“Start with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Oftentimes, our pace of life has us moving from one activity or project to the next in rapid succession. Time is such a limited resource for many of us that we jump from one thing to another without pausing to set our minds with focus and vision.

As you consider organizing your space, whether it be a room in your house, your office space, or even a collection of items, creating a Vision before starting can make all the difference in ensuring success.  Here’s why:

  • Creating a Vision sets your intention for how you would like your project to look and feel when it is complete. By spending a few minutes before diving into action, you tap into your emotion and multiple senses.  This draws you into a project differently than just “doing” it.
  • A Vision helps overcome some of the common pitfalls of an organizing project.
    • Having a hard time finding a place to start? Use your vision as a motivator by visualizing how great it will feel to be in this space when you are done.
    • Having a hard time making decisions about what stays or goes? Ask yourself if keeping an item moves you closer to your vision.  If it doesn’t, it is often easier to decide to donate or toss an item.  For example, if your vision for your kitchen is to have clear counters, you will need to make sure all of your items fit within your storage areas, like your cupboards and pantry.   When you come across something that you want to keep that doesn’t fit in your cupboards or pantry, you can ask yourself if keeping the item on the counter will still allow you to accomplish your vision.  Maybe the answer is yes, and the item stays.  If the answer is no, then you feel like you have made a decision based upon your true desires for your space.
    • Finding yourself wandering away from your project before completion? Bringing yourself back to the project by asking whether the current state meets your vision can help push you to keep going.

Creating your Vision for a space or project is easy!

First, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do I want the space to look when I am complete?
  • How do I want to feel when I am in this space?
  • What things do I want to accomplish in this space?
  • How will I know when this project is complete?

Then, pick out some short phrases or words you used when describing your ideal outcome for the space or project.  Write them down and reference them throughout the project to keep you moving in the right direction.  Writing them on a piece of paper that you can post in the space you are organizing keeps your vision in full view!

If where you are at the beginning of the project and where you want to be at the end of the project will take multiple days or organizing sessions to complete, you can also break your big vision into smaller chunks.  For example, if you are clearing out a room in your house to set up a home office, it might be hard to truly see the end result as you are in the midst of clearing out unrelated items like toys or exercise equipment.  Setting a daily goal of emptying a closet in the room, which works toward the final vision, helps you to feel success each day, even when it doesn’t quite look like an office yet.

Also, don’t feel bad if your vision changes throughout the project as you work with the space and your belongings.  It is ok to shift your objectives.  Granting yourself the freedom to change your mind can keep you from feeling like there is a “perfect vision.”  Your Vision is for YOU!  Each step of the way, take a moment to check in with yourself and see how the progress you are making looks and feels, in relation to your vision. If something needs adjustment, adjust your vision.

If you are needing a hand with creating your Vision or completing the steps to make it come to life, consider reaching out to a Professional Organizer.  They have tools and resources to help you! You can search for Professional Organizers in your area on the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) website at www.napo.net, or any of their local chapters.  In the Seattle area, contact me at ellen@renewalorg.com for your free 30 minute consultation.


Happy Organizing!