It’s finally here, the day you’ve been working toward; it’s time to organize your stuff.
If all has gone as planned, your stuff, which was previously known as clutter, is now sorted into groups. You have a storage system set up and ready to go. All that’s left to do is arrange the objects into the system you’ve designed.
Take care at this stage. You’ve come this far, so take it home with the same thoughtfulness that you’ve put in all along your journey. Take your time and think about what you’re doing.
Arrange and Rearrange
Arrange things logically and in a way that will ensure you are able to find what you need quickly and easily. Don’t pack things in too tightly. Don’t place tall objects in front of short ones. Utilize your storage space efficiently. Leave room for growth if new items will potentially be introduced in the future.
If you get everything situated and don’t like the setup, change it. Rearrange. Make it work for you. You are now in control of this stuff that was previously controlling you. Wrestle the clutter monster into submission if it tries to rear up in protest.
On day one you made a plan and set goals. You’re realizing the achievement of those goals today. This is the fun part. Remember that organization is very simply finding a place for everything.
Organization means that every single item in your environment has a designated spot to live so that whenever you’re not using it, each item is returned to its home, and when you need it again, you know where to look.
Each Item Has a Home
Once again we’re back to our hypothetical goals. Today, at their conclusion, they look like this:
- Your craft supplies are neatly organized in your craft corner. All your supplies are at your fingertips.
- Your new home office is already keeping your paperwork straight and true. You set up a color-coded filing system for bills, personal papers, etc. and your paperwork has been filed into the appropriate folders.
- The kids’ toys are neatly arranged, for now. The beauty of your new multiple-bin storage system is that it’s unlikely all the toys will ever again end up strewn throughout the house. Toys will come out of one bit at a time, and be replaced before getting into another. That’s the plan anyway…
- All shoes and boots have been neatly stored away. There will no more tripping over sneakers left in the middle of the family room.
At this point, there’s no longer a clutter problem in your home. Countertops and other flat surfaces are not buried in stuff. Corners are filled with nothing but open space. Your closets are tidy and so is your mind. You’ve made a very wise investment in your future free time and peace of mind. No more wasted hours searching for things you know you have. No more buying stuff you’ve already got because you can’t find the original. You’re free of the clutter monster.
All that’s left to do now is maintenance. Keep up with it every day as you go along. Plan to periodically sort things and get rid of anything that’s dead weight. Don’t let it get the better of you again
Staying organized is all about maintenance. Getting your clutter under control is liberating. You probably feel lighter, freer, and more in control of your stuff and life in general. It’s empowering to finally accomplish a goal that you’ve been putting off.
Staying organized is equally empowering. The trick to it is establishing good habits. This means doing whatever you need to do to make sure clutter doesn’t again begin accumulating.
For example, if you find that mail is piling up, get yourself a small basket and put your pending mail-to-be-sorted in the basket. Deal with it as soon as possible, and if your basket gets full your deadline has been reached. Deal with it immediately.
If other people in your household aren’t pulling their weight, get them their own baskets. Put their things into their baskets and give them a deadline to deal with it. If they don’t take care of their things, the basket disappears for a set period of time. That’s the penalty for non-compliance.
Make written schedules with hard deadlines for periodically sorting areas like the kitchen pantry or bathroom cupboards or any other areas that tend to accumulate outdated stuff.
As you notice that clothing, shoes, or other possessions are becoming too worn out to use, throw them away.
Place a donation box in a designated area, and if clothing doesn’t fit correctly or you find that you just don’t like it, put it in your box. When the box is full, take it to your local church thrift.
If you notice that your drawers or cabinets or closets are getting full, take the time to sort and purge. Write in on your calendar, if necessary, to force yourself to make it happen.
Every mountain of clutter begins with a single object. One becomes two, two becomes four, and so on. Piles spread like a disease. So keep it in check and never let it get out of control again. You are in control now! Congratulations!
Want more house cleaning tips and ideas? Check out my book Clean Like A Pro: Tips and Techniques for Cleaning Your Home Like a Seasoned Professional, available on Amazon.