Friday Fun: 8 Favorite Organizing Quotes

Calendar for friday on white background. Isolated 3D image


One of my goals for Friday posts is to keep things FUN and light.  The end of the week is not the time for heavy thinking, deep contemplation, or intense teaching. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite organizing quotes with you (which I promised in my last post). These quotes inspire me, motivate me, and help me stay on track with things start to get out of whack!

Since I have a large collection of quotes on a wide variety of topics, including organization, I decided to limit my favorite organizing quotes to just 8.  Trust me, it was hard to choose just 8, but if I didn’t limit myself you’d be spending your entire weekend here with me (which wouldn’t be so bad, would it?).  I hope you’ll find these entertaining, inspiring, and helpful ~ enjoy!

1. “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem” – Captain Jack Sparrow

2. “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” – Immanuel Kant

3. “Don’t agonize. Organize.” – Florynce Kennedy

4. “He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day…needs to reorganize his life.” – George Matthew Adams

5. “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A.A. Milne

6. “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.” – Peter Turla

7.  “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – African Proverb

8. “As an organizer, I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be.” – Saul Alinsky

Which of these quotes did you like best? Do you have a favorite quote (regardless of topic)? If so, please share!

Have a great weekend friends!

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

The Metamorphosis of Getting Organized

In my last post I discussed the cost of disorganization, a topic that came up several times during the organizing conference I attended last week in New Orleans.  It was a great conference that looked not only at the practical applications of organizing, but also discussed the psychological aspect of getting organized as well.

I guess I never really thought about the stages, or the metamorphosis, a person goes through to get organized, but I found it quite interesting and thought you might as well.  Where do you think you might be on the Stages of Change?

Emerging monarchStages of Change

1. Pre-contemplation – people in this stage are not considering a change in their behavior.  They often deny or are ignorant of any problem in their life. They feel resigned to their current state and don’t realize the consequences of their disorganized living.

2. Contemplation – people in this stage are getting ready for change and realizing the benefits of making a change, however, the costs begin to stand out even more. This conflict creates an ambivalence in their attitudes, which can take months, or even years, to overcome.  Some people can not see the emotional, physical, and mental benefits of getting organized because of their reluctance of having to give up something to get there (i.e. effort, money, time, etc.).

3. Preparation – people in this stage are finally ready for a change.  They are taking small steps to get organized and gathering information about changing their behavior.  Seeing the benefits of an organized life, these people are making goals, planning for action, and finding motivating ways to get support and encouragement (like reading this blog!).

4. Executors – people in this stage are actively engaged in the process of changing and getting organized! Yeah!! They are doing what they need to do to move from disorganized living to orderly, organized lifestyles. However, these people are at the greatest risk of relapse, so it’s important to avoid the temptation to “take it easy”.

5. Maintainers – people in this stage are consistently implementing positive habits into their lifestyles. They are finding success using organizing systems in their schedules, spaces, and life overall. They are confident of their ability to stay organized and reaping the benefits that an organized life brings.

So where do you fall? It’s not an easy thing to assess, I know, but it’s important to understand where you are so you can figure out where you want to go.  Ultimately, we should all strive for the Maintenance Stage, but don’t despair if you aren’t where you want to be! If you are reading this blog on a regular basis and applying the things you learn here into your life, then you are making progress.  You can reward yourself for that!

Steps to Change

Now that you know what Stage of Change you are in, what can you do?  Here are a few tips to help you in your journey towards an organized life:

  • Recognize that disorganized living is not giving you the life you want and understand the risks of staying unorganized.
  • Make a list of the pros and cons of being organized and see for yourself how organized living is better.
  • Identify barriers that are keeping you from getting organized and try to avoid or overcome them.
  • Write down your goals and make a plan of action. Remember baby steps!
  • Find motivating statements that will encourage you on this organizing journey.
  • Avoid temptations.
  • Reward yourself often.
  • Continue seeking support.

I hope that you found this blog post informative and helpful.  The road to getting organized is not always an easy one, but you need to know that you are not alone.  My heart’s desire is to help you get organized and stay organized.  We are on this journey together, and together we will be successful! It may take us awhile to get there, but we will get there; I truly believe that. Do you?

photo credit: Pardesi* via photopin cc
photo credit: Pardesi* via photopin cc

Have you ever thought about the metamorphosis we have to go through to get organized? What insights did you learn that can help you on your organizing journey?

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

P.S. Make sure to check out Friday’s post — it will have some motivation you won’t want to miss!



How Much Does Disorganization Cost?

Hi blogging friends!  It’s good to be home and back to blogging.  I had a great time in New Orleans and am still processing everything. I hope to share some of the information I learned last week with you soon, but today I want to discuss something that I heard several times during my conference — the cost of disorganization.

