We all want to get organized, but nobody seems to have the time. But we always seem to make time for a good party. So I want you to think about hosting an organizing party. The premise is simple-invite friends over, focus on the ones who are organized, and have them organize an area of your home for you. I mean with you.
The hint here is to not invite your cousin Martha who you know is messy. Invite those friends whose homes look like they could come out of a magazine.
In all seriousness, I am certain your group of friends would love to do this. Often with organizing, we need a push in the right direction. I know that if you put my husband on your invite list, he would be a fantastic asset.
I have at times said "organize the garage." I come back finding essential things missing, like the Shop-Vac. In his defense, he said it hadn't been used in a year, and under my rules of organizing, it needed to go. He may even order you a Dumpster to help with the organizing.
Some fun party themes:
• "Thanks for the Memories." Borrow a high quality scanner and scan in all of your photos to be stored in the cloud. You probably don't need to buy a scanner if you are just using it for one night. Having all your photos secured in a safe location gives you incredible peace of mind. Plus it is fun to reminisce with your friends about the pictures from high school prom or learning to ride your bike for the first time.
• "Junk the Junk Drawer." You will find that most things in a junk drawer do not need to be there. Remember that this drawer is not a catch all for things you can not make a decision about. Rather this is a place to keep the scissors and the tape in an organized location.
• "Do these Pants Make My Butt Look Fat?" Because sometimes we need an honest opinion. If my husband was to do this with me, I know it would not be a party at all! He wouldn't want to hurt my feelings, so I would be left questioning all the clothes hanging in my closet. The plus of this is if you have business clothes that you no longer are using, find your local Dress for Success drop-off location to help dress local women who are entering the professional workforce.
• "Paper Purge." Because we all have more than enough paper. Taking the time to sit down and go through all of the papers can seem daunting. But having friends with you who can shred while you file will make the time fly by.
Here are some tips to help you create the perfect organizing party:
• Invite key friends. Some friends you are willing to take advice from, others you are not. Think about the friends who can give you tough love. The ones who can tell you that the high-waisted, acid-wash jeans need to go back to 1985.
• Invite only two or three friends. With too many friends, it can get overwhelming with everyone in your business.
• Do not invite the friend who will guilt you into keeping everything, otherwise known as your mother.
• Focus on one key area at a time. Do not think that you are going to do your entire home.
• Have drinks and food. For some of us, wine and chocolate make us work harder. Do not go overboard, as you don't want to wake up the next morning finding that your friends left you only with ponchos and yoga pants.
• Donate any items on a timely basis. When a friend offers to drop off your donations to a local center on her way to work in the morning, take her up on it. The longer the items stay in your home, the greater the chance that someone will look through them and want to keep things.
• Take turns. Perhaps this month it is your house, but the following months you will rotate through the friends who agree to do this with you.
• Make sure your home is not full of distractions. By distractions I mean spouses, children and pets. You want your home to be quiet for you to focus, as this time is limited, and you have stuff to organize!
• Turn off the electronic distractions. By stopping to check a text or post a picture to Instagram, you will stop the forward progress. Make sure that you try to eliminate as many distractions as possible.
So gather your friends, and start a revolution of organizing parties. We can sit around a shredder or a scanner just as well as a table in a restaurant. You will still have the quality of conversations with the added benefit of being a bit more organized!
Ms. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger, operates her business as I Did It With Ms. Simplicity. She is a professional organizer based out of Fargo. Email her at email@example.com.