My favorite definition of clutter is a decision that is delayed. Quick, look around your house right now at the clutter. If you don’t have any clutter, go give yourself a gold star and stop reading. For the rest of you, read on. Believe it or not I still have areas of my house that drive me crazy. It’s called my basement. I rarely go down there as that is where my kids hang out and it is designed for boys. I go down there for two reasons; to grab something from my printer or to do laundry.
My boys have done their laundry from an early age, but when they are especially busy I do it. It is the one part of housekeeping that I enjoy. Plus I know that they appreciate it. But each time I do the laundry of my youngest I hate putting his socks and underwear away. The reason being the drawer is stuffed and we needed to organize it. There were decisions that were delayed and the decision was sorting the contents in the drawer.
So today I took the plunge and organized it. Looking back, it really was not that hard to do. I even timed myself and it took me 12 minutes. I don’t know why it took me so long. Oh yeah, it was a mess and seemed way scarier than it really was.
Whenever I start an organizing project I always set myself up for success. I have a few key things that ensure that I can start and finish a project on time.
The first thing I do is that I make sure that I have the time to do it. I am not a fan of starting and stopping mid way through a project. Walking away from a mess is difficult. Because during the organizing process it will be messy and you will question yourself. Seriously, the finding enough time may be the hardest part for most of us.
I also like to make sure that I am in a distraction free zone. That means that I leave my phone in another room and I am home alone. I even put on my website that when I work with clients all children and pets are not present. I have seen the nicest cat derail an organizing session by jumping in the pile of papers we were sorting. Oh and that goes for spouses as well. They may think they are being helpful, but in reality they really are oversized children distracting from the work.
Having the proper tools before I start is also a necessity. If I know I am going to be working on filing I make sure that my paper shredder is ready as are folders and my label maker. If I am cleaning out a pantry, I make sure that I have clear bins to place items in and garbage sacks for expired food. And for the sock and underwear drawer I knew that I needed something that gave me compartments.
If you have read about the Konmarie method of organizing by Marie Kondo, you will know that she tells you to get little boxes and make homemade organizers for your drawers. Yeah, that isn’t happening in my world. I am not waiting months to start a project collecting the right box to make it happen. I use to be the crafty one and I probably would have bought special contact paper to give it a uniform look and make it pretty. That girl is gone after raising three boys. Just give me a premade beautiful organizer that looks nice when I open the drawer and I am a happy girl. Marie Kondo also asks us to whisper thank you to our items each day. That isn’t happening either.
Once I found the perfect product I was off to the races. I set the timer to actually see how long it took me from start to finish. I was shocked when I looked at the clock and only 12 minutes had passed me by.
For me the first steps of finding time and being in a distraction free zone are the hard ones. Organizing is the easy part.
I always begin by dumping out the contents and pull out anything that doesn’t belong or should be tossed or donated. I even took out the time to wipe down the drawer.
Next I sorted like items together. Believe me socks and underwear can be broken up into categories. I sorted thick wool ones and novelty ones and dress ones and athletic ones. Mine are organized by color…I did not do that for my son as I do not think he would appreciate the nuances of a color sorted drawer.
Finally I put together my drawer organizer and got to work placing the items back in the drawer. I was so happy when I was done and I couldn’t wait for my son to come home and look at it. When my husband came home from work, I eagerly showed him the drawer. His lack of excitement surprised me. Didn’t he see what a work of organized socks and underwear art I had created?
Then I showed my son. He gave me the head nod of approval that I think is code for “this is amazing and the excitement inside is so great I don’t know what to say or do so I will just nod my head!” I closed with these words to my son, “now you have no excuse to not put your laundry away, you can see where everything goes!” The heavens parted and I may have seen doves of peace fly by the window. Success!
Now I am off to see about whispering words of gratitude to the contents in my purse. Kidding, that is not the type of girl I am. I am hoping I grab my purse with all of my contents in it!
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!