Google the word “organize” and you’ll get 196 million hits in less than 1 second. Zillions of people want to tell you how to get organized.

“Buy my gadget! It’ll solve your messy closet problems, save you money, and turn your life into a paradise of free time!”

“Pay me $300 for the same information you can get for free in 193 million other places on the web! This will work where all those others failed!”

“Try my FREE email group! Everyday I’ll send you 8 obviously necessary reminders, 14 tear-jerking testimonials about the wonders of my program, not to mention 27 raving reviews on my wonderful products, to teach you my method that works for EVERYONE! Are you single, married, working, studying, stay-at-home, young, old, terminally ill, or bedridden? It’ll work for you! (And if it doesn’t, I’ll be sure to remind you that you’re just a lazy whiner. For your benefit, of course.)

Well, I was one of those folks for a little while. Yup. I was well on my way to being a certified professional organizer. I even had a little blog about it for a while, giving out free tips in the hopes of growing my business. You know what? My priorities changed. A lot. Being a professional organizer charging people $35/hr to file their papers** just didn’t fit in my life anymore, no matter how much my family could have used the money. Besides, there was nothing I could tell you that someone else hadn’t already.

So what do you REALLY need to know about organizing? Just 3 things:

  1. All the information you could ever need or want is available for free, so don’t pay for it unless you have a very high recommendation from someone you know has struggles similar to your own.
  2. Try and try again. If something isn’t working, don’t assume you’re the problem. Assume the system you’re trying isn’t right for you and tweak it, or try something new.++
  3. Don’t assume something that works now will keep working forever. Life changes. Your organizing systems and methods will need to change, too.

Ta da! That’s it. That’s all you really need to know about organizing your life.

If, however, you’d like a little more detail, feel free to pick my brain. 🙂

Just don’t be like this guy:


** CPO’s can easily get away with making $50+/hr. As a newbie who was out to help individuals instead of companies, I set a very low rate. Even so, if you bring me your 2-drawer filing cabinet and a box of unsorted files, you’ll be paying $420 plus supplies (file folders, labels, hanging files, table top/wall file). Mind you, you’ll have a beautiful filing system.

++ If you keep trying new tricks for reasonable amounts of time and nothing works, you do need to step back and ask yourself if there’s something you’re missing. Maybe you need to adjust your attitude about something. Maybe you have a vitamin deficiency that makes it difficult to stay on task/keep motivated.  Maybe you need to admit to yourself you have a Facebook addiction that is sucking away your life. Maybe WARNING: Bible-thumping ahead you need to ask the Lord what He really wants you to be doing, and what you weighed yourself down with because you had a look-how-much-I-do-aren’t-I-awesome moment. (We all get them. Move along. No stones to throw here.)

In case you were wondering, thus far, my favorite book on getting organized is If I’m Diapering a Watermelon, Then Where’d I Leave the Baby? by Carol Barnier. I even got it autographed. *twinkly eyes* Yeah. I know. Geeky.