It it time for some organization in your life. I know because we could all use a little more of that! Organization helps us feel more at peace and be able to accomplish more in less time. That is why I am happy to have Sara Skillen, the owner of SkillSet Organizing based in Franklin, TN to share some of her best tips on how to get an organized home. Her mission is to help busy people from all walks of life manage their stuff, their time, and their technology. She also specializes in coaching and organizing with adults challenged by ADD/ADHD. An active blogger and speaker, her tips and ideas have been featured in Fast Company, Angie’s List Experts, and NOU Magazine, as well as her own blog “Sorting Through the Haystack”. I hope you enjoy her home organizational tips.
Catching Spring Organizing Fever- How To Get An Organized Home
With the sun starting to linger a little longer in the evenings, are you feeling the need to get an organized home and clear out a closet or two (or maybe a whole garage or basement)? I read the other day that our “spring cleaning” traditions may have originated with a Chinese custom of cleaning the home right before the traditional New Year celebrations. The idea is that by sweeping away bad luck and misfortune from the previous year, there is room for good fortune to come in. Some people attribute the need to spring clean to the nicer weather for opening windows and freshening dingy spaces.
Whatever the reason, a survey from 2013 reports that 72% of Americans participate in some sort of spring cleaning ritual each year. But are they truly cleaning? What if there’s so much stuff covering the counters, tables and floors, that a thorough cleaning is not even possible? Before you catch the spring cleaning bug, perhaps it’s time to come down with spring organizing fever. Purposeful planning leads to greater success, so here are some great first steps to get an organized home.
1. Walk and talk through your spaces.
You can do this task solo or with a nonjudgmental friend or family member. Take pictures and/or record yourself talking about the most cluttered areas. Then – and this is key – look at the pictures or listen to yourself talk away from the space. Sometimes when you’re too close to your clutter, it’s tough to look at it objectively and you may feel overwhelmed about where to begin. Once you’ve looked or listened, you should have a better feel for which spots need the most attention.
2. Think it through: measure your time and resources.
When can you devote the time to clearing clutter? If you believe that purging the home office will take four hours, you should probably double that amount of time (if it takes less you can always kick back and relax). It’s also good to check your resources: will you need to purchase any supplies? (Pro tip: don’t buy supplies until AFTER you’ve purged!) Perhaps you’re thinking of hiring an organizer to help, or redoing a closet system. Be sure to set a budget for everything.
3. Find some inspiration.
Whether you like to brainstorm ideas on Pinterest or Houzz, or your reward is simply being able to find your keys every day, keeping your brain on an end result makes beginning the process easier. Imagine what a decluttered space will look like, and how easy it will be to clean and maintain without the excess stuff.
4. Dig in.
Grab some boxes and bags and go at it on the old clothing, the dusty knick-knacks, the paperwork from 1992. Ask yourself these questions:
Is this item still useful?
When did I last use this item?
Does this item bring good memories to mind?
As part of your plan to get an organized home, plan for donating, shredding, and recycling – and take that stuff out to your vehicle right away (or arrange for a pickup).
Once a room or closet is clear, take some time to ponder and plan before you immediately start putting more stuff into it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having empty spots for a few days until you determine their best purpose.
Are you feeling it? Is the fever to get an organized home taking hold? Try curing it with some neat, organized, functional spaces!