Overwhelmed by Stuff?

Look around, did things get out of hand?   Clutter can create stress in your life.   Constantly looking for things you need, creates stress.  Not being able to get around easily or inability to get to things because its surrounded by clutter, creates stress too!   Sometimes clutter can be so overwhelming that you just don’t know where to start!  Sometimes it looks so huge that it seems it will take forever to get through!

Well, I am here to tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!  With a few simple steps you can get started you can make a huge dent in that cluttered space.  Keep with it and before you now it your space is transformed into something you want to be.

Start by targeting an area.  Target an area that you spend most of your time in.  The goal is to get stuff out that doesn’t belong there and to organize what is left.

Prepare for “Operation De-Clutter”:

  1. Clear a surface to process at or put up a folding table.
  2. Get some containers and bags to process your belongs in:  Bag for trash, Bag for recycle, Box for give away/donate, Box or basket to collect things that belong in other areas of the house, box for items to go to storage or garage.  Use a marker to label the bags and boxes so you know what is in them at a glance.
  3. Get a pad of paper and a pen to jot down ideas of what you think of while you are processing.  Sometimes you find a note of something important you need to take care of or you find something that reminds you of something you need to do or communicate.
  4. Get some Stickie notes to use on the table to organize your things into different categories as you go.
  5. It helps to have a family member, friend, or professional organizer help you process your belongings.  Having someone there to process your belongings, bounce idea off of or help with decision making makes the process go faster.

Getting started:

  1. Survey the area.  Are there any large items that you can remove right away and put it away?
  2. Do a sweep of the area.  Start at one end and work your way through the room from that starting place
  3. Empty manage your containers as you go.  Get the trash out and start a new bag, get a new box for donations if one gets full, etc.
  4. It’s okay to take a break!  Set a timer for 15-20 and take a break.  A little break will help you to refresh your mind and regain some energy.
  5. Put some stuff away from the box/basket of belongings.  This will help to get some blood flowing and to energize, but keep on target.
  6. If you don’t have time to finish processing, give yourself about 30 minutes to clean up the processing area before you stop.  Take out trash/recycling, put away belongings that go to different rooms, put papers way (file, relocate).  If an area is cleared and there some things that can go back into the space, place them.  All the rest of the belongings that will remain in that space can be place in a box or container until you are ready to re-organize your space.

Completing “Operation De-Clutter”:

Now you have processed all your belongings in the space.  Now what?

  1. Visually review the belonging you have to return to the space and the space it is intended to go into.  It’s possible that you may have to make some hard decisions of what returns to the space. Is it functional for that space?  If it is the kitchen, do you need a stapler there?  If it is your home-office, do you need your vitamins there?  Think function, and only put items there that fit the function of that space.   Have more than one of the same item?  Perhaps you can give one away or start a supply box that you can go to when something is used up.
  2. Do you need more containers or shelves?  Baskets also make great containers depending on the space and function of the area.
  3. Try to keep things off the floor.  Not only is it a safety hazard it also becomes something to put stuff on top of and leads right back to cluttering your space.
  4. If you store things under a table, think of adding a table cloth to make your area more pleasing to the eye.
  5. Try to plan your space before you start putting things away.  Put supplies together, put tools together, put items that need easy access in an easy to get to spot.
  6. Start putting things away.  Label containers, files, shelves and anything you can so that it can aid you if finding what you need when you need it.
  7. When you are done, visually review the area.  Is it the way you want it?  Is it still cluttered?  Make adjustments until you find yourself in a space you feel happy with and you are at peace.

 

You Can Do It!  The first step is to DECIDE to start organizing and the next step is to ACT!

Organizing is an ongoing process.  It is a process of finding a way to keep your belongings contained, easily found, and easily accessed.  The next step is to develop habits to keep your spaces organized and clear of clutter.

I love my job because I help people achieve the peace and happiness that a de-cluttered space can bring.  I feel my clients frustration and discomfort when we begin and I experience their pride and joy when we succeed together!  Helping my clients develop life management systems and habits is another way I help my clients to succeed in keeping their life organized and less stressful.

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