When you walk into your place – what greets you? Is it the loving family pet, soft music and candlelight – or stuff piled everywhere? As Dr. Phil would say “How’s that working for you?” If your challenge is clutter or organizing then read on to discover the 3 Steps that will help you be an overcomer instead of a victim.
One, do a quick inventory – scan your entry space and take a visual image. What do you see? Do you see piles of stuff, are boxes blocking your entry, or did you just trip over shoes and toys? The first step to a resolution is being honest about the problem. What can you eliminate first? If you live alone, then the problem is yours.
Do you have roommates or others living with you? If that is true, then it is a group problem and takes a group solution.
Next step is to clear the entry area. That makes it easier to tackle the other rooms. What you see when you enter, either gives you a feeling of peace and comfort or clutter and chaos.
Often, much of the stuff can be tossed or given away. Just gathering up the trash and broken toys can make a real difference. Are there piles of newspapers and magazines dangling from the furniture or propped against the chair? Give yourself a limited time to read and re-purpose or give away. The recycle bin can become your best tool in this project.
Paper is often the biggest struggle. You may really plan to read the last 10 years of Sports World, but what is the real chance that you will? Those odds are not in your favor. I encourage clients to toss what is not being used. After all, how many chicken recipes can a person use in a lifetime? I finally acknowledged that I already had more recipes from magazines than I could cook in one lifetime. Thus began the magazine purge!
If you have others living with you, get together and make a real plan to minimize the paper and stuff left near the entry. It will set the stage for better times together. If you make a mess, clean it up before leaving the room to do something else.
Step two, agree “zones” that each person will cover. Similar to a family chore chart – play zone defense and see who can make the biggest impact in the shortest time. Give imaginary awards for the most creative and the most effective results. Making a game of it can turn a chore into a solution instead.
Then step three is to continue to work together to clear the clutter on a daily basis so that it is not one person’s issue but the result of a team working together. Here is where the organizing component is successful. Discover the place where things should go. Everything needs to have a home base and reside in that place,
When you need the item, where is the first place you look to find it? That is usually the place to put it when it is found. Keep a file or notebook nearby and write down where things are supposed to go. It helps locate what is needed without rushing around searching for needed items. Use a labeling system for closets and drawers. Use baskets or bins and label with their contents.
If you organize the clutter, then you just have an organized mess. If you take the time to minimize first, then you will be on the path to being truly organized.
Is your problem clutter or organizing? Clutter is having too much. Whether it is physical items or the untouchables such as too much to do, they are both clutter. Organizing refers to having these items where they fit best. Stuff needs a place to call home and needs to be there to be organized.
Do you have more things than you need to live a normal life with reasonable comfort? I work with clients on a regular basis whose main issue comes from having too much stuff. Consider clearing out the excess and sharing with people who don’t have enough. I believe you will discover productivity and focus increase when you work and live in an organized space that is free from excess and clutter.
What is your biggest clutter challenge? Scroll down and comment below and share your success tips and challenges. What is your clutter challenge and do you have a helpful tip to share?