After a few busy weeks with company visiting us I desperately needed to do a house reset and thought some of you may be interested in how I do this. I call it my power pickup and this technique is especially effective if you have random stuff piled up everywhere and are feeling overwhelmed with where to start with it all. It’s a simple process for getting that stuff picked up and put away in as little time as possible. It’s not intended to be a whole house organization project (I have my Organizing PROCESS for that) and it’s purpose is not to be complicated or stressful. Instead it’s a timed power pickup designed to put all the random bits sitting here, there and everywhere back where they belong. And don’t worry, I know what some of you are thinking, “Laura I don’t have “homes” for everything and that’s exactly why it’s out sitting randomly where it is. I don’t have the time to figure out where it should go.”
I hear ya! This is the most common reason we often have as many piles as we do. We either don’t know where to put it, don’t have the time to deal with it and/or don’t want to make the hard decision to purge it. So there it all sits, staring at us and mocking us every time we look at it. Not today friends, not today. This method will still work for you, even if your home is heavily cluttered, with a bit of an adjustment to how you are going to get it all done. Keep reading.
There isn’t anyone out there (that I know anyway) that lives in a perfectly organized, nothing ever out of place home. That would be a bubble and no one I know lives in one. Instead we get busy living life and sometimes might put things down on any available surface until we can deal with it later. Yep it happens but don’t you worry I’ve got a solution to help you get on top of it. It’s time for a power pickup!
The Power Pickup:
Today I want you to grab a laundry basket or box and just start circling your home. In the early days of the blog, some of you might remember, I would yell out “time for a walk-about” to the family and we’d take 15-20 minutes to walk around gathering up things from one room that belong in another. The power pickup is the exact same idea. Go into your kitchen for instance and put anything that shouldn’t be in the kitchen (think toys, paper, coats, blankets, whatever that may be for you) and add it to your basket. Then move to the living room and remove anything from the basket that normally lives in the living room and put it away there.
Adjustment sidenote: If you don’t have a “home” for something that belongs in the living room, this is not time to get off track from the power pickup and start organizing the living room to create a home. Instead if something belongs there but has no designated space, simply leave it in a living room bin/box added for the sole purpose of putting items that eventually need a proper home in that room.
Next grab anything from the living room that needs to go elsewhere and add it to your power pickup basket and move on to the next room. You may be tempted to run all over the house to bring things back to other rooms. Don’t get distracted, finish one room before before going to the next. This post may be helpful to go back and read: How to avoid being scattered and unfocused.
You can either set a timer to see how many rooms you can tackle in that time frame or just go until you’ve hit each room and your laundry basket is empty. You may be required to make another go around if necessary to empty the basket. Remember to toss garbage and add items to be donated to your donation station as you go.
What you should be left with is clear countertops, surfaces and floors with everything put away OR at least put away in a basket in the room that it is intended for.
If you’ve left individual bins to tackle in various rooms, these you need to deal with next as you have the time. Schedule it on your calendar for one a day or even one a week. BUT if you haven’t done it in say a months time, chances are very very good you never will. If that box is still sitting there untouched a month later, put yourself out of your misery and just add it to your donation station. Those things aren’t likely things that you love or use and instead it’s time to think about passing them on to someone else who might.
Also If paper is a problem for you, you’ll need a separate basket for all those random papers that you might have laying about and use the very effective Sunday Basket technique that Lisa taught us here earlier this month.
* grab a basket
* set a timer
* circle your home going room to room, adding things to your basket from one room that belong in another. When you get to the next room, add or remove items from the basket that belong or don’t belong in that particular room. Your goal is to clear surfaces and put random items back where they belong until your basket is eventually empty.
* donate items you no longer love, use or have the room to store
* Don’t lose focus by stopping to organize a space. If a space has too many items that need attention, add a designated bin to that room for items that need to be dealt with later. Tackle these individual room bins as you have time. Donate anything untouched and not dealt with after a month.
Enjoy your space and feel instantly calmer now that you’ve taken the time to reset your home.
If you’ve got questions on my power pickup process be sure to ask me in the comments.
Now don’t delay, get going and do a power pickup today! :)
For more helpful declutter and purge posts don’t miss checking out this page HERE.
See also: Why a Drop Spot is a Good Idea