So, its spring and I am supposed to feel like getting my house organized. My family tells me I need to get organized. I would love to be more organized but I don’t know where to start. Oh and I have no time, because I am too busy?
Does this sound familiar. The lack of time and knowledge are the two biggest obstacles that stop people from clearing the clutter. Let’s try to tackle both issues at once.
First up is finding pockets of time which then will work for you to simply start removing things from your home. Once the clutter is cleared you can start to organize what is left. You do not need to take a week off from work for most organizing sessions. Yes it may be necessary in extreme cases, but if you are dedicated to just taking a few minutes a day, every single day, you will make progress in the right direction.
Create a new routine: Set aside time every day and make it part of your daily routine. For example, while you brush your teeth you walk around the house gathering items while you brush. Or you set the alarm to go off ten minutes early in the morning when all is quiet in the house and you can accomplish so much in a few minutes before the kiddos wake up.
Combine with an existing routine: Maybe you read a book at night before you go to sleep. Download the audible version and listen to the book and take that time to organize. Perhaps you always watch the Voice on Monday nights. Take the commercials and organize for a few minutes at a time.
Get reinforcements: Get the whole family involved. Remember we have to be taught to organize, it isn’t a natural tendency for many people. If you tell your children to go to their rooms or play areas and find 10 items they no longer use and place them in the donation bin, chances are they can do that.
Make a game out of organizing: You may need to set the timer and make a game out of it. When my kids were little we had an organizing song thanks to that purple dinosaur Barney. Even though my oldest son is in his twenties I can still sing it word for word. I wonder if he sings it when he is cleaning up.
Create a reward: We all like some form of external gratification for a job well done. Decide what your reward is and when the project is complete, go and celebrate. It could be a family movie night, massage or a pedicure. Decide what would motivate you and set that reward!
Pick a number: Decide on a number and every day you will discard that number of items. This is a great way to help reinforce counting with younger kids and for us older folks it makes us focus on the number. We trick our brain into thinking about hitting that number and are more willing to discard to get that goal.
Day of the month: Discard the number of items for the day of the month. So on the 4th day of the month, you get rid of 4 items. On the 31 you need to find 31 items. Never before have had you prayed that it was February with its short days of the month.
Let it be a personal decision: Just because you don’t like what the person is keeping or discarding let them make the decision. I have witnessed more parents discourage a child donating a toy because it was an expensive toy or a gift from a special person. We need to not transfer the guilt of why we hold onto items to our next generation. As Elsa says, “let it go….let it go…”
This week, pick a few of these to try with you and your family. Once the clutter is gone, the organizing is easy. If a drawer is half empty, suddenly all the clothes have a home. If the pantry has empty shelves, you can now organize by category of food. Just make the room and the organizing will start to happen, I promise.
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!