With fall upon us, and the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to examine the clutter in our homes. Are you over whelmed by paper and clutter? Clutter can make you feel as though you are suffocating in your own home. I don’t know about you, but I feel out of sorts when things are out of place. I realize that I am a Professional Organizer and you would expect nothing less, but if you are honest with yourself…don’t you feel better when everything is put away in its proper place? I think you owe it to yourself and your family to make your home a safe haven in which all of you can relax and enjoy yourselves.
Each day, much time is wasted searching for missing keys, phones or permission slips that were due back at school yesterday. A cluttered desk hides bills, credit card statements, and ends up costing you more in late fees and eventually even poor credit ratings. Your things are lost in the clutter. You are off to Target to buy a replacement item and a few days later you find the original item for which you were frantically looking. You are now hoping you can return the duplicate item, but of course you have lost the receipt. Now you have two of the same item… lucky you!
It is time to “Clear the Clutter”! But when you’re overwhelmed and stacks of stuff are staring you in the face, it’s hard to know where to begin and what to do. Did you know that 80% of the clutter in most homes is a result of disorganization, not lack of space, Newsweek, 6/7/2004? Or better yet, Getting rid of clutter eliminates 40 per cent of housework in an average home, according to the National Soap and Detergent Association.
Not all of us have unlimited amounts of time during the day and if you had the extra time I realize organizing would not be a top choice of things to do. Maybe you could just give yourself 10 minutes a day to organize. I have a little method to my madness!
Use my L.I.S.T. method:
L– Love it, keeping it
I– Item to be put away elsewhere
S– Sell or Donate
T – Trash
Start small; set your timer for 10 minutes, or better yet, do your organizing during the commercial breaks of Desperate Housewives. Tackle a single shelf, drawer or cupboard at a time, no exceptions! Use a bag to hold items to be put away in another location of your house. Stick with your same shelf until you’re done, and then put your items that you “love or need” back on the shelf, in the drawer or cupboard and before moving on to another area, return the other items to their new location in your home. Use another bag for your donations and one more for trash. It will be easy to “Clear the Clutter” if you stay focused 10 minutes a day, one step at a time!
Author Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter” Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune. Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations.
Photo credit: citychiccountrymouse / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND