Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Make a plan.

If you followed my advice yesterday, you looked at your clutter and did nothing.  Today, I want you to make a plan.  It's action step one.

Too often, people just jump in and start.  Moving this; tossing that; shoving things in open spaces; putting things here "just for now."  This never works in the long run.  The long run requires a plan.  A plan starts with, "if everything were perfect, and everything was exactly like I wanted it, how would it be?"  Where would each type of item live?

If you are organizing a living room, think about the function of that room.  What do you do there?  Read?  Listen to music?  Play board games?  Watch television?  Based on what you do in the room and how you use it, determines what belongs there.  If you listen to music in the room, then your players and CD's belong there.  If you play board games there, then the board games belong there.  Don't worry that you don't have space now; that's the next problem.  The first problem is deciding what things belong in each room.  This is how you create your plan.

Get a sheet of paper and on it write the name of each room in your home.  Example: John's bedroom, my master bedroom, master bath, living room, Florida room, etc.  Write down the function that each room is used for.  Then make a list of what kind of things belong there.

This is important because when you start moving things around you will know which room or area they should be placed in.

Here's the process.
1. Make a plan to determine where things ultimately belong
2. Move things into the correct room or area
3. Handle things once they are in the correct room

The reason is because you can't make a decision to toss something if you don't know how many you have.  If you own only one pair of scissors, you should keep them.  If you own seven pairs of scissors, you should probably give some of them away.  Until you know what you have, you can't effectively  toss.

Another reason this works is because once you know what belongs in each room, you can make decisions about the type of furniture you will need to house these things.  For example, you determine that you want to create a reading room because you already have a large bookshelf there.  When all of the books are placed in that room, you may discover that you don't have enough bookshelf capacity.  Because all of the books are placed in the room where they belong, you can make the decision to either increase your bookshelf capacity by purchasing or building more shelves, or you can decide not to keep all of the books.  It would be difficult to make those decisions if the books were scattered all over your house.

Once you have a plan, you will be ready to execute.

All the best...

Marsha Sims

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