I imagine you aren’t raising your hand, because all this stuff hasn’t made life better. Instead of bringing us fulfillment, often it can have the opposite effect. We start feeling overwhelmed at spaces, so bursting with stuff, that we either avoid it altogether or just add it to our list of things to feel bad about.
So, it makes sense as we begin creating wholehearted lives, that we make space for peace. Here are 10 ways to get you started. We’re starting on the external spaces for clearing the clutter since it's easier to start outside and then move in!
- Make your bed each morning - It instantly brightens your space, makes you feel happy, and starts your day off right.
- Throw a purging party! Challenge yourself to see how much you can remove from your spaces. Get three boxes ready: keep, throw, and donate. Aim for the ‘keep’ box to be the smallest and ‘donate’ to be the largest. This is a win-win since you clear stuff from your life that could be of use to someone in need.
- Tidy up - Start one room at a time. Set your timer for 5 minutes to clean and race against yourself - you’ll be surprised by how much you can do in just 5 minutes!
- Use a personal calendar - Track your appointments, meetings, and fun stuff too! That way, you can do a quick check in the morning to see what’s coming up for the day. My personal fave -- my iPhone calendar.
- Store clearly - Buy clear bins to store items in, it’s easier than the old "what's in that shoebox?" game. Label each bin and buy different sizes for different items and make your closet shelves look like a useful, modern version of Tetris.
- Clear out your fridge! Aim to organize sections in your fridge by types of food. Leftovers should have a distinct area - preferably within easy reach and sight. You may have to train your family for this one! Bonus points: Clear out old condiments! If you haven’t used the wasabi-raspberry vinaigrette in the past six years, you won’t likely use it in the next six.
- Have your keys in one place - The other fun game "where are my keys?" costs the average person six minutes of stress a day. A hook or bowl can be life-changing here.
- Turn your closet into a boutique! Use the same hanger for all your clothes. Your closet will instantly look like it's out of a magazine. Yes, this may involve buying new hangers, but it helps de-clutter your closet when that hodgepodge of hangers, including the messy old torn paper dry-cleaning ones, are removed. Nothing fancy needed here. I buy the plastic white ones at my favorite designer store -- Target. Bonus points: Organize your clothes by color and type.
- Find your furniture - Clear off at least one table top that has turned into a de-facto storage space for papers. And paper accounts for 40% of trash so please recycle!
- Face the Demon Drawers - Choose one drawer that you will open and throw out all contents inside, oops, I mean organize. ;) If you succeed at this mission, keep going until you get to a closet. Bonus points: Mission (Now)Possible - your garage!
Whatever you do this week, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about your wins. :)
The Life Engineer
p.s. Do you have an organizing tip you would like to share? Email me and share your best tip for what has helped you, whether big or small. I would love to share it with others in a follow-up post. Include your name for credit or if you want to make it anonymous, just let me know! Who knows, your tip could be that one thing that helps someone else de-clutter their life.
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