My plan for the month of March was to focus on clearing up the clutter in my home. I made a plan of action. I even took some before pictures in hopes that I would have some radical improvement and be able to show the after photos as well. I was willing to own up to my issues, claim them, proclaim my mission and expose myself in an effort to improve my situation. I felt as though I had a problem that needed to be fixed. What better time than the start of Spring to clean up and get organized? I decided to be accountable for my plan. I had the best intentions. I wanted to make a change and I was willing to commit to it and attack it with a sense of urgency. I hoped by stating my intentions and challenging myself, I would make some effort to change and it might make a difference.
Well . . . I don’t know what happened! ??? %$&*!
Lucky for me, it was a two-part mission. I also wanted to discover the reasons I allow clutter to pile up around me, why, why, why do I do let crap pile up and why does my family turn a blind eye, put up with it, and participate in it? I decided to take a good long look at this common issue, figure out how serious the demons in my life are, consider the fact that I fall into the self-pity trap, and all the other stuff I lay on myself. . . self-doubt, self-soothing, fear, self-hatred. What are the steps to turning it around?
I did give this a lot of thought. I did come to some conclusions. I’ll get to that in a minute.
The last step in my plan of action for the month was to make a commitment to keep it clean; clean up my act not just my
house, take responsibility and take charge. I feel like a winner in this category!
I always like to celebrate successes, any improvement is a step in the right direction! Was there an improvement? You bet! I did some stuff around the house. I saw the floor of my bedroom! I even vacuumed! I remember now how much I hate the color of the carpet. But, I did do it. And I know I can do it again. For a few glorious days, things were clean and organized and it felt great!
I did learn what motivates me to keep things clean. Mainly, it’s about having things “in order.” I think clearly in a clean environment. I like things neat and tidy. I hate trash and junk and I like things to be put away where they belong. It is a never ending job. It will never stay done on it’s own. It will never be finished.
Do systems of organization work for me? Not really. Implementing a system is hard to do. The whole object is making things easier, right? So, I found that working within the habits and patterns of my family’s way of doing things works best for us. Do I need to make any adjustments? Yes, yes, yes. And like I said, it was a step in the right direction. A baby step, but definitely a step forward.
There are two things I know for sure about the clutter in my house. Number one. . . it’s my mess and sometimes I like things just the way they are. Number two. . . I should hire a housekeeper!
In researching how to clean up the clutter, I found a few things that were helpful (well, at least interesting!) . . .
Here are some ideas from the domestic gurus at Better Homes and Gardens magazine for gaining control of common home clutter zones.
Let storage components climb the walls of your home office, and rearrange your work space so regularly used supplies are accessible and others are out of the way.
Use the “handle it once” ruleto keep papers from piling up. Immediately toss, file, pass on or mail off paperwork rather than revisiting it later. Labeled hanging files provide a quick, tidy place to stash paperwork.
Correspond via phone or e-mailto prevent a paperwork backlog.
Stash office supplies out of sight.Choose small-scale tape dispensers, staplers, pencil sharpeners and the like; full-size ones hog more space.
Store clips and rubber bands by the batch. Spice jars, secured with commercial grade hook-and-loop tape under cabinets, will do nicely.
Put an end to a jumble of jewelry in the bathroom, bedroom or closet with a ceramic egg tray found in the kitchen supply aisle. Tuck earrings and necklaces away in little cups so they will never get lost or separated again.
Reserve a drawer in the family room for board games. A divided bin is a winning solution for corralling all those tiny game pieces.
Replace door panels with pegboard in the laundry room for storage on both sides of the door.
Build plywood cubbies in the garage to span an entire wall. Be sure to attach them to studs.
Add adjustable shelves in the garage to accommodate camping gear and other bulky stuff. Smaller knickknacks and holiday ornaments are for stackable containers.
Ask yourself these questions when deciding what to keep and what to throw out: Has it expired? Is it used? Is it a duplicate? Is it a good fit?
A great tip: