Organise Your Life, Reach Your Goals
Interview with Sarah Reynolds from Organised Chaos
Sarah Reynolds is a Professional Organiser, author, speaker and broadcaster. Sarah runs Organised Chaos - a decluttering and organising service for residential and corporate clients. Her new book ‘Organised - Simple Tips to Declutter your House, your Schedule and your Mind’ published by Gill books is available in all good bookshops and online.
We asked Sarah what her top tips were for using orgnaisation as a way of meeting your goals.
If you want a good long term result you need to look at your time management. Sarah suggests keeping a time log for a week, either on your phone or in a notebook. It should be as detailed as to keep track of how long it takes for you to have a shower, to drive somewhere or to eat a meal.
She believes that we all have pockets of time but just need to find them. Time management and organisation go hand in hand. We tend to say things like; “ I don’t have time to get organised, but if I don’t get organised, I won’t have time. It becomes a vicious cycle.”
People say they don’t have enough time to meditate or exercise, but the truth is, there are times that you can find in the day to do these things and they will ultimately reduce stress in your life and help you to achieve your goals.
“People believe that professional organisers live these lives where everything is perfect, labelled and colour-coded, when in actual fact what organisers do is prioritise time. We set aside time to achieve a goal, once we have achieved a result we are happy to move onto the next task. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If we have time to go back to it after completing all of our tasks, maybe then we can perfect it.”
Decluttering can mean anything from clearing your spare room, your desk or learning to say no and decluttering your schedule. Sarah believes that one of the most important things that you need to do see a permanent result is to ask yourself, why you are decluttering and what goal you are hoping to achieve by doing so?
“ People don’t realise that decluttering is the start of a journey that will ultimately become about themselves rather than the space. What you are seeing in your outer world is a reflection of your inner world.” When people come to Organised Chaos they are usually going through a transition of some sort. It can be a positive thing like moving house, getting a job or a negative thing like a divorce or illness.
Generally when a need for decluttering becomes evident, it is due to a serious of events, prior to this, that have resulted in your spare room driving you nuts. To achieve a longterm result you should visualise how the space you are looking to declutter will help you achieve your goal.
Always start with yourself, why it has happened, where you want to go and why you want to get there.
Start With Flat Surfaces
Our outer environment is visual and when that is cluttered it has an ability to make us feel stressed. When Sarah works with a client, the first thing that she will do is clear a surface that is in their eyeline. This will immediately results in a sense of calm for the client.
Set A Time Limit
This is really important to ensure that you don’t become demotivated. If you decide to deal with an area on a Saturday morning, give yourself an allocated time. For example 10am-12pm and then allow yourself time for a nice activity like lunch.
Within that 2-hour timeframe, it is important to allocate a 30 minute tidying up period where you will put the space back to what it was, albeit a more organised version of what it was. Otherwise when we declutter we can be left with feelings of the problem being bigger than it was in first place and justification for why you shouldn’t even try to attempt to declutter in the future.
Organise Your Paperwork
A massive cause of stress for people comes from their paperwork. It is also where a lot of our “to-do tasks” come from. Keeping a shallow baskets for all incoming paperwork will ensure that it is all kept together. Allocating a time each week to sort through it, will ensure that everything gets done and it doesn’t build up.