Step 1- Assess the Chaos
Look at your problem and decide what isn’t working for you. Maybe it’s a messy car, a dysfunctional closet, or a broken routine. What DO you like about the way it is now? What DON”T you like? Is there something causing the problem or something that needs better maintenance?
Step 2- Define Your Ideal
If you could wave a magic wand and perfectly resolve the chaos, what would that look like? Would you change anything? Decide how you want things to actually be and make a mental note or write it down- whatever works for you.
How can you take chaos and turn it into the end result you want? Create a plan to reach the end goal. This could be a little step (add a drawer organizer) or be a bit more thorough (buy a drawer organizer, put the pencils on the left side with the lead down, scissors at the back, handles to the right, etc.). Not everyone’s plan for the same problem will look the same and THAT’S OKAY! We all have different personalities and talents. We all look at the world differently. Our plans SHOULD be different to fit our individual needs.
This is the most important step- DO IT! It takes effort to tame chaos. It doesn’t happen by itself but it’s worth the time and energy you’ll invest. Act on your plan, tweak it if you need to, and make it happen!
5- Re-assess if necessary
You may or may not need this step- I usually do. Keep an eye on your hard work to notice how things are going. Should any adjustments be made? Hopefully you nailed it but if it does need any changes, you can go through the steps again or nudge things as necessary. (see how awesome you are!)
To see this plan in action, here’s an example of working through a chaotic problem.
Example: My Junk Drawer
I have a problem in the form of a drawer. Unfortunately, this drawer becomes a catch-all. It’s been organized over and over but each time, disaster creeps in. It’s a perfect example of chaos.
- Assess the Chaos: big mess. The scissors, post-its, paperclips, 3x5 cards, etc. are all mixed up. The pens and pencils are completely missing, and random other items from all over the house have appeared (a dinosaur, crust of a sandwich, sock full of toy horses, etc.). After paying closer attention, I noticed that the drawer organizer I’m using really doesn’t fit very well.
- Define My Ideal: clean, tidy and organized. Everything would be in its place and stay there and we would stop using this space for dumping our leftovers.
- Plan: get a drawer organizer that will fit the items better. Have organizers filling the whole drawer surface so there’s nowhere for extras to go, hopefully discouraging them. Add a little No Dumping sign to the drawer long enough to help habits change.
- Act: actually follow through! I did it and it looks great!
- Re-assess: did it work perfectly? Not quite, but it’s been much closer. Yay for progress! I changed a couple things around so I’ll see how that works.
What kinds of chaos are you organizing? Share your stories!
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