Spring Cleaning and Clearing

 

Reuse tiny boxes for storing jewelry

 

With the approach of spring it’s getting to be that time again to clean the home, get rid of items you no longer use or need, and re-purpose things you already have.

 

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Thoroughly clean one room each week. If your home isn’t too big, this should take you to mid May. Vacuum, dust, rearrange furniture, purge, and organize the stuff in each room. This week, I vacuumed the apartment and brought some items I didn’t need to the Salvation Army store.

2.  Sort through one shelf, drawer, box, cabinet and bin at a time. Keep it simple, so you do not get overwhelmed. I just de-cluttered and organized my kitchen utensil drawer that I’d let get out of hand. It’s never too late to take control of your own clutter.

messy kitchen drawer      Organizd kitchen drawer

3.   Practice the age old expression: ‘When in doubt, throw it out’.  If I don’t love, need, use, or want an item, I throw it out! Or, give it away, or recycle it.

4.  Don’t spend money, be creative and re-purpose the containers you already have! Look around and you will most likely find empty boxes, canvas shopping bags, or plastic containers for storage. I’ve been using my plastic covered containers as needed. You can also sort through and purge any full containers you have to make them re-usable. Perhaps you can use old ice cube trays, empty egg cartons for storing jewelry or other small items, or checkbook boxes for drawer dividers.

5.   Take a few minutes before work or after work to recycle plastics, wash a counter, sweep the kitchen floor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that life will be easier if you take on this task each day. Yesterday, I washed the dish drain tray, which took about three minutes.

6.  Don’t worry about following someone else’s system for cleaning/organizing. Use the system that works for you. My way may be different from yours.

7.  And, make a promise to yourself to not procrastinate. Get it done! I’m a big procrastinator, but when I get a household task or organizing project accomplished, I feel great!

Look around your home or apartment – what can you use in a different way?

And, do you have any TIPS for spring cleaning/organizing that work for you? I’d love to hear about them.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your
clutter issues, contact Judy at: clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

 

 

Everyday Timesaver Tips

Unmade bed           Baby & Blackie 2

To keep your clutter at bay and free up some of your time, check out the following four things to do every day.

1. Sort Your Mail
Take a few minutes every day to gather the mail, open, read and sort it. Keep a recycle bin near the mail sorting area for junk mail and opened envelopes. Put the other mail into categories to either file the same day or later in the week; bills, personal correspondence, catalogs and filing.

2. Manage Your Clutter
As you leave a room, take a quick look around to see if there are items that don’t belong there. Pick up those items and put them where they belong. Ask all others in the household to do the same.

3. Clean while You Cook
Don’t fill the sink with dishes and pots while you are cooking. Wash them or put them in your dishwasher as you make the meal. You’ll have less cleaning up to do when the meal is over, and more time to do other things.

4. Make Your Bed
The bedroom will look more orderly when you make the bed every day. Doing so, you will be more inclined to also put clothes away. It’s also a good Feng Shui practice to make the bed everyday. An unmade bed with bunched up blankets and sheets is actually a form of clutter which can remind you of other difficulties and annoyances in your life.

When you try these four time saving things each day, please let me know how it goes!

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Seven Days of Organizing TIPS – Day # 3 – ‘Reduce Knick Knack Clutter’

DAY # 3 – TIP # 3

vase memorabilia on shelf

Like me, you most likely have at least one shelf that’s full of knick knacks or memorabilia.

Declare that shelf knick knack free. Remove all collectibles, trinkets, picture frames, etc.  Put these items into storage for a while. (You can revisit them a few months down the road, and if you haven’t missed anything, or you forgot about some items, then you know it’s time to give them away to a good cause like a charitable organization).

Dust or polish the shelf until it shines. Add one small vase of flowers, or a small house plant. Don’t put anything else on this surface for 17 days.

You’ll be amazed at the peace you feel with that nearly empty space.

(And, at the end of 17 days, put a few more items on the shelf, but please don’t clutter it again, so that nice feeling remains)

Let me know when you’ve cleared that shelf full of knick knacks, and how this uncluttered shelf makes you feel when you see it.

Organizing Strategies that Don’t Work and Do Work

 

Are you going about organizing in a way that DOESN’T WORK for you?

Here are some tips on getting organized that DON’T WORK that well:

1. Thinking it will be quick and easy to clean out a room full of clutter.

If over the years you have been collecting lots of clutter, don’t expect that it will take you 30 minutes to get it organized. Be realistic.

2. Giving up after 10 minutes.

Know that accomplishing such a big task will take time. Don’t give up. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, take a deep breath, a short break and begin again.

3. Not asking for help.

Facing this organizing task can be daunting and certainly not fun when you attempt it by yourself. Ask a friend (one who is the organized sort) to help you. Or hire a professional organizer if the task is too big.

4. Overdoing it

If you are not good at organizing, or it’s been quite a while since you last did so, don’t take on this big task in too small of a time period. It could exhaust you.

5. Keeping things in not-so-obvious locations.

If you keep your home cleaning supplies in the basement, it can be inconvenient for you. Keeping them in a more accessible location makes more sense. This goes for everything you organize. Store it in a more obvious place.

6. Not putting things away.

Take a moment and put things back when you’re done with them. If you live with other people, set an example for the others by doing so.

7. Expecting others to know your organizing system.

Let others know where you like to keep things and how you like them stored, so you don’t have to bug them to put things away.

Here are ways to organize that DO WORK well!

1. Have realistic expectations.

If you stay on track with your clutter, it will be quicker and easier to get organized.

2. Look differently at things.

Ask yourself when the last time you used or wore something. Why are you keeping it? Are you really going to use it during the next year? If not, donate it to a good cause so someone else can benefit from it.

3. Ask someone to help you.

It’s OK to ask for help getting organized. Ask a friend to help you or hire a professional organizer. If you feel overwhelmed or ashamed, talk to someone you trust about your feelings.

4. Do one task at a time.

If you have ADD or just have a hard time getting organized, focus on one small area at a time for a short period of time.

5. Label items and keep them in an obvious location.

You don’t need to label everything, just everyday things. Put items where everyone can find them easily.

6. Train yourself to put things away daily.

Practice, practice, practice, and you will remember to put things in their place. Daily maintenance will become easier.

7. Teach everyone in your household your organizing system.

Do you think that your organizing methods DO or DON’T work? What is your plan to improve your organizing skills if they are not working for you?

Mementos versus What Really Matters

Mementos

A memento is an object or item that serves to remind one of a person, past event, etc.; keepsake; souvenir.

An essential part of getting organized is to simplify and let go of unnecessary things, so you can enjoy the things that really matter. Over and over I see clients regard inanimate objects as more important than their own well-being. They hold on to stuff when it actually takes away from the quality of their life.

Buying and keeping objects can be a good thing; something that enhances the quality of life. But when you become a slave to your possessions and move them from room to room, or have to step over the pile they have ended up in, they become a problem.

I encourage you to let go of things that don’t make your life better. You say, “I can’t get rid of that because it’s a memento”. But when you can’t remember what it reminds you of, or you haven’t made use of it in years, it has just become a thing.

Let go of those things to make way for peace of mind and more space.