Sometimes you may be so used to the stuff around you that don’t even know you have clutter. So, how can you become more aware of the clutter you have? Read on for a few ideas.
- Take a picture. Then look at the picture. It gives you a different perspective and allows you to see the clutter you may be missing in person.
- Put stuff in a box. And date it. Clear rarely used items out of your kitchen utensil drawer (spatulas, knives, etc.), put them in a box, and put the box somewhere else in your house. If you truly need something from the box when you’re making a meal, then go get it. That item can now stay in your kitchen. After a certain amount of time (1 month, 6 months, your choice) donate everything else in the box. Use this technique for other items in your house you’re considering getting rid of.
- Turn your hangers backwards. If you have a lot of clothes in your closet that you are not sure about, turn the hangers backwards so they are facing the wrong way. If you’re like me, and most of your stuff sits on shelves, consider putting them on hangers for awhile anyway. Then, as you wear a piece of clothing, it gets put back on the shelf or the hanger gets turned back around. At the end of the season, you can see what you haven’t worn. Simply take these clothes out and put in your donation box.
Take a few minutes and think about how you can become more aware of your clutter!
The 3rd week of March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week. How are your closets looking?
You may be thinking about switching out your Fall / Winter clothes for your Spring / Summer clothes. Here, in Colorado, it’s been in the 70s for the last few weeks and we (likely) will see snow in April or May. So it’s hard to put away all of our warm clothes and we’ve all pulled out the t-shirts and sandals by now. But, it’s still a good time to clean out your clothes. As you’re switching your closets over and making warm weather items more accessible, think about the following questions. If your answer is ‘no’ to any of them, toss those clothes in your donate box (and create a donate box if you don’t have one).
- Have I worn this recently? Will I wear it again?
- Do I love it?
- Does it fit me?
As I’m cleaning out my clothes, I’ll make a list of things I need to supplement. What shoes, necklaces, etc., might I need to make sure I wear a certain shirt or pair of pants. Then, when I’m out shopping, I’ll know what I need and won’t end up with a closet full of clothes that I don’t wear because I don’t have anything that matches.
Let’s also talk about your linen closets. As you’re pulling your warm quilts and blankets from your bed, take a look at your linen closets. Are there items that need to be replaced? Does the closet simply need to be straightened up? Take a few minutes to make sure your linen closets are in order too.
The 2nd week of March is National Procrastination Month. Procrastination impacts us in many ways. It is incredibly draining if we’re ignoring something we don’t want to do, or need to do but for some reason keep putting it off. What could you be doing with that time and energy if you could just get that task off your list? What is holding you back from getting to that project? Here are 5 tips for getting started, dealing with that project, and battling procrastination.
- Break it in to small pieces. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Can you break the project into small pieces? If you just moved and are overwhelmed by boxes, tackle 1 box a day. If you want to get your house organized but don’t have a full weekend (or several), tackle 1 drawer or shelf at a time. Spend 15 minutes a day (or 5 or 10) cleaning something out.
- Invite guests over. It’s like setting a deadline. Host a dinner party or a backyard BBQ. Don’t just stuff everything into a closet. Schedule the time to clean out and find homes for everything.
- Find an accountability partner. Do you want to get up and exercise before work 3 times a week? Find a friend to join you. Or report to a friend each time you do it. Your friend can report to you about something he or she is doing and you can support each other through the process. There’s motivation in being responsible to someone else.
- Turn it into a game. Put on some music, set a timer, and see how quickly you can get something done. Hate putting away your laundry or cleaning the kitchen? Time yourself and see how fast you can do it. Or listen to a book on tape or your favorite podcast while you’re organizing your closets. Find a way to make it fun and it won’t seem like such a chore.
- Tackle a small to-do first. Or, tackle the biggest one. Sometimes I just need a small win before I can get going on other projects. I’ll pick the easiest thing on my list, maybe sending a birthday card to a friend. The satisfaction of crossing something off my list gets me motivated to continue on to bigger projects. Or, I’ll tackle the biggest project on my list. If I just make that phone call I’ve been avoiding or sit down and do the research I need to do, it will remove the stress and mental drain.
What steps can you take today to get past the procrastination and get started on a project?
Ok, you’ve spent all this time getting your house organized and I bet you want to keep it that way. This week, we’re going to look at maintaining your beautifully organized house.
- Never leave a room empty handed.
- When going upstairs (or downstairs) or to another room, take something with you that belongs elsewhere. My daughters hairclips end up all over the house and I’m constantly bringing them back to their box in the kitchen (or asking her to put them away).
- Straighten as you go.
- When putting away laundry, pull out clothes that don’t fit and make sure clothes (and linens) are neatly put away.
- Connect a task to another habit.
- Clean old food out of the refrigerator when planning your meals for the week (or when it’s trash day).
It’s also a good idea to identify routines and systems you need to have in place. Ask yourself the following questions.
- How often do you clean out your closets? Paperwork? Refrigerator? Pantry? Storage spaces?
- What does your weekly routine look like? When do you buy groceries? Run errands? Clean? Plan meals? Do laundry? Pay bills? File?
- What does your morning routine look like? Do you make sure dinner is defrosted? Clean up breakfast dishes? Get a load of laundry in the dryer?
- What does your nightly routine look like? Do you pick up toys? Make lunches? Pack bags for the next day? Take some time for yourself?
This week, take some time to plan how you are going to maintain your newly organized projects.