Get an Organizer Buddy

Motivation. It is one of the biggest hurdles in getting yourself organized.

There’s always something more important that needs to be done, a task that needs to be completed, a TV show that just needs to be watched. (C’mon, admit it. You’ve used that excuse.) That why we’ve taken a queue from the world of fitness and come up with the idea of finding yourself an organizational buddy. Just as an exercise buddy provides a gentle coercion (not to mention someone to answer to for all those excuses), so does an organizational buddy provide you with a sort of human backstop for letting your goals pass you by. With a support system in place, you’ll not only have the motivation for getting things done, but you might actually have a good time doing it. How’s that for an excuse to actually get organized?

Alicia on “Yin and Yang”

“Having an organizational buddy is a great idea, but you should make sure that the person you pair up with is the right fit. First, look for people your own age, with kids around the same age, and living a similar lifestyle that you are. Not only will they be able to better relate to the issues you’re going through, they’ll also be a better source for solutions to problems inherent to your shared lifestyles. Next, make sure that person has an approach to organization that balances yours. Sarah and I have very different organizational styles, I’m great at keeping detailed lists and Sarah’s great at keeping the big picture. She helps me to stay focused on what’s really important and I help her stay on top of important details.”

Sarah on “Making It Fun”

“Just like exercise, if you don’t think it is going to be fun, you will find a million reasons to put it off. Fortunately, by adding an organizational buddy to the task, it is much easier to make the tasks at hand much more entertaining. If you’ve decided that tackling your mail is the goal, do it over coffee at the time the postman comes so you can immediately put your plan in place. Or, if you’ve agreed to make organizing your kitchen the goal, arrange to have a fun lunch date in your home to kick off the task, and on in your buddy’s home to show off your accomplishments. It’s up to you how you come together, but if you’ve chosen the right buddy, getting organized will be a fun experience and will rarely seem like that task you were avoiding for so long.

Here are a few tips for you (and your buddy) to make your organizational team the most successful it can be.

#1: Make joint decisions

Just because you’re having trouble getting your laundry room in order, doesn’t mean that goal is at the top of the priority list for your buddy. In order to make sure you’re in sync and making joint decisions as to what tasks to tackle next, start your partnership off with a list of the things you each want to take on. While you’re bound to share similar problem spots, you may find that your buddy is a master at something that you’re having issues with, and can give ideas on how to solve them.

#2: Start simple

Some organizing problem spots are more easily solved than others. For example, taking on the mail pile is easier than taking on your finances. Our advice: start with the mail pile. Just as an exercise buddies wouldn’t start their regime by running a marathon, you too need to start with the simpler tasks, which will clue you in to your organizational habits and make future projects easier to tackle.

#3: Reward yourself

The key part in organizing is setting a goal, so when you start your partnership, be sure to lay out the tasks that you want to accomplish. Once you and your buddy have reached your goals, celebrate! Treat yourselves to a nice dinner. Have a spa day. Go shoe shopping. Just be sure you file those receipts in the correct folders when you’re done!