Spring is now in full swing and it’s time to finally tackle the clutter that has been building up all year. After the miserable hibernation that was the winter of 2015, we are all grateful to throw open the windows and get some fresh air. It can be hard now that the weather is nice to spend your free time in a basement or closet, so I am here to offer a few tips on how to get your project done quickly and make it last all year.
1. Make a List!
This may seem obvious, but I find that making a really extensive and almost impossible list helps to clear my head. Write down any and all things that you have been wanting to get done, it helps to see everything on paper. I also suggest you TYPE IT, make it official!
For example some things on my list this year are:
-Donate at least 5 pairs of shoes (painfully)
-Consolidate papers into one storage box!
-Empty out storage bins
-Get some plants and keep them alive
-Clean the pantry (only have one jar of cinnamon opposed to 5)
And only a few things are better than putting a big red line through a completed task!
2. Set a date!
This can be hard, schedules are busy and a big project can be daunting. Recruit some help, your husband, your children, a very kind friend, (OR your friendly neighborhood organizer!) and mark the date on your calendar.
3. Completing the task!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has started a huge project with all the energy in the world only to give up at lunch time. Unless you want that half cleaned garage to be laughing at you all summer try to plan ahead so that you don’t spread your self too thin.
For example, don’t plan to clean your whole basement on the same day you sort through your winter clothes. If you’re like me, you will get derailed by old boxes of photos and letters, avoid the two hour trip down memory lane and have some one there to keep you on track.
For slimming down on clothes, I find it is necessary to have some one decisive with you who can say ‘THROW IT AWAY”!
It can be hard to finish a really big organizing project in one day if you take everything out and lay it in front of you. Work in one area and complete before you break into another area.
Part of organizing is putting all those rubber bands in one place, but an even more important part is knowing when to say “ok I have too many rubber bands”.
I found SEVEN paris of nail clippers the other day. My first thought was ‘ hmm where should I put these?”, then I realized “this is how you will die, crushed by hundreds of various nail clippers”.
Your home is not a warehouse, if you haven’t used them yet there is a strong possibility you won’t. Throw them away! Or donate!
The first two weeks after I’ve cleaned my closet, everything has a place.
The first week after I’ve cleaned my desk, super productive.
The first day after I’ve cleaned my car, uplifting!
Then things start to pile up again. Mail, keys, coffee cups, papers and trash start to sneak back in. My clothes don’t get folded correctly, I take out the duct tape and it doesn’t get returned.
If you create an easy access system it will be much easier to maintain your organization. Replace your super full cardboard box with some clear sliding stackable drawers (any Target or Walmart). This will make it easier to see what you have and remember where it goes.
Try not to fill your storage to the top. This makes it really hard to access what is at the bottom, and makes you more likely to not return items to their homes.
If you have huge drawers full of clothes or gadgets, downsize. The more space you have the more you feel the need to fill. When you throw away old clothes, get rid of the hangers too! This way they don’t beckon for new versions of the same old stuff.
Just remember, your garbage will always miss you more!