Whether you have a bit of clutter, or a full blown mess, the best first step to organize it is to sort and categorize. Separating items into groups of similar things is the easiest way to start any organizing project. Creating categories in which to sort items is always the first action I take when starting any organizing project. For example five categories used for clutter that had collected on a client’s table are; unopened mail, papers to addressed, stuff to read, items to addressed, and items to be put away. Categorizing the clutter allowed us to address each of the 5 groups one at a time. This moved the organizing process along successfully. So, the next time you feel stuck or unsure of of where or how to start an organizing project remember categorizing is the best first step.
Reduce the stuff we use to maintain other stuff. For example, reduce the number of cleaning supplies we have. If we took inventory of all that we have on hand, what would be our total? How many other products in our homes serve only to maintain something else we own? Can we reduce the amount we have of laundry items, auto care products, tools, and home improvement supplies? Remember the less we have the less we have to organize.
Complete these 4 statements to focus on what’s important in life right now.
- I want this in my life now, because…
- This holds value and significance in my life now, because…
- This make me happy because…
- This is worth preserving and holding onto because…
Establish some keep criteria to use when making decisions on what to keep or not keep. Keep items that meet at least two of your criteria. If items don’t meet any of your established criteria let them go. Listed below are examples of my keep criteria.
- The item warms my heart and makes me feel special and loved.
- The item is displayed prominently so I can see it every day.
- The item is useful and makes my life easier in some way.
- The item fits my current lifestyle, decor, and values.
- The item is unique, one-of-a-kind, and irreplaceable.
If you took a photo of all the flat surfaces in your home right now what would they look like? Are they cluttered with a bunch of stuff? Can you prepare a meal on your kitchen counter? What would you have to clear off in order to eat dinner on your dinning room table? How many piles of paper do you have on your desk? Can you see the surface top of your bathroom vanity? Is there any available space on top of your dresser, coffee table, night stand, end table? Here are 5 tips to help you create and keep clutter-free surfaces.
- Scan and empty surface areas each day in order to prevent clutter build-up.
- Clutter-free means that there is some available, usable space. Therefore clear off an 18 x 18 inch area of space on your work desk each night.
- Uses these flat surfaces as temporary activity areas.
- Limit yourself to 3-5 permanent items per surface area.
- Don’t use surfaces as storage areas. Have a place for everything and put it in it’s place.