It’s a new year, and like it or not, that means new clutter will soon be upon us. It’s inevitable.“What?!”, you say. “but I’m still dealing with clutter from last year!” Yea, me too. It’s O.K. Clutter happens. But we need to get over it and get organized!
This week-end, I took a brave first step. I cleaned out one drawer in my desk that holds all of my bills and monthly statements. Being an organizer, I already had them in chronological order (mostly!). Next, I made a shred pile, a recycle pile and put the keepers into a shoe box marked “2011″ to be put away in storage. Now the drawer is ready for the new 2012 batch.
That was easy, I thought. So I continued. Next, a shelf that holds copy paper, photo paper, notebooks and anything else I’m not quite sure of where to put. I grabbed some files and a marker and started…….organizing! Yes, me…. an organizer, was organizing for myself! What a concept! Whenever I came across anything that I knew I wanted but didn’t know where to put it, I created a file for it. Before I knew it, I had files for my loose photos, my current projects, one for articles I wanted to read and even one with brochures of places I want to travel this year. And guess what? It wasn’t difficult. It didn’t take long. And in the end, I had cleared up just one little area in my office but the effect was huge! I feel so much lighter. The room feels lighter. It even looks bigger!
So, how can you feel this good? Easy.
Start Small & Simple
Pick a room ……your home office, for example. Now choose one area. Your desk, one drawer of your desk, a filing cabinet, a closet. Any area, just keep it small and simple. When you start small and simple and you’ll reach your goal quicker. You reach your goal, you feel good.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Have an area for items to shred (old bills), recycle (magazines), and keep. As you pick up each item, decide which category it falls under. Shred? Recycle? Or keep? *NOTE- there is no “I’ll deal with it later” category. When you have your 3 piles ready, immediately shred your shred items and recycle your recycle items. Now, all you have left are the items your’e keeping. This is where the work comes in! You knew there was a catch, right? What do you do with it all? Calm down. Let’s not get all excited. No need to be overwhelmed. Put your thinking cap on and get creative. Group like things together. For my loose papers, I created files. For magazines that I decided to keep, I put them in baskets and put one basket in my bathroom and one by my reading chair. Putting items where you’ll use them, will keep you better organized. When your better organized, your less stressed. It’s really rather nice once you get used to it!
Stay One Step Ahead
Don’t try to do too much at once. Try to carve out just one hour a week to de-clutter. Also, get in the habit of regular shredding and recycling. That alone will help save you time. If say, you’re all caught up on your shredding, then you can spend that hour you’ve set a side for something else. Maybe even something other than de-cluttering!
It’s all about forming new good habits, having a little bit of discipline and focusing. It feels good to de-clutter.
Lighten your load, lighten your mess.
Free yourself of clutter and stress!
It’s all a part of healthy living!