Organize with the end in mind

I think we all want a little more sanity, right? Beginning with the end in mind is essential to not driving ourselves crazy. Unless we know the direction we’re going, we never know if we’re making good choices or on the right path. So we fall prey to self-doubt, stress, worry, and simply spinning our wheels going nowhere.

While we might see the need to begin with the end in mind in big areas of responsibility like homemaking and homeschooling, we can even apply the same principles and vision to organizing.

Organize with the end in mind so you can stay the course and not feel defeated and discouraged when your organization doesn't last. With a family and in the home, getting organized is a continual process, not a once-and-done project. We have to be in it for the long haul.

What is the end?

end, noun

  1. a final part of something, especially a period of time, an activity, or a story
  2. the furthest or most extreme part or point of something
  3. a goal or result that one seeks to achieve

Begin with the goal in mind

The goal of organizing is to give all things a home.

It’s easy to get distracted by big organizing projects like labeling shelves and decluttering, as if the goal is simply to have a photo-worthy set up or less stuff. But both those projects should be done in order to work toward the real goal of having homes for everything.

Decluttering is important because not everything in our house is worthy of finding a place for. We need to get rid of junk, not find a home for it. Our houses have limited space and so we need to keep our stuff within the limits we have in our situation – that’s decluttering.

Once we’ve decluttered, we’re not done. Next, all those things we are keeping need appointed places so that we can EHAP, we can put everything in its place because everything has a place.

It’s a long-term project for many of us, not an overnight overhaul, but finding a place for everything is what we’re working toward as we organize.

Then, it’s just a matter of putting everything in it’s place. Simple, right? ;)

Begin with the extreme point in mind

The point of organizing is to be prepared.

And why does everything need a home? Why do we make lists and plans?

It’s so we are prepared. It’s not so we can control what happens, because we can’t. Rather, being organized is about being prepared for what life tosses our way.

No matter how organized we are, we ultimately do not control outcomes. God controls the future and nothing we do can wrest that control from His hands. We can’t earn our desired outcome by trying hard enough or figuring out the right formula.

Rather, planning and organizing is a way of stewarding our gifts and our situations, presenting an offering of service and thanksgiving to God. He then may do what He sees fit and we can trust that it will work out to the good.

Begin with the final story in mind

The final story of organizing is service.

What story should our organizing be telling? If our organization efforts were the main character in a story, what would the story be about? About a control freak? About a stressed out and anxious sort? About someone who is always dissatisfied and discontent?

The story our organizing should be telling is one of service. We shouldn’t get organized so that we look impressive, but so that we can better serve our family, our church, and ultimately our God. That’s the true end, the real point.

So whether or not our organization is “successful” is less about how it all looks or how it makes us feel, but about making us effective and active servants in the kingdom of God.

Getting organized is only preliminary work, not the real work. That doesn’t make it unimportant or a waste of time, but it does mean that we can’t sigh, sit back, and think we’ve done the hard part once we have our lists in order. Having our stuff in order is only getting us to the starting line with running shoes and a water bottle. Next comes the actual race.

We’re better equipped to run the race, but the race is there to be run.

So let’s get started!

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See the syllabus:

Work the plan. Roll with the punches. Choose the right next thing. Your plans should relieve stress and make you more capable, not cause stress and frustration and disappointment. Organize your systems and learn the habits that will make your plans work for your own real life and family.

click to download

And watch the introduction video to Work the Plan!

If you’ve ever struggled putting the pieces of a plan together and then putting it into practice, I think you’ll love this course.

3 Responses

  1. Toni
    |

    This post was very timely, as I’m gearing up to organize our stacks of mail and paperwork today. Thank you!

  2. Kathy Weitz
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    This is a great series, Mystie! Thanks for sharing.

    k

  3. […] The story our organizing should be telling is one of service. We shouldn’t get organized so that we look impressive, but so that we can better serve our family, our church, and ultimately our God. That’s the true end, the real point. So whether or not our organization is “successful” is less about how it all looks or how it makes us feel, but about making us effective and active servants in the kingdom of God. Read the rest (and the other  very helpful posts in the series) at Simply Convivial. […]