Sunday, January 10, 2010

Clean House for the New Year?

I ran into a friend today and we were discussing organizing so I thought I would share with you what I told her and some other tips for getting organized this year.
I told her that the ONLY way she would ever get anything organized is to get rid of everything possible. She was kind of in shock of what I said but it is true. There is no way to really feel peaceful and serene in your home if you have clutter or nick knacks around the house.
I have been working on this for years, and I have come a long way. I am not there yet, but I am a lot better than I used to be. I am still unorganized though and will work on this with you all this year.
A few years ago, I had 2 friends come to my house a couple times a week and help me.
This is my first idea:
Tip 1. Get a friend or 2 to come over and help you. You really need someone else to help you decide if you really need to keep something or not. Your friends are not attached to your stuff like you are, so they can put things in a new perspective.
I needed them to ask me such things as “Do you really need this?, What will you use it for?, When or how often will you use it?, Where will it go, etc…” It is hard to get rid of your stuff, so having a fresh perspective and someone to remind you of your goals is a very helpful idea.
After my friends helped me, I have kept up with frequent decluttering. Whenever I feel the need, I go through things and see what we can get rid of. I will frequently ask the kids to go through their stuff and see if there is anything they can get rid of.
Each time I do the laundry, I look at everything to see if it still fits a child or if it is really worn out and if it fits one of those, I will toss or donate. Also, if you find that there are pieces of clothing in you or your childs closet that never get worn, get rid of them because they will inevitably end up on the floor or in the laundry or at minimum are taking up valuable closet space.
Tip 2. Go through room by room and see what you have not been using. I realized there are so many things that I do not use and do not need. A lot of it is knick knacks and odds and ends;decorative stuff. I find that I can do with little to no decorative stuff laying around the house. I like pictures or things that hang on the wall but things that sit on a surface are just clutter and make it hard to dust and keep clean. If you have too many on one surface, it just looks messy and does not give you that peaceful feeling.
So, go through each room, each cabinet and get rid of everything possible.
Tip 3. For keeping things up, I will periodically throughout the day, say to the kids, “Ok, lets all pick up twenty things from the living room” and then it is picked up and it was fast and the kids could know exactly waht was to be done and do it fast.
Sometime I will say,”let’s set a timer for 5 minutes and let’s all work in the kitchen reals fast.” When you are hurrying, you can get a lot more done than you would think.
Tip 4. Go through each room and write down what the trouble areas are. For instance, if you go into your bedroom and you have paper all over the place, write that down. You will need to come up with something to organize your papers. This is what I really need to work on myself. If you go into the bathroom and there are items out that shouldn’t be, make sure you have a spot for them and then practice putting it away.
Which brings me to my last point, at least for now, because I need to go.
Part of your becoming organized will have nothing at all to do with the organizing itself. This may be the most important thing to know. You can organize till the sun goes down, but if you do not keep it up, you will just have to keep doing it over and over. If you are constantly organizing but everything is still always falling apart, you will have to train yourself in the habit of putting everything back. Once you get organized, you may have to work really hard at making sure you are putting everything back in it’s place. I am a master organizer. I love organizing, but I can completely organize a room and a few days later it is back to disaray.
I know that more than the organizing itself, this year I will have to practice, practice, practice, until it becomes a habit that I am actually keeping up what I have already organiized.
Ok, well I have to run. I like this idea of all working together on this this year.
Oh, Wait, one more thing. We have been getting ready to move and have had a lot of our stuff packed away in the garage. I have found that we havn’t even missed hardly any of it. So, if you just can’t bear to part with some things, try packing them up in the garage and if after a certain period of time, you find yourself NOT thinking about it or needing it back, then go ahead and give it away, but at least you gave it a chance and know that you will be ok without it.
Ok, bye for now.


The Real Me! said...

I've been on a decluttering kick this last week. My closet has been my latest victim. And believe me it needed it bad.
These are great tips. Thanks for sharing.

rodnamomof2 said...

Your welcome Kim. I have been working on this too! I am really wanting to get this under control so that I can have more time to do the important things.

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