Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where does all of this stuff go?

Now that you have a plan, it's time to start moving things into the correct room or area.  "But wait!" you say, "There's no room in there to put these extra things!"  Of course... that is because you didn't have a plan to begin with (or, somehow the plan got hijacked).  So now, what?

Now, you look for hidden space.  Or you put things in the dreaded boxes.  Or you... yikes... throw away things you don't need or want to make space for things you do need and want.  But, first things first.  THIS is why, on day one, you were to just look at the clutter.

Select a room to start in.  You do this by thinking either, "Which room or area bothers me the most?" or, "What would make me feel the best if it were done?"

If your entry way bothers you every time you walk in your home, maybe that would be a good place to start.  If having your master bedroom organized would make you feel wonderful, maybe that's the place to start.  Because we are doing a marathon, it ultimately doesn't matter... just decide and start.  You can always re-start in another room if you change your mind.

Here are some suggestions:

- Don't start in the messiest area... I don't want you to get discouraged.
- Don't start in an area that no one will see... like a garage, or a back, out of the way area.
- Don't start in an area that someone else wants you to start in, unless you also care about the area... you have to feel good about this; it's no easy task.

- Do start small enough so you can make progress (like a corner table)
- Do start in an area where you can get "visual bang."  In other words, where you will notice it every time you walk by that area, so you can feel good every time you see it.

If you just can't decide, then start in your living room.  Why?  Because not much belongs in there.  Whatever you see laying around generally belongs in another part of your home, and it's the easiest room to clean up.

Looking for hidden space - Sometimes things are thrown around in a room, and if it were neatened up, boxes stacked up, or obvious trash removed (like empty boxes that stuff came in, or broken furniture that you are not going to repair), you would have space to put more things that ultimately belong there.

Putting things in boxes - Boxes are the fastest, easiest way to create space.  They hide stuff.  They stack  neatly.  But... they are designed to be temporary.  The problem with boxes is that they tend to stay around much longer than they should.  If you venture towards the "dark side" of using boxes, you have to make the commitment to yourself that you will empty them in a reasonable period of time.

Throw away things you don't need or want - This is easy to say, and hard to do.  I know.  Please don't think I don't know how hard this is.  For starters, I only want you to throw away things that are obvious trash.  You don't have to throw away the pink robe that Aunt Mary wore when you would come to visit.  You do have to throw away the desk that's been broken for years that no one can use or they'll get splinters.  See the difference?  If it has a memory that's special, for now you can keep it.  If it's something you can't use (size 6 clothing, but you're a 16), let it go to someone who will benefit.

Think of categories of people you want to help.  Veterans.  Women in distress.  People with disabilities.  People in your faith who are needy.  Homeless children.  Lots of people need help, and lots of organizations who help people can use the things that you don't even want.  Think of the population you want to help.  This will help you let some things go.

Let me tell you a story.  I was on the phone with one of my students and she was describing to me the things in her bedroom.  When she told me about the boxes that were on the chair, I said "wait... why is there a big chair in the middle of your bedroom?"  She said, "it's there to hold the boxes!"  We both laughed.  The chair had to go.

Have you selected the room you want to start in yet?  If not, do it.  Tomorrow we will begin.

All the best...

Marsha Sims

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