This week’s guest blog post comes to us from Bonnie Dewkett, a certified professional organizer who began organizing as a child, and she has been organizing ever since. Her company, The Joyful Organizer, creates and implements organizational systems for the home and office. Passionate about helping others meet their organizational goals, Bonnie loves to see the positive impact that getting organized has on people’s lives.
Clutter. We all have it. We all want less of it. However, do you realize that getting rid of clutter can help you live with less stress, enjoy your home and spend more time with your family? It’s true. So how can you get rid of clutter and get organized once and for all? Here are a few steps to help change the way you think about your things and how you treat your home.
- There are a few questions you can ask yourself to really determine what your NEED in your home and in your life. First of all, if you lost everything in a tragedy, what would you replace? While this will give you an idea of the very basics, it’s a great place to start. When looking and deciding upon specific items, ask yourself: if you were moving, would you pay someone to move it? You think that storing items in your home is free. It isn’t. You are paying rent or a mortgage and with a little math, you can determine how much you are paying per square foot. Now think about how much of that square footage is consumed with items you don’t use or possibly even want! Similarly, would you pay to put an item into self-storage? If not, get rid of it! Do you own your possessions or do they own you? We all say that we want more space in our apartments and homes. Well, the truth is that you can have a more spacious home by getting rid of the excess.
- Find new ways to store the things you do love. Once you’ve decided an item is sentimental, special to you and worthy of being kept, it’s time to find a new way to honor and view it. For example, if you have tee shirts from events you attended, consider making a quilt from them. Or, frame pieces of a wedding dress with a photo from the event. When deciding on keeping an item or donating it, think about who could use it more than you. What is your excess might be someone’s treasure. Familiarize yourself with ways to donate so you can do it quickly and efficiently.
- Work one area at a time. It’s too difficult to think of “getting organized” as a whole. Pick one drawer and start there. I also like using a timer. We don’t go to work without a general understanding of how long we are going to be there. We don’t get on a treadmill without a goal in mind, so why organize that way. Set a timer (I like to start with ten minutes) and GO! You’ll move faster, be more motivated and get more done. This way you don’t get overwhelmed or tired either.
- A place for everything and everything in its place. It’s an old time saying that my grandmother used to tell me over and over. However, it really works! Think about when you empty your dishwasher. You simply take the items out once they are clean and put them in the predetermined spots in your cabinets. If you identify a place in your home for all of your possessions, cleaning up and decluttering is that simple.