Costs:benefits signThe benefits of being organized have been discussed before, or may be fairly obvious to you, but what about the costs of being disorganized?  Have you ever thought about it in those terms?  Here are just a few costs of disorganized living:

  • Money – Do you incur late fees for bills because you can’t find them? Do you spend money repurchasing items you know you have, but can’t locate? Do you spend money to rent a storage space because you have too much stuff and not enough space in your home to keep it all? Have you missed out on rebates or opportunities to save because you couldn’t find the receipt or coupon? Do you spend money eating out because your kitchen is a mess or you don’t have time to shop for groceries?
  • Time – Do you waste time looking for things you know you have? Did you realize that the average person spends one year looking for lost items (NAPO)? Is your time consumed maintaining all your stuff? Do you spend your time the way you want to, or the way you have to?
  • Emotional Health – Does the disorganization in your life rob you of your joy and peace of mind? Does your clutter cause you stress? Did you know that 80% of our medical expenditures are stress related (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)?
  • Relationships – Does disorganization or time management struggles keep you from spending quality time with your family? Are you too embarrassed by the mess in your home to invite anyone over?
  • Success – Have you been passed up for a promotion because you are disorganized? Have you missed important deadlines or attended meetings unprepared? Did you know that, on average, office workers lose 40% of their workday due to lack of organizing skills (Wall Street Journal Report)?

I didn’t write this to discourage you. My hope was that it would enlighten you, and perhaps, even motivate you.  Sometimes it takes seeing the costs of something to cause us to do something about it.  And that’s the whole point of writing this blog: to show you how to get organized, so that you can act and gain the life you want to have. But there’s only so much weight my words can carry.  The rest is up to you — take the time to weigh the costs against the benefits and then ask yourself:

What is disorganization costing you?  What are you going to do about it?

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

What I Learned Organizing a Closet

Last month was a great month for organizing and I hope you were able to partake in some of the organizing festivities.  There was one week specifically set aside for organizing your closets, and I mentioned that I was going to work on my daughter’s (college girl) closet.  Well, I finally got around to it this past weekend and what a task that was!  I was so anxious to get to it that I forgot to take “before” pictures!  I am so bummed that I couldn’t show you this incredible transformation in full, but I am happy to show you a few photos of the finished space:

College girl closet view 1

College visit view 2IMG_5020I absolutely love this space now! It just makes me ooh and aah every time I go in there, which is a lot since I love to revisit any space I transform and soak in the beauty of it all. And to make this project even better, I only spent $75!

Even though I loved bringing order to this messy space, in the midst of working on the closet and two days out from finishing it, I’ve realized a few things.  I thought I’d share these lessons I learned from organizing a closet so that you won’t make the same mistakes with your organizing projects:

  • It’s never too late to organize something.  My wonderful hubby called when I was right in the middle of working and asked what I was doing.  When I said that I was organizing college girl’s mess of a closet, he replied, “Why? She’s leaving in 4 months.” It’s true that in a few months she will no longer need an organized closet here at home, but she needs one now!  Just because something may not be timely, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.  Don’t let any excuse reason hold you back from starting an organizing project.
  • I didn’t set up the space, or my daughter, for success.  It’s easy to label someone as disorganized or messy, but the truth is that they  may not have a system in place so they can function in an organized manner.  And that may be our fault, not theirs.  I know that was the case with my daughter’s closet.  I never really put in a system that would work for her closet so that she could easily put away her clothes, shoes, and accessories.  Instead, I nagged at her for having her room and closet in a constant state of chaos.   When we are frustrated with the disorganization in our lives, whether it be our schedule or our closets, we need to evaluate whether or not we’ve set ourselves up for success, and try to figure out how we can change it.
  • Organized spaces need to be maintained and evaluated on a regular basis.  When we first moved into our home, I helped my daughter organize her closet.  Two years later, it was a disaster. How did it go from order to chaos in that timespan? The truth is, I never really took the time to go back and assess what was working, and what wasn’t, and go from there.  It was easier to assume that my daughter was just messy.  I didn’t evaluate the system regularly and, because of that, her closet was in shambles.
  • Don’t be in such a rush to get started on a project, that you fail to properly prepare.  Like I mentioned earlier, I was in such a rush to get going on her closet that it wasn’t until I had pulled out most of the items from her closet that I realized I hadn’t taken a “before” photo.  I also assumed that there was enough space for me to work in her bedroom while I was sorting and there wasn’t; I ended up breaking a few things because I couldn’t see where I was walking.   Had I given a little more thought to a few of the logistics, I would have had better results to share with you, and less things to throw away.
  • When working in someone else’s space, remember to involve them in the process.  I started working on college girls’ closet at 2 pm on Friday.  I wanted to get going before she returned home from school, as I could work at a much faster pace without her around.  I knew what I wanted to do, so I just did it.  For the most part she was amicable and let me do my thing.  But when I placed 10 pairs of shoes into clear shoe boxes, she threw a fit and said she hated the idea and wouldn’t use the boxes.  I told her that it was the best organizing system for the space, and asked her to try it for a few days.  That was Saturday afternoon at 4 pm.  By Monday, all the clear shoe boxes and lids were in the hallway and she had re-organized her shoes and closet the way she wanted.  I can’t say I blame her, I didn’t really give her any say in the matter;  I assumed to know what was best.  I was wrong.  Even if someone is willing to let you do all the work, make sure to get their input in what they would like or how they want the space to function.  Take it from me, it will save you time, money, and a lot of frustration!

Yes, these closet lessons were a tough pill to swallow – and to confess!  Hopefully, I will learn from these lessons and not repeat them anytime soon.  It’s also my hope that you will glean something from this and use it as you progress on your own organizing journey.

Which of these lessons can you apply to your journey to get organized? How might it make a difference?

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

P.S. If you decide to tackle your own closet anytime soon, make sure to check out my 15 tips to organizing your closets.