Drowning in Clutter? Organization to the Rescue!

March 11, 2011 | Comments Off on Drowning in Clutter? Organization to the Rescue!

Are you feeling like you are drowning in clutter? Are you overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff you find all around you? Don’t despair! There is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and (surprise!) it isn’t a train.

With a few simple steps, and dedicated time, you can be free of the stuff you are drowning in. Follow along as we show you how organization can come to the rescue.

1. The very first step is to eliminate the clutter. No matter how hard we try, we cannot organize clutter. So, begin by putting your plan down on paper. Try to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of something generic like ‘declutter family room,’ try targeting areas in the room. For example; ‘sort toys and donate outgrown, throw away broken.’ By breaking down large areas into more specific targets, you have turned a seemingly impossible, overwhelming job into a manageable piece. You won’t get overwhelmed before you even start.

2. When you are ready to start on your first area, gather three boxes or large, black plastic bags. Label one box ‘trash,’ one box ‘donate’ and the third box ‘keep.’ Now it is time to start the decluttering process. Be ruthless as you sort. If an item isn’t something that you can say without hesitation that you love AND use, it should be donated or sold if it’s usable, or trashed if it’s broken and would be more expensive to repair than replace.

3. Sometimes when it comes to clearing out clutter, we get bogged down by sentimentality. It may help to remember that the object is not the memory. Regardless of whether you have the item or not, you have the memory. If you just can’t bear to part with your great aunt’s collection of lace hankies, don’t store them away in a box to rot. Display them. They can be artfully arranged in shadow boxes and hung on the wall as art. Be creative and ENJOY these precious items. Don’t hide them away in boxes.

4. It’s important to remember to keep this purge process manageable. Don’t try to do a marathon session or you’ll end up overwhelmed again. Remember that the problem didn’t get this way instantly and it won’t be resolved instantly. Be realistic about the amount of time you have available to work. Even if all you have is 15 minutes to spare, you can still follow your plan and eliminate the clutter. Each step forward is a step closer to being decluttered and organized.

5. At the end of each declutter session, take the bags or boxes of trash out to the trash and the bags or boxes of donate items out to your car to be taken to Goodwill or Salvation Army or similar charitable organizations. Be sure to inventory your donations and to get a receipt wherever you drop them off so that you can take the deduction on your income taxes.

6. Sometimes we get excited about being organized and rush out to buy containers before we even finish decluttering. Resist this urge until you have finished the decluttering process. This way you will know exactly what you have left that you are keeping, and will know exactly what and how many containers you will, or won’t need to purchase. You may find that you have no need for new containers, because you have done such a great job of decluttering. Storing what you have kept may already be covered by the storage you currently have.

7. Once you have successfully removed the clutter, you can start your organizing plan. The first step is to take the items in your keep bag (or box) and start sorting them by room. Don’t limit yourself to the ‘prescribed’ rooms. For instance, if you find that you use scissors in several rooms, why only store them in the office? Store things where you use them. The best system for staying organized is the one that works in your situation and the one that you actually use. Make it ‘user friendly’ and you’re much more likely to continue and stay organized and decluttered.

8. Now that you have decluttered and organized what you kept, one very simple rule will keep your head above water on the clutter. You’ll not just tread water. You’ll be floating with your iced tea in hand! This simple rule is very easy to adopt and follow. What is this simple rule? It is this–for every one thing you bring into your home to stay, one thing must go out. This way, you keep ahead of the clutter and never have to worry about drowning in it again.

9. Sometimes, in spite of our best efforts, life gets in the way and we get a bit behind again. It does not mean that we resign ourselves to living our lives drowning in clutter. It does mean that you have the tools and expertise to get back on top of things. You have already been through the decluttering process and know what you need to do to get back on top of the clutter. Just take it step by step and before you know it, you’ll be clutter free and organized again.

Source: www.GetOrganizedNow.com


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