February: Perfect Time to De-Clutter

clutter buster- before and after

Before and after clutter

“Keeping your stuff in order is one major key to sanity.”

If you find yourself feeling constantly overwhelmed, tired, annoyed or even confused, the cause may be in your surroundings at home. If you have cluttered surroundings, it can make you irritable and much less focused. This leads to procrastination, time wasting and lower productivity.

To help you break through the mess and be more productive, here are 12 quick tips to get you started. But take heed: don’t try to do this all at once, or even in one day. Taking these 5 steps one day at a time can be the key to success. Here you go…

#1 -Tackle the Table

In many homes, the kitchen or dining room table is a “Junk Magnet.”

Mail, kid’s homework, stuff you will -just-put -there-for-a-minute… piles up in a hurry. Here’s a tip to break it. Spend 30 minutes solid handling it. Grab a garbage can and sort mail into piles: Do Now, To File, Toss, etc. Then take those piles and place them aside. Resolve to deal with one pile each day (or better yet, just do it now). Also, stand. Don’t sit. That way you will keep moving and be less tempted to fall into reading all the fine print on the credit card offers…

Once the table is clear, place a nice tablecloth on it and set the table with nice dishes and flatware. Use crystal and china. Add a nice center piece. This virtually eliminates the desire to put anything else on the table.

#2 – Make Your Bedroom a Haven

Haven - A Place of Rest

Remove the clutter from the dresser, table, TV, and bedside table, then dust. Only put back things that truly belong. For your dresser top, put a dish or basket to handle keys, change and other ‘do dads’ that generally live in your pockets.

Take your room make over another step. Put on fresh sheets and make your bed nicely. Each day when you get up, just turn around and make the bed. That immediately eliminates one piece of chaos from your world. Get a laundry basket or hamper and always, always put your clothes in the hamper or fold / hang and put away. Don’t just drop them on the floor.

Closets and dressers…. there are many ways to handle these, and I don’t really like any of them. My method is to put on some music I really enjoy, get a garbage bag and set a timer for 30 minutes, then get busy. Just work and enjoy the music. Toss anything you have not worn in 12 months into the bag. Drop it off at Goodwill today.

The goal here is to make your room welcoming and peaceful so you can actually relax and get rest in your bedroom. It will make your sleep much better, too.

#3 – Tame Toiletries

For the most part, I feel like little “organizer” trays and kits are an overpriced waste of time. But not in the bathroom. So here is my method. Remove everything from the bathroom counter and clean it well. (And the mirror). Only replace essentials on the counter: toothbrush, hand soap, makeup, shave station and the like. Use holders, like a nice cup or toothbrush holder. Don’t allow any loose items to live on your counter. Then tackle your top drawer. Take everything out and clean the drawer. Anything you don’t use or that is over 6 months old, just toss. Get an organizer basket or divider to use in your drawer, and replace the things you use at least twice a week. Nothing else should be in the top drawer.

Repeat with the other drawers and under the sink. Stash a cleaning kit under the sink. It helps to get a cleaning caddy that will hold all the supplies in one spot. Put large items and items you rarely use in bottom drawers or under sink.

Hang your towels. Just keep things off the floor.

Having your bathroom in order will help you start your day more focused and blessed. You won’t step into a messy environment first thing in the morning.

#4 – The Living Room

In our home this is a very important room to keep in order. We have 4 boys and a busy lifestyle, so there is much traffic coming and going. But a key part of the day for my wife and I is what we call “Club Coffee.” Almost every morning we start with a cup of and conversation. This keeps us on the same page and things with our kids don’t get missed.

But it is almost impossible to have that conversation if the room is out of order. It becomes a distraction. Instead of hearing my wife tell me how handsome and wonderful I am (*smirk*) I am looking at the pile of shoes scattered by the door, or a newspaper on the floor by the sofa.

So we set up easy rules: Shoe come off when you come in. Line them up. No backpacks by the door. They go downstairs. Mostly, we just don’t let the kids eat in the living room or leave anything there. It is a place we can all enjoy without being a mess.

#5 – Repeat the Basics for Each Room

There are many little tips and tricks to help with each room. But the basics are all the same.

Discard & simplify: toss it, donate it, give it away. When you have less “stuff” it is easier to keep it tamed.

Keep it clean. Clean is always nicer than dirty.

Systematize it. When you set up a system and follow it, the tasks are not overwhelming. Just a matter of routine.

 

State of Mind

Our outward environment (desk, bedroom, house, etc) is almost always a reflection of what’s going on in our head. If our junk is a cluttered mess, it probably looks the same way in our head, too. Disorganized, cluttered or confusing thoughts. Just

Before and after clutter

cleaning our environment can immediately give us more mental focus and clarity.

So carve out some time to make your world better. DeClutter, clean and organize:)

Keep it clean,
Sid Graef

 

 

 

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