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Find Time to Organize by Setting Goals

When you invite friends to your home, how long does it take to get ready? Maybe the bigger question is “Why does it take company for you to clear away the clutter?” When uncluttering your home becomes a priority, it can be an arduous process that could take weeks and months to do a thorough job. But getting organized physically means first getting organized mentally. Clear the clutter from your mind, and set goals for what you want your home to feel like going forward. When you have goals, then letting go of things you don’t need, won’t use, or are no longer your taste is much easier.  

Let’s break it down:

Set goals:

  • Before you start to unclutter your entire home, set your goal: e.g. simplify your home, make room to start your own business, or prepare for grandchildren.
  • Put your goal in writing and place it where you can see it often. Goals keep us on track and ground the decisions we make along the way.
  • Decide on a reward for completing the project: e.g. take a small vacation, treat the family to an outing, or get a dog. Big or small, the reward doesn’t matter, but no retail therapy since that brings more clutter into your home!

Make a plan:

  • Block out time on your calendar to unclutter each room; don’t let it to chance.
  • Schedule 2-3 hours at a time. If you are on a roll, keep going. 
  • Be patient and let the process work. It may take longer or shorter than you expect, but keep going.

One room at a time:

  • Sort first
       -Start at the left side of the room and go clockwise.
       -Quickly put things into categories using signs and big boxes or bins: Keep-this room, Keep-another room, Trash, Sell, Give Away, Donate, Recycle
       -Don’t leave the room to put things away; stay focused.
  • Purge the keep piles
       -Examine each item and ask yourself if this item is a part of your goal.
       -Ask yourself: Do I need this? Have I used this? Am I likely to use it going forward?
       -Use a ‘body double’: someone objective to talk things through with.
  • Assign a home
       -Find a permanent home for items or they will end up as clutter.
       -Place items where you would most likely use them; be sure it makes sense.
       -Let everyone else knows where “it” belongs.
  • Containerize items
       -Keeping “like” items in a container makes it easier to clean and “pick up”.
       -Opaque or solid? Lid or basket? Pretty or plastic?
       -Repurpose or reuse favorite containers you already have such as collectibles and antiques.   
  • Maintain the order
       -Take a little time each week to put things back into their ‘home’.
       -Take as much out of your house as you bring in to maintain a simple home.
       -Donate unneeded items regularly.

Don’t wait for company to get organized; you’re as good as company! Being organized means you enjoy your home more, do the things you want to do, and focus on the things you want to focus on.

Clutter Quote: “I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we Stand, as in what direction we are Moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes