Written by Claudia Vermillion, Care Connections Specialist
"Keep only what brings you joy and get rid of everything else"-Marie Kondo
Many of us are spending more time at home these days. There may never be a better time to tackle some of those projects that have been put off for far too long. You know where I’m going. It’s that closet that no longer meets health code or that drawer that doesn’t close without throwing out a hip. It’s time to get organized. Your objective is to rid yourself of clutter. Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong. Sounds simple right? Most of us have ideas how we want our home to look. But where to start and how to organize those items so they stay functional and don’t turn into clutter.
Here are some tips to help execute your organization plan:
1. Start by getting a clear understanding of your vision and values. It also begins with recognizing where there is clutter in your life. Organizing your clothes is a popular place to start.
2. Understand why you want to get organized and what’s getting in the way.
3. Start small, begin with one drawer or corner.
4. It’s helpful to be methodical in your approach to organizing. The following 5 steps might help:
Take everything out: Don’t skip this step. Using the example of cooking utensils, empty that drawer or canister completely and don’t forget to wipe it clean while you have the chance.
Select your favorites: Start with what you use, what you like, and what supports you now. Don’t burden yourself with what used to work, or what might help in the future. Concentrate on the present.
Express gratitude for what doesn’t make the cut: If you have 6 wooden spoons and only choose 3, keep those 3 and take a mindful moment of thanks for the others, setting them aside for donation.
Give everything a home. Store items keeping easy access in mind: store like with like, returning the items you keep and displaying them in a way that makes them easy to access. Storage should reduce the effort needed to put things away, not the effort needed to get them out.
Use what you already own. If you’re scrolling through social media, you might think you need more products to organize your life. Not always. Only after you’ve organized one space and category completely, consider whether or not purchasing a storage solution will be joy-inducing and life-giving for you. If not, the storage item will contribute to clutter and defeat the purpose.
5. Some tools to help you stay motivated:
Schedule it-add time to organize to your calendar as you would a work meeting or event. You’ll be more likely to follow through.
Get an accountability partner-share your plans and organization schedule with someone. They can cheer you on.
Document-take a before-and-after photo to see your progress first-hand.
Listen while you work-put on your favorite music or a podcast while you get organized.
Treat yourself-find ways to make the process rewarding special. Order your favorite takeout meal to celebrate important milestones.
6. Keep going. Use the momentum to fuel your next project. Stick with it and you’ll see, little by little how your home supports and server you better.