or pay someone to do that for you.
  • If you’re donating it, make a call and get it carted away, or put it in the car and deliver it the very next time you make a trip.
  • If you’re tossing it, toss it.

And make a date – with yourself, someone close or a whole bunch of people – to enjoy the space you’ve created.


How to Avoid Organising Mistake #4

January 4, 2012

#4 on the list of 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects is

Have unrealistic expectations from the space

Does this affect you?  Do you get part way through, or even all the way to the end, of an organising project and find that your plans for the space just don’t work out?  Do you end up with still too much stuff to store, or not enough space to fit the furniture comfortably?

Perhaps you saw something great in a magazine and decided that was the solution for you?  Or was it in a store?

Maybe you imagined the scope of your project differently.  Do you end up wondering where it all went wrong?

You are not alone.  Many people find that the space they thought they had available to them is actually not enough.  Or that they could create nooks and crannies to stash extra stuff, and that didn’t work out.

If there is limited space, or too much stuff, one or both have gotta give.  There is no substitute for a good hard reality check.

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #3

January 3, 2012

We’ve talked about how to avoid organising mistakes #1 and #2.  Next on the list of 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects is

Have unclear goals for the space or project

What’s so wrong about having no goals?  Can’t you just launch yourself into sorting and tossing and boxing up?

Well, no.  It’s like heading off on a fabulous holiday without first checking the destination.  Would you start packing without knowing the climate there?  What if you packed all sundresses and sandals when in fact you were headed to the snow?  Would you head off in the car without checking the map first?  Without knowing the final destination, you could head off in the wrong direction and be lost for hours or even days.

When organising, it’s easy to start on the wrong foot, and end up spending hours on a task that could have been eliminated entirely.  Or you could completely miss an important step all together.

Instead of wasting time and effort “getting lost”, take a short time up front to decide on your vision for the space or project.  How will it look and feel?  What will success look like?

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #2

December 31, 2011

In the 7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects, mistake #2 was

Buy the storage solutions at the start of the project

Why is that a big mistake?

Frankly, it’s not uncommon for me to arrive at an organising consultation to find a room piled high with neat boxes and baskets and containers, all as yet unused, all representing a significant $ investment, and actually causing some of the clutter problem I am there to help out with.

And what’s more…

  1. Until the first stages of the project are completed – sorting, purging, organising – you can’t accurately determine how much, which type or size of container or other product you’ll need.
  2. Storage solutions are very often someone else’s (typically a manufacturer or retailer) idea of what you need.
  3. They can rack up to quite an investment, and that’s not something you want to take a stab in the dark at.
  4. And you may well not need anything new at all.  Often it’s possible to reuse things already on hand.

The right time to think about storage solutions is towards the end of the project when you will get a much clearer picture of what sort is required, what will look good in the space and how much you will need.

Read more in The Truth about Storage Solutions.

Next time we’ll tackle mistake #3.


How to Avoid Organising Mistake #1

December 30, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about the 7 most common mistakes people make when tackling an organising project.  You can read that post here.

Top of that list was

Underestimate how long it takes to work through a project

So, how do you avoid that mistake?  There are a few steps you can take.

First, be realistic about what’s possible.  Consider all the variables like

  • your level of commitment
  • your ability to make quick decisions
  • likely interruptions
  • the size of the project
  • the complexity of the project
  • past success (or not) of other organising projects you’ve undertaken

Now take all that information and calculate a time, including breaks.

Now double that estimate.

Unless you have lots of experience with successful organising projects, it is far better to overestimate than underestimate.

Underestimating leads to frustration, disappointment, a half-finished job and more chaos.

Overestimating leads to time to put your feet up and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Does this ring true for you?

7 Common Mistakes of DIY Organising Projects

December 29, 2011

For many this quiet time between Christmas and New Year has been set aside for tackling an organising project.  And for many more, getting organised is a New Years resolution.  There are several things that can turn good intentions into a failed attempt.  Here are the most common mistakes people make.

  1. Underestimate the time it takes to work through a project
  2. Buy the storage solutions at the start of a project
  3. Have unclear goals for the space or the project
  4. Have unrealistic expectations from the space
  5. Let the unwanted stuff hang around
  6. Stop before the project is done
  7. Listen to well-intentioned but ill-informed advice

Look out for future posts on how to avoid making these mistakes.

Related Posts:

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #1

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #2

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #3

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #4

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #5

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #6

How to Avoid Organising Mistake #7

Ready Set Christmas – Last Minute Shopping

December 22, 2011

Only a few more days.  Forgotten anything?  Are you sure?

That extra person who got invited to Christmas dinner at the last minute.

The sunscreen so you can take the feast outdoors.

The brandy for the pudding flambe.

The pudding!

It’s likely at some point between now and Christmas morning you will feel the urge to dash out for “one last thing”.  Do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say (and get well Molly!), and leave the car at home.  Do all you can to fulfill those last minute shopping trips without facing the dreaded carpark battle.

  • Call someone else to pick it up on their way home
  • Walk to the shops
  • Ride your bike
  • Wrap something from the pantry or gift hoard
  • Make something at home
  • Leave it and apologise for the missing ingredient

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – Hiding Gifts

December 21, 2011

Do you struggle to find suitable places around the house to hide gifts until Christmas time?  Here are some clues –

  • at the store for as long as possible (e.g. on layby)
  • at someone else’s house – a neighbour or family member
  • somewhere in plain sight.  If there’s chance on earth your children will volunteer to cook or put dishes away, you can easily hide gifts in the pots and pans cupboard.
  • wrap them right away and pop them under the tree

Have you ever been so organised you bought gifts nice and early and then hid them away, only to forget where they were hidden?  Keep a master list, coded if necessary!

or not 😉


Ready Set Christmas – Charity

December 20, 2011

Charity begins at home.  And this is a great time to be thinking of others.  With so much obvious consumption going on around us, it’s natural to think of those who have little.  How will you help?

  • Ask the kids to declutter their rooms and donate toys in good condition to other children
  • Forgo gifts and opt instead for donations to a favourite charity
  • Spend time volunteering

or not 😉

Ready Set Christmas – the Guest Room 2

December 19, 2011

Expecting overnight guests?  Ready?

What do they need?  A clean bed, towels, clean bathroom, space to put their suitcase and to unpack.

It’s nice to add a few extra touches…

  • a jug of water and a glass
  • a small bunch of flowers
  • a scented candle
  • nice soap
  • extra supplies of anything they may have forgotten
  • a midnight snack
  • a map of the local area so they can go for a walk and get out of your hair
  • a ticket for public transport so they can really get out from underfoot (and enjoy the town)
  • an iPod dock

The list could go on an on, but then they might stay on and on!

Have I forgotten something?

Take a moment to really make your guests feel welcome.

or not 😉