Guest Guru: Orgjunkie – 10 Ways to Avoid Organizing Overwhelm

10 Ways to Avoid Organizing Overwhelm

By Laura of

One of the most common organizing questions I get, especially at this time of year, is “I’m so overwhelmed with all my stuff, I just don’t know where to start”. I know how easy it is to be discouraged by all we have to do that we simply drag our feet and do nothing. We look around at our spaces and think I’m never going to get to the end. It’s frustrating and draining when the task ahead seems to be more than we can handle.

Here are some steps to encourage and support you with avoiding the dreaded organizing overwhelm.

1. Once you decide that you are ready to make a change, create a list of all the areas of your home you want to organize. Take a walk around your house and get it ALL down on paper.

2. Now break areas down into tasks that will fit short periods of time that you can manage easily. For instance if in step one you listed you wanted to organize your sewing room, go one step further and break that task down into manageable steps (ie: sort fabric into colors, purge 10 things, consolidate sewing accessories, etc..)

3. Determine how many tasks you can tackle a day based on the time periods set in step two. For instance if you broke tasks down into 15 minute increments perhaps you can accomplish two a day. Set a goal but don’t set yourself up for failure.

4. Start with the area that gives you the most stress. If you use a certain cupboard every single day and every single day when you open that cupboard door something falls out on you, start there.

5. Don’t jump from area to area. Finish all the tasks associated with one area before moving to the next. Savour the victory of completion and this will provide the motivation you need to continue.

6. Along with a garbage bag, keep three boxes or baskets handy…one for items that need to go somewhere else in the house, one for donation elsewhere and one for items that need to be actioned (ie: to repair, returned, etc)

7. Don’t complicate matters by running out and buying new containers before you really know what it is you need to containerize. Consolidate and purge items FIRST.

8. Exercise your decision making skills…if you haven’t used something in a year or don’t love it, don’t keep it. The more you part with, the less you have to find a home for.

9. Ask a friend to help. A fresh set of eyes on your space is often the clarity you need to get unstuck. Another option is to hire a Professional Organizer to assist and support your endeavours. Prices vary from place to place. Visit these national organizations for further information.

Canada: POC


10. Take it one day at a time and don’t look up!

Laura is an addict of all things organizing especially containers. She is addicted to the high that comes with living a life of order and simplicity and is always looking for her next “fix”. You can find her blogging regularly and sharing her passion over at I’m an Organizing Junkie.