The Most Difficult Part of Getting Organised? Decisions

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A lot of people feel overwhelmed at the very thought of getting organised, even if they’re equally overwhelmed at the current disorganised state of their home or office. They often feel guilty, and wonder why they can’t just get it together.

I love to organise (I help others do it for a living!) but when it comes to organising my own stuff, I hate it as much as the next person. It’s not difficult to put things in a pile or to throw away mis-matched socks.

The reason that really getting organised is such a chore is the decision fatigue that comes with it.

Let’s say I’m trying to organise my closet. The traditional method involves me having three bins into which I put every piece of clothing: Keep, Give Away, Throw Away. If I have 50 pieces of clothing, that is 50 decisions in one sitting.

That’s a lot of decisions. Too many. Chances are, you’ll start to fade around 25 and give up completely at 37, ending up really annoyed that there are 13 pieces of clothing you haven’t yet dealt with. These 13 pieces will get shoved back in and ignored until next time when they don’t make it into any organised system because you are too tired to deal with them again.

What’s more, the all the decision fatigue is often accompanied by decision paralysis:

“Should I keep this thing? If I get rid of it, will I wish that I hadn’t? Last time, I got rid of something and found that I needed it 3 months later. But I have similar things from 2 years ago that I haven’t touched. Will I need it in the future? Will I regret getting rid of this thing? Or will I be pleased with all the extra physical and mental space that comes from getting rid of it?”

Even if you sort through only 20 items in one day and 5 of them require that kind of thought, that’s 5 moments of major decision paralysis.

What if you could avoid the decision paralysis altogether and get organised in such a way that you never hit decision fatigue?

In this series, I’ll be sharing some secrets to getting organised. It’s not a “system” (everyone’s system will be different!) It’s a series of principles you can establish for yourself, unique to your circumstances, which allow you to get organised easily and painlessly.

How do you avoid decision fatigue?