Cleaning Out and Staying Organized

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January is such a great time to start fresh, get organized and start cleaning out your house – room by room.  I love this time of year.  I absolutely love cleaning out and organizing, but I know not everyone does.  I am truly at peace when I am finished with a room or closet or drawer and it’s completely cleaned out and organized.  Ahhhh…..

For many people though, organizing sounds daunting and overwhelming and so they put it off.   And by putting it off, the piles get taller, the mess becomes messier,  and it all becomes even more overwhelming and stressful.

The good news is – it does NOT have to be overwhelming at all.  Here are a few tips to help you stop procastinating and get organized!

  1. Make a list –  Start with a list of the areas in your home that you want to organize starting with the most overwhelming to the least. It’s always best to tackle the worst parts first.
  2. Start Small –  Then take the first area on your list and break it up into smaller areas and list those.  For instance, if your kitchen is the first place you want to tackle, break it out into top shelf of pantry, middle shelf of pantry, cabinet under sink, utensil drawer, junk drawer, etc.
  3. Assign Dates – Once you have your list of smaller projects, start putting them into your planner or on your calendar.  Some will only take 15 minutes, some 30 and others might take an hour.  But you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish with just one cabinet or drawer in 15-20 mins.  Make time in your day or week to spend on organizing – even if you only do one drawer a week for 15 mins.  I promise once you get going and see some small improvements, it will motivate you to keep going.
  4. Purge –  About 8 years ago, I had my own organizing business and this one in particular is the one tip I always encouraged my clients with.  If you want to stay organized then the only way to do that is to continue to purge on a regular basis.  It’s so much easier to organize less stuff!  So, my advice is to purge regulary!  Whether that is daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.  It’s also a very good habit to give something away evertime you bring something new into your house.  As you go through each small area begin to really think about the items you have in that drawer or cabinet.  Do I use this regularly?  Do I love this?  Does this item help me or make my happy in some way?  Does it have any meaning to me?  If the answer to all of those questions is no – then purge it!  **The one thing I heard over and over again as an Professional Organizer was “but what if I need it someday?”  Oh the what if’s.  In most cases, you can always buy a new version (if needed) down the road, so please do not hold onto items that you “might” use one day – especially if you haven’t touched it in a year or more.
  5. Do it again and again – One other misconception is that you can basically go through your house organize every area and be finished forever.  I wish!  I am a very organized person, but I continually go through my house and organize.  I basically go through each step above and then start over again maybe after 6 months or so, it depends – but do what is best for you and your life.  Just know that organizing is not a one time activity – it is definitely ongoing!

Keep in mind that the more you do it, the easier it becomes and it will definitely create more peace in your life!

Happy Organizing!

Michelle

 

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