Sunday Seven

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hello friends, I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer with your families! Part of the wonder of my summer is found in organizing my home. I often find myself wondering why I let all of the clutter get out of control but before I get too overwhelmed, her is what I’ve learned:

1. Cut the Busyness - The only way I can get my home organized is if I’m actually there to do it. Cutting down on being busy all the time allows me to be available to roll up my sleeves and get the work done. It sounds simple but it is a powerful principle because you are making time for what matters.

2. Focus on Priorities - I have several areas of my home that need to be organized. I can only focus on one thing at the time. I have learned that focusing on my priorities gives me a great sense of possibility. Instead of dreading the 6 areas that need to be organized I focus on the priority right in front of me. When that’s done I can move on to something else.

3. Finish what you start - I learned this principle a few years ago and I use it from doing dishes to organization. Starting the organization project is not as big of a deal as finishing it. Even if I time myself, I make sure that I return to it and finish what I started. Finishing what I started really helped me cross my last finish line as well as organize several areas of my home.

4. Focus on one project at a time - I told you that we have 6 areas that need to be organized right? I try to focus on one project at a time. Last week I decided that my priority was to organize the kids’ summer school work area. I did not think about the area right next to it where I store birthday party stuff that badly needs to be get in order. I focused on what I was going from the beginning to end. Focusing on one project at a time can be easily done when you have a game plan for the project.

5. If you can’t use it, lose it - this is usually my game plan: if I can’t use it, I lose it. Recently I got rid of the last boxes from our move one year and a half ago (I know, that’s bad). Some people say that if you haven’t opened a box for that long you should trash it but we made sure to take 40 minutes to go through the contents of those boxes. True enough, I could have trashed most of the if because the things I can still use are few. If you have the tendency to hold on to everything, ask a friend to help you organize. Your friend doesn’t have the same emotional attachment, so the task might be more effective that way. Remember to have your game plan for your project and whatever you do...

6. Don’t create extra piles - You must assign a final destination for your stuff. Do not create extra piles because you need to (see number 3). When we got rid of our extra boxes, we had 3 destinations for our stuff: the trash can, a donation box that goes immediately to the car or a certain area in our home. When you create extra piles you are being unproductive and you are giving extra work for yourself. Remember that the goal of organizing is to assigning a place for things where you can easily find it when you need.

7. Do it all over again - I hate to tell you this but because you and I actually live in our homes, you may have to go through this organization process all over again. The challenge is not to let life get out of balance so that you are in a worse shape than you were before your organization efforts started. My challenge is to create a routine where I can organize things and follow these steps so that my home can be liveable yet organized. I can tell you that we are never going to be on the cover of Professional Organizers magazine but for a mother of 3 small children we will strive to live a home where we can find what we need when we need it.

• What are your best organization tips?