A recent email from FlyLady about simplifying & decluttering:
We want a home that hugs us! But where do we start? This has been the underlying question that causes us to procrastinate. I have an answer.
We start with shining our sink. That is the absolute first habit to establish is keeping our sinks clean and shiny.
Then we declutter. That’s when the question comes up again, “Where do I start?” I have been thinking about this and sometime we get the cart before the horse.
Here is the reason we have to address our clutter issues.
1. Clutter wastes time
2. Clutter makes our home look messy
3. Children pull out everything; fewer toys = less mess
4. Too many clothes makes laundry hard to do and to put away
5. Clutter causes us to feel overwhelmed. It zaps our energy.
6. We want peace in our lives and with clutter around there is no peace.
7. Clutter stands in the way of our dreams.
Back to the question of the day; Where do I start? Chicken or the egg syndrome once again; do I declutter the flat surfaces or the cubby holes. I have the answer. BOTH! Now don’t get upset! We are not going to do it all at once. I am going to walk you through this one babystep at a time.
The reason your flat surfaces are piled high is because you do not have a place for the items in your hotspot. The easiest way to save time is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Didn’t your Granny teach you that? Our problem is that we don’t know where to put anything because all of our storage places are cluttered.
Here is my story: I have telephone and computer stuff in lots of places. When I need something I spend a lot of time searching for it. I had to decide where I wanted to keep my geek toys. For me that had to easily accessible when I wanted something. I decided that I would keep them in a Rubbermaid sweater bin that would slid under my extra bed. But wait! My memorabilia was in one of those bins and the other one was full of tote bags and zipper bags. Here is what to I had to do.
I chose my cedar chest to hold my keep sakes. It had a pillow, two sweaters, a small comforter and other memorabilia; the pillow got donated along with the two sweaters and the comforter is being washed to give to a precious little girl. That made room for the bin of keep sakes. I picked up the bin and just poured it into the cedar chest. I didn’t get sidetracked by sorting this box of magazines and other papers. That was not my goal. Now the bin was empty. I was still collecting all the geek toys into one place. I took the other Rubbermaid sweater bin and pulled out all the totes and zippered bags. Put them all in one bag and declutter the ones I don’t like. I placed that in the top of my closet with my other tote bags and purses. Now I had two bins empty. I took the declutter items to the car and put the trash in the garbage can.
Now I was ready to start sorting my geek toys into one bin. With my trusty declutter kit right beside me; Give away, Put Away and Throw away. Now laundry basket is empty. The Rubbermaid bin is labeled and ready to roll under the bed and I have one empty one. See how easy this is. Now I am going to give you a step by step list to get started.
I started by thinking about everything having a place and everything being in its place. As a result of just collecting my geek toys, I have consolidated my memorabilia, my purses and tote bags and I have one empty storage container.
NOTE: Before you start this make sure you are dressed to lace up shoes and you have a done our morning routine. Then put on some fun music. Our “Up Kind of Day” CD has a lot of peppy music.
Where am I going to put my stuff?
1. How often will you use it- this determines where you put it.
2. Hard to get to or easily accessible (I needed easily accessible)
What is living in that space now?
3. Is it clutter that can be donated? (Much of it could be donated to make room)
4. Can it be put in another other place with like items (I used my cedar chest)
What are you going to put the items in?
5. Rubbermaid bin (under bed storage or tote)
6. A Basket (my laundry basket for collecting geek toys)
7. A decorative storage device out in the open (cedar chest)
8. A Storage bin that seals to protect items from moisture and rodents. (Rubbermaid sealed bins)
What do you do now?
9. You will need a Declutter Kit: A give-away, put-away and throw-away bin or bag.
10. You will need a timer, note card, marker and tape. Once you decide you label it.
11. Set a timer for 15 minutes and begin collecting your caches of like items in a laundry basket.
12. Set a timer for another 15 minutes and empty the place you want to put your collection.
13. Declutter things that need to go away and throw away the trash.
14. Don’t just throw it in the floor put it where you want it to go.
15. Don’t get hung up on wanting to organize those things. Just consolidate them for now.
16. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
17. Place the items you have been collecting in their new home. As you put them away declutter the broken items and duplicates.
18. Put the container where you want it.
19. Gather up the trash and throw it away
20. Take the give-away items to the car
21. Pick up after yourself
22. Set your timer for 15 minutes and
23. Fix yourself something warm and comforting to drink.
24. Put your feet up and celebrate that you got rid of clutter, consolidated your stuff and found a place for it! I am so proud of you!
I have been corralling my little stash and dash caches of computer and telephone gadgets. What do you need to corral? Clear out the holding area and let’s herd our stuff together. Everything having a place and everything in its place; makes for a peaceful home.
Let’s Go for Seven in 2011!
- 3 Quick Tips on Decluttering – How to Declutter Your Room in 15 Minutes! (stacksandstacks.com)
- How to Downsize and Declutter (wisebread.com)
- Best Organizational and Decluttering Websites (apartmenttherapy.com)