Is it really worth the time (and sometimes money) to get organized? I get asked that question a lot, both out loud and through body language. After all, some argue, I’ve gotten along this long. What’s the big deal?

On the other hand, others confess:
• I spent an hour looking for _______ this morning (and didn’t find it).
• I can’t seem to get anything done lately. I don’t know where to begin.
• I keep buying more _____ when I know I have it here somewhere.
• I feel guilty when I take time to organize. Shouldn’t I be doing something productive?

If you are still on the fence about the value of getting organized, think about the following:

Organization increases productivity. It’s hard to get work done if you don’t know where your tools are. Remember the Seinfeld episode where the gang gets lost in the parking garage? Each time you stop to look for something, time is wasted. An organized space allows you to have what you need at your fingertips.

Organization saves you money. When like items are placed together and put in a logical spot, you know what is available and what is needed. Checks get deposited; gift cards are available for use. One woman reported saving her charity hundreds of dollars by simply organizing the storeroom. She found 10,000 gift bags for the upcoming fundraiser.

Organization decreases stress. Many leave items out as “reminders” to get something done. Does that really work? It usually just makes people feel guilty. As clutter builds, it causes greater frustration and anxiety. Organization allows us to set up systems to get things done more effectively.

Whether you decide to tackle a closet, drawer, or cabinet yourself or are hiring a professional to help you get organized, keep in mind a few key points:

• It takes time. Any positive change (exercising, going back to school, learning a language) takes time. Allow yourself guilt-free time to clear out unused or unneeded items, group like items together, and arrange them so you can easily find them later.

• Mistakes will be made. Sometimes the new home for an object doesn’t work. You forget to go through mail for a few days, or you can’t find an item once you have moved it. That’s okay. Begin again.

• Organization is contagious. Yes, we’d all like our spouses, co-workers, children, and aging parents to be more organized. The best way to help them is to set a good example. People who live and work near organized spaces tend to keep them neater. If that hasn’t happened yet in your case, at least your space looks and functions better. Give it time.

• It gets easier. Once their space is organized, clients report that it is less work to maintain (and some even enjoy keeping it organized!). Regular maintenance is the key. It’s easier to put a few things away each day than a large pile once a week.

Decide today to take control of your stuff. Start with a small area (drawer, cupboard, or shelf). Commit to maintaining that space. Notice how that organized space affects your time, money, and stress level. Take time to get organized. You’ll be glad you did.

© Renee Ursem, 2009

Author's Bio: 

Renee Ursem, Professional Organizer and Consultant, is the owner of Get It Together, LLC, offering clients in Las Vegas, Nevada simple, practical solutions to organizational challenges in their homes and offices.
Renee can be reached at Renee is also on Facebook.