Everyone is always talking about spring cleaning. The whole idea of spring cleaning came up as a custom way back when because after two seasons of heating, lighting with wood, oil, gas, kerosene and candles, the condition of the house made it necessary to deep clean everything since it was coated with a layer of black grease and grime. They would be forced to empty every drawer, shelf, cabinet and closet. Now with modern day heating we do not have the same build up and this enables us to do organizing whenever it is best for ourselves. I much prefer Fall cleaning. Why? Because I like to get the house clean before we start spending a lot of time in it during the winter months.
Choose what is best for you. Make your own rules when it comes to organizing. Your home is your sanctuary. I’ve said this to my very first client more than 10 years ago and I’ll keep on saying it. In the outside world you have limited control over your spaces, very limited, if any. As soon as you walk through your front door this is when you have complete control of your environment. Remember that there are so many different ways to organize and I will give you some ideas on a general basis to get you going. Try not to dread the process, you want to make it enjoyable, yes it can be enjoyable! So:
- Plan and write down the entire process. What room/task is first right down to the last one. Some people like doing the tough jobs first and get them over with, others prefer doing small jobs first.
- Plan your meals for the occasion. Once you are in the organizing mode you do not want to stop to make a meal, then spend time cleaning up afterwards.
- Get disposable plates and utensils. Go picnic style, so that you are focusing most of your time on the task at hand. If you prefer using your dishes make sure the dishwasher (if you have one) is empty before you start. The point is to limit the mess you’ll make at meal time.
- Plan your entertainment. Music for most will make people go a bit faster and enjoy the process even more. For others it can be a distraction, so go ahead and organize in silence.
- Choose your charities. Preferably pick companies that come and pick up. Call them ahead of time so that your boxes are gone as soon as possible. This avoids you bringing things back into the house, if you think you might do that. Or maybe you’ll decide on a garage sale. Choice is yours.
- Create simple memory boxes for every member of your family. Items that are close to the heart can be put into these boxes until they each decide how they want to decorate the box or even purchase a storage container for it.
- Be prepared with a good amount of boxes, garbage bags, packing tape, scissors and basic cleaning supplies.
- Establish your drop off zone. Make sure the area is clean and out of the way. This is where you will put your boxes for charities, for family and friends, things for the garage sale, things to return, things to throw out, things to recycle and things that go HHUUUMMMMM.
- Choose a common yet temporary place where all the money that you find goes. If you’re lucky this process could turn out to be profitable.
- Choose your permanent storage area. Clean it. This along with your drop off zone should be your first places that you organize. You will then know how much space you have to store items.
- Do not buy a whole bunch of containers until you know how much stuff you plan on storing. Use cardboard boxes temporarily. Then when you’re ready, you can assess what sort of bins you prefer to house your seasonal itemsetc.
Once you set up a system of getting rid of items that are cluttering up your home and your life, doing the actual organizing is easy, yes, easy. You can do it. Ask yourself the questions when humming and hawing over an object;
- When was the last time I used it?
- Did I get full use of the item?
- What does it do for me and my family?
- Does it cause frustration?
- Do I like it, love it or really truly even need it?
- Can I classify this as clutter?
- Am I keeping this for someone else down the road? Will they actually want it?
- Would I feel relieved to get rid of this item? Can I live without it?
- Is there someone that would appreciate it more than me?
Now it’s time to get started. Make sure you have only what you love like and need in your home! Remember to put on that music and enjoy the process, it can be so liberating!