I have been getting a bunch of questions emailed to me about Organizing 101—my online workshop that starts today. So I thought I would share answers here just in case you or someone you know made a New Year’s resolution to get organized. If this is one of your goals, you may have some unanswered questions swirling around in your mind about Organizing 101 and how it can help you achieve your goal. So here we go!
Question: How will these classes help me more than reading a book about organization?
Answer: I would bet most of the people who have taken my workshops have read books on getting organized before. There are some key differences between a book and a workshop. First, the material in a workshop is bite-sized, and with each lesson you are given specific action steps to take. With a book, you may end up reading through the entire book, and if the book provides specific action steps you still have to sort through all of the action steps at the end of the book to figure out where to start, what to do next, and so on. This can get overwhelming as the ideas and action steps pile up. With a workshop, the material is delivered to you in smaller doses, so you read the material and immediately take action. The action steps are very specific and ideally, you will finish up the actions for each lesson before the next lesson is released. Then, you get the next lesson, read and take more action.
I think there's something even greater than that. With a book, if you run into a roadblock or get stuck, there's nowhere to turn for additional assistance. With an online organizing workshop, on the other hand, if you read something but aren't sure how to apply it to your home and life, you log in to the online workshop and ask a question. I'm there to answer your questions, but it doesn’t stop there. You also have access to an online community of fellow classmates who add their thoughts, personal perspectives and experiences as well. Workshop participants find this very motivating—they know they’re not alone in their organizing challenges. Someone else has been or is going through the same thing they are experiencing when getting organized.
The other thing we do in the online workshops is a daily action challenge. This allows participants to take action and do something about their clutter and organizing projects a little bit each day. This makes tackling an organizing project less overwhelming, and you get the motivation of reading what other people are doing and accomplishing in their homes to give you even more inspiration to get going and stay going! Participants love the daily action challenge. Here are two comments from students that I pulled out of the forum this morning…just random talk about the motivating power of the online classroom environment.
“Also, it is such a great feeling to post decluttering victories, no matter how small. It's highly contagious!!”
“...the classroom environment is the real motivator for me.”
Question: I have a busy schedule and I am afraid that I won't be able to keep up with the class. Or, I am going out of town for part of the workshop—will I be able to keep up?
Answer: Our online workshops allow you to take the workshop on your time schedule. Lessons are released once a week, and then remain available for your access for the duration of the workshop—until the workshop close date.
One of the things participants do in my workshops is spend fifteen minutes a day on their organizing projects. Of course you can do more, but doing fifteen minutes gets you started and allows you to make progress on your organizing projects in smaller (and more readily available) segments of time. Even if you aren't able to keep up fully with the lessons, every step you take in the direction you want to go is progress.
Also, you can download all of the lesson materials so you can refer to them after the workshop closes, including the audio, reading materials and worksheets. Plus, we send a pdf of the forum contents after the workshop closes, so if you fall behind in the forum, you will still have access to all of the terrific ideas and suggestions generated there.
We also have an alumni policy where once you take a workshop you can repeat the same workshop for 50% off the enrollment price. Many students come back for second and third rounds of workshops so they can continue making progress on their organizing projects and goals with the support of the online community. If you give it a try and don’t think you can keep up enough, however, you can request a refund as per our refund policy.
Question: Are the 3 classes the only 3 available? Did there used to be others?
Answer: We have other classes, too—such as Get Organized for the Holidays which runs in November and December, and the Goals workshop which runs once a year in January and February. The three listed right now are the three that are currently open for enrollment.
Question: Class begins today—is it too late to sign up?
Answer: Today is a great day to sign up! For our longer workshops, registration stays open for around two weeks after the first lesson is released, and people typically join up through that point. If the workshop is still open, and you want to sign up—you’re right on time!
Question: Will I declutter in Organizing 101, or is it just about organization?
Answer: Yes, Organizing 101 gives you the opportunity to declutter…plus you will organize and add storage solutions. During the first few weeks of the workshop, you can join the daily action challenge and start (or continue) decluttering. During this phase your focus is on plucking the “low-hanging fruit” items that you know in an instant you no longer use, need or love. This will help you create space and breathing room in your home, and allows you to make progress without getting overwhelmed by trying to tackle a big project all at once. As you continue in the workshop, you’ll learn about (and implement) organizing strategies and storage solutions. Decluttering—letting go of things you no longer use, need or love—is also part of the organizing process covered in this workshop.
If these questions caused you to think of other questions…please let me know. I’m happy to answer them! Thanks!