What a treat today to have guest poster Sherrie Kruger, of Serene Journey (and the creator of the new printable list site ListBean), here today. Sherri writes such a beautiful blog about simplicity and enjoying life to it’s fullest and I’m so thrilled to have her visit and share such a great post with us. Welcome Sherrie!
When you look around your home what do you see? Not much out of the ordinary right? Some furniture, some plates and cups in the sink, and a terribly dated figurine sitting on a table. What? How did that get there?
When you’ve lived with something for so long you tend not to see it after a while. It’s only when you start to really *look* at the things you have in your space that you see what’s actually there. This isn’t limited to clutter either. After a hard, critical look at your space you may notice little jobs or tasks that still aren’t complete and you swore you get around to it “soon”.
Organizing a space or tying up loose ends is best accomplished by taking a systematic approach and I’ll walk through how to do just that.
1. Visualize. Take a couple of minutes to look at the space you have and imagine what you would like that space to look like. This is important because later when you’re debating whether or not to keep an item you can easily refer back to this visualization and ask yourself: “Does this item add to the vision I had for this room?” Have a pencil and some paper on hand and jot down some notes about what you would like to do in each room, what are the lighting requirements? And what are the shelving and storage requirements?
2. Be ruthless. This is easiest if you tackle each room individually. Look around and write down: what doesn’t belong, what you are no longer in love with, what space isn’t being used to its full potential. Is there something that is dying for a storage solution that you just haven’t got around to yet? And what are the nagging to-do items that just never seem to get done? Take a critical look at your space putting aside any feelings of guilt and try not to become overwhelmed, you will get it all done a little bit at a time.
3. Start. When you start is up to you. Be realistic with the time you allocate to decluttering and orgainizing your space. You likely won’t be able to finish it all in one go, truth is most people don’t. But rest assured that once you get your space(s) decluttered and organized it’ll be much easier to maintain and reset if need be. If you are feeling overwhelmed pick a small room or a small section of a larger room and focus on getting that area done to completion.
Other tips for effective deculttering and organizing:
Get other people in your home on board. Change isn’t usually welcomed at the best of times so getting buy in from others when it’s forced will not be easy. Talk to the rest of your family and find out what they want to see in a space and what they’re willing to part with. Compromise is key here.
Make it as fun as it can be. Trying to organize and part with items you’re emotionally attached to can be stressful and let’s face it, it’s not much fun. Turn on some tunes, set the timer and do things in small bursts. Take plenty of breaks.
Congratulate yourself. When you’re done (even a small space) spend a bit of time admiring your accomplishment. Reward yourself with some down time, a BBQ in the backyard, a meal out with the family or curling up with a good book.
Although the thought of organizing your space may send shivers up your spine, I can assure you you’ll feel better once you’ve started and have made even a little bit of progress. To help get you started check out the declutter room by room checklist on Listbean. Start small, get tough with yourself and enjoy.
What doesn’t belong in one of your spaces that you can purge today?
The above is a guest post from Sherri who writes at Serene Journey and Zen Family Habits. She’s a mom of two young boys and recently launched Listbean, a free site full of pre-populated and fully customizable checklists.