I typically tell clients to take a room by room approach to organizing or de-cluttering. However, there are exceptions. The other day, I was working with Marie. She loved her books, and it seemed they were as one would imagine spread out among several bookshelves in multiple rooms and a few piles lurked on the floor next to furniture. We were trying to make space on the bookshelves for other items that needed a “home” so we needed to sort through books and start a donate pile.
When you focus on one category whether clothes, vases, Tupperware or books, it is helpful to see in entirety what you have in order to determine what can be donated or given to a friend. You may find you have 12 pairs of similar black pants among your closet and the guestroom closet and a few old pairs that have been sent to the attic. If I were to ask you initially, you may find yourself telling me you have 5 pairs of black pants.More
It seems like it is everywhere – the topic gracing the cover of every magazine cover with the latest solutions on how to organize your closet or home, to the thoughts late at night that clutter our mind as we try to fall asleep. Oftentimes it greets us as we walk into our home, or up to our attic. It is never well received. However, there is clutter that may live in your junk drawer. That’s o.k. You know it’s there and it is contained. Yet, there’s also the clutter that drags us down, that interferes with our home being a sanctuary and welcome relief after a busy day at work. It can invade our home and by doing so invade our life. There are solutions of course. Not quick fixes, but over time clutter can be de-cluttered and contained so that it no longer is a burden. Over the course of the next month, we are going to share tips on how to deal with clutter one step at a time.
Where to Start?
First, define one space where you want to start. This should be the space that you encounter in your every day life. Is it your home office that is littered with paper, and you have trouble finding important documents? Or, is it your dining room where you can’t serve a family meal because your dining room table has become a dumping ground for everything that comes into your home. Or, maybe your priority is planning a Saturday night dinner party but you are too embarrassed to have anyone over. Define the space, come up with a positive vision of how you would like the space to function, and set realistic goals. Keep that positive vision with you as you work towards achieving your goal. That is the first step to conquering clutter.
Have a clear, defined, achievable goal. Maybe, the clutter isn’t impacting your everyday life, and has been pushed aside to the garage or attic. And, every time you see it you can’t muster the energy to attack it. No matter where it lives in your home – gain perspective, and define your goals. You can conquer clutter – it doesn’t need to conquer you.
It looks like most of us survived the blizzard better than expected, and we were very happy we didn’t lose power! Between shoveling and snow blowing, it was a perfect day to get organized and deal with some household projects. Deb has a really big driveway so she spent a lot of the day behind the snow blower, and I enjoyed catching up on computer work and cleaning up some of my computer files and contact information. We have often shared tips on organizing, and somehow a snow day is an organizer’s dream because it means life comes to a halt and one actually has time to spend at home with no guilt, no other commitments, and can hopefully tackle some projects. Here are our top 5 tips:
Refrain from going crazy on Amazon. The stores are counting on you to sit and buy, buy, buy! And, if you can’t resist, we did come across the Ebates site which gives you discounts for on-line purchases. We haven’t tried it out yet, but we did sign up. You might as well save some money if you are spending it!
Go through your paperwork. A recent NAPO survey found that 29% of Americans consider their home office and den to be the most disorganized room in their home, followed by the master bedroom and kitchen. Tackle those piles of paper clutter. Spend an hour or two to pay bills and FILE or shred. While you are at it, start thinking about organizing receipts and paperwork for taxes. You’ll be amazed at how accomplished you’ll feel and may be inspired to keep going.
If office paperwork is not your nemesis, start some donation piles. Choose an area in your home that really bothers you, and start de-cluttering. Call Salvation Army or some other charitable organization and schedule a pick-up. We like Salvation Army because unlike others, they don’t require you to leave items curbside. However, most of the donation companies need advance notice so get on their list now.
Yes, of course the shoveling and snow blowing are a necessary evil waiting for you. Just think of it as good exercise.