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When Organizing Tips Don't Work

02/28/19 | Dana LaRieal Morales

What do you do when a process improvement or organizing tip doesn't work for you? Do you try to force it, find another or adapt the one you have? I find so many people trying to force systems and processes into their environment that don't work for their lifestyle because "everyone is doing it" or this guru or that one said you had to do it.  Listen, people, it isn't a good system for you if it doesn't work for you!

One Tip That Doesn't Work For Me

So here's an example of an organizing tip that just doesn't work for me. For years and years, I have heard the advice of using the reverse hanger tip to aid in decluttering.  Now, this is not to discount any other organizers in the world who have suggested this, but here at THB we are about real-life inspiration and discovery and in my personal world I discovered long ago that the reversed hanger tip does not work for me. The premise, for those of you that don’t know, is that you turn all the clothes in your closet backward (hanger hook facing out instead of in) at the beginning of a season. As you wear your clothes you will hang them facing the normal way. At the end of the season, you are supposed to evaluate and remove any items that are still facing the original backward direction. The thought is if you didn’t wear it all season you don’t need it. 

Now, in theory, this is a great idea, however, in my world, it goes a little something like this. I enter my closet to determine what I want to wear for the day. I pick one thing…it doesn’t work…it sometimes gets hung on the door and other times it gets thrown into a pile. Very rarely does it get hung instantly back on the rod and when it does I am usually in such a hurry that it goes in facing the normal way.

Be Honest With Yourself

Hey, I’m being honest and that is what it is all about, being honest with yourself. If an organizing or process development tip doesn’t work for you, don’t use it or adapt it for your lifestyle. Find something that does work for you and your family and make it happen. 

For me, I would rather just pick a day or two each season to go through my closet using my homegrown process that you can learn more about as a Vault member of Organized Academy. For those who have the discipline to follow the backward hanger tip, by all means, use it. It is an easy way to evaluate your use or non-use of an item, but if it doesn't work, find something else that does.

Allowing Fear to Stop You

Now that you understand all process and organizing tips aren't for you, I want to address fear.  The fear of trying something new. 

Many of us have the, what if it doesn't work syndrome.  We are afraid to try out of fear we will fail.  Listen, what is the worst that can happen?  You implement a new process and the result isn't what you had hoped for.  Ok review and adapt.  Figure out what worked and what didn't, adapt it and try again. 

Each time you review your processes you will have less frustration because you will continue to identify and adapt processes that work. For those of you who don't have a process or regularly find that what you are trying isn't working.  I recommend you start your journey with my organizational roadmap because it will guide you through the proper order of process and organizational implementation.  

Most people implement processes and organize out of order, which is why things aren't working.  They don't account for life transitions either, which have a huge impact on the success and failure rates of any system. I hope this helps to reassure you that you aren't alone and encouraged you to find a system that works for you and your lifestyle.  

Now, what other tips have you received/heard about that just didn’t work for you, your business or your family and why?