Not having a plan.
“Getting organized” looks different for everyone. It’s a grand idea, but if you want to know get somewhere you have to know where you are going. Just as you wouldn’t go on a family vacation without a destination in mind, you should start with an idea of what you want to accomplish. “I can’t find anywhere to store the Christmas decorations” is more specific than “I hate my garage”. Think about the end game.
Trying to do too much at once.
Remember that phrase “how do you eat an elephant?” that’s right: “One bite at a time”. If you are working in a large room (think garage, kids playroom, attic…) start in one corner and work your way clockwise around the room, putting the extra things that don’t need to be there in the center. when I work with kids, we work in quadrants of their rooms. We get success with Barbie shoes and Legos first. In a garage, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed and over anxious. Work in small areas.
Not knowing what you want to accomplish each time.
Need to find somethings you’ve misplaced? For men, need to sort your tools once and for all? For women, time to clean out that makeup drawer or kitchen tools? What’s your motivation and what exactly do you want to accomplish with each organizing task? What do you want it to look like when. you are done?
Buying too many bins and containers
We’ve all done it. They are on sale, they just look so attractive and shiny in those stores….we’ll get a bunch! But not knowing what you want to store in them just initiates more clutter. I tell my clients “we’ve all done it: bought a bunch of containers and thought ‘well heck I better find something to put in them'”. Figure out what you want to organize before you buy your containers. Saves money too!
Not willing to let go of things you don’t want because “I might need it some day”
Not purging first. Go through and toss/donate/set aside to sell (and have a plan for that last one: WHEN? HOW? Not just someday). The first step of any organization task it sort and purge. Do you really need 5 metal spatulas? How many 4″ paintbrushes do you need at one time? When was the last time you wore that lime green dress? Purge, then organize the rest.
Not asking for help
Many hands make light work–did your mom/grandma tell you that? (Actually it was Ben Franklin that said that…). And when it comes to organizing, many eyes give greater perspective. Get help. Enlist a buddy (trade with them if you want). Hire a professional. Avoid burnout, get help.