(Repost) Organization Tips: Reshape my thinking

This is a re-run of a set of posts by Elisabeth Woods from January 2014.  Enjoy while she takes us through our hot spots and areas where we need to address the clutter.  To quickly look at the posts without waiting for them to be pulled again, see this listing:

Reshape my thinking
Paper

Routines
Hot spots

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Practical Tips for Organization

Tips to Reshape my Thinking

Organizing a home is hard work.  As with any hard work, you need the proper mind set.  Below you will find 7 tips that will reshape your thinking on the subject of organization along with some practical ideas to implement.

Tip #1:  Indecision leads to disorganization.

Look around your home. Are there places where stuff collects?  Why is that stuff there?  The answer is mostly likely that you haven’t decided what to do with the stuff.  You don’t know if you should to throw it out or where to store it.  Don’t be afraid to make a decision, even if it is the wrong one.

Tip #2: Organization is best accomplished a little at a time.

It is easy to look at your personal disorganized mess and become overwhelmed.  You think to yourself, “I don’t have time to deal with this.”  The truth is you don’t have time to deal with it…at least not all at once.  It is better to tackle organization a little bit at a time.

Practical idea: Invest in a timer. Both Kathi Lipp and FlyLady will tell you that the timer is a wonderful invention.  Your basic kitchen timer is one organization tool that will revolutionize your life.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and tackle a small mess (one drawer, one shelf, etc.).  When the timer rings, stop and walk away.  You will be amazed at what you can accomplish in short bursts of time.

Practical idea:  27 Fling Boogie (from flylady.net)  This is a tool to help you declutter your home. Do this assignment as fast as you can. Take a garbage bag and walk through your home and throw away 27 items. Do not stop until you have collected all 27 items. Then close the garbage bag and pitch it. DO NOT LOOK IN IT!!! Just do it. Next, take an empty box and go through your home collecting 27 items to give away. As soon as you finish filling the box, take it to the car. You are less tempted to rescue the items. If you have two of any item and you only need one, get rid of the least desirable.

Practical idea: 5 Minute Room Rescue (from flylady.net) Spend just 5 minutes clearing a path in your worst room. You know this area of your home: the place you would never allow anyone to see. Just 5 minutes a day for the next 27 days and you will have a place you can be proud to take anyone.

Tip #3:  Too much stuff is a burden, not a blessing.   If you don’t love or need it, it is okay to get rid of it.

Not everything that we have we need or even want.   Those unwanted items end up stuffed in a drawer or closet, forgotten until the space overflows.  Not a pretty picture.  It is impossible to stay organized if you don’t have a place to put what you have.   One action you can take is to declutter.  Kathi Lipp suggests this plan for decluttering:

3 Boxes & 2 Bags
3 boxes:  green for give away, purple for put back, orange for another room
2 bags:  paper for recycling, plastic for trash

Sort your stuff accordingly.  When decluttering, don’t over think your decisions.  You’ll talk yourself into keeping more than you intend.  Ask yourself the following questions (taken from flylady.net):

  • Do I love this item?
  • Have I used it in the past year?
  • Is it really garbage?
  • Do I have another one that is better?
  • Should I really keep two?
  • Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it?
  • Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item?

Tip #4:  Enlist help.

Kathi Lipp would tell you, “Never Organize Alone.”  So enlist the help of a friend or two.  Nothing bonds women together like helping each other organize their homes.  Let all the kids play in a child-proofed room while the two of you tackle a closet.  The kids will think you are mom of the year for setting up a play date and you will get a little more organized.  Don’t forget to have fun!

Tip #5:  Treat Your Home Like a Grown up Kindergarten Room.

Just like Kindergarten, there should be a place for everything and everything in its place.  Don’t forget to use labels.  Practical Idea: Invest  in label maker.  Or if you are frugal, a roll of masking tape and a sharpie will work, too.

Tip #6:  Wait for a path to appear.

Where are the natural places your family dumps stuff?  Put organizational tools in those same areas.  For example, if there are shoes all over the floor right inside the door, put a basket there where your family can kick off their shoes.

Tip #7:  Apply pressure where needed.

You want to get organized but you are so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start.  Start with the place that is making you crazy! Disorganization is NOT taking care of yourself.  Gift yourself with sanity by organizing the place in your home that gives you the most stress.

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What tips can you share?  Have you found a good rhythm in maintaining your house?  What tools can you share that work for you?

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