In a time of uncertainty, having any amount of control feels comforting. Most of us are staying home as businesses shut their doors during the Covid-19 pandemic. As the walls start closing in and you can't imagine binge watching another Netflix series, maybe it’s time to contemplate tackling all those projects around the house that your busy life has not allowed you in the past.
What if you could turn a very uncertain time into a positive change in your surroundings and your life? The Covid-19 outbreak could be the opportunity to reconnect with family, yourself, and your ideal home life. How about getting your children and spouse involved in organizing and eliminating clutter in your home as a TEAM?
Map out a plan on what to tackle first and a deadline for finishing it. Whether it is just you or 4 people, it shouldn’t take more than two days to tackle a family room or kitchen, one day for a closet or bathroom. By the time this is over and life starts becoming busy again you could have a clean, peaceful, organized home.
MAP OUT A PLAN
Decide what area is the most stressful for you.
Closet: Perhaps it’s the closet and getting ready in the morning leaves you frazzled when you can’t find an outfit to wear. You end up running out the door late without breakfast and already in a bad mood. What if you purged all those outfits you think you’ll fit in one day or the ones you bypass and haven’t worn in over a year? What if you could have your clothes separated by items (pants, sweaters, camisoles, sweatshirts), then separated by color? What if you used the same hangers for a unified look? What if your shoes were easily seen and separated by what they were (heels, flats, tennis shoes, boots, etc.). Would getting ready in the morning be easier?
Kitchen: Perhaps your cabinets are overflowing with Tupperware without lids, or appliances you haven’t used in over a year. What if you could compartmentalize items according to what they were so you could find them better? How about all the expired food that has gotten shoved in the back of the pantry or refrigerator? What if you could reduce what is in your cabinets so you didn’t have to remove everything to get to something you need? Would that make cooking easier?
Family Room: Perhaps your family room is filled with everything that doesn’t belong there. Toys that haven’t been played with in a week. Backpacks, laptops, paperwork, and coats laying around. What if your family room could be a place of comfort after a long day of work? What if it was a gathering place filled with people instead of things? How would that improve relaxation?
Dining Room: Perhaps your dining table has become the place to drop every little item that flows into your home. Everything from mail, to scrapbooking supplies, to electronics. What if you could have a table to eat dinner with your family? What if you could place candles or that centerpiece you’ve been eyeing at that home decorating store? How would that change the way you communicated with the ones you love?
Bathroom: Perhaps the bathroom looks like a bomb went off in it. Maybe you have multiple items of the same thing because you bought what you couldn’t find. Your makeup is expired, your toothpaste lost its cap and has dried out, and you can’t find your favorite lotion. What would life be like getting ready with everything easily found? Would it be more peaceful when getting ready for work?
Garage: Perhaps your garage is so full you can barely walk around in it. Things piled up in there that you don’t use and never will use. What would happen if you got rid of most of it and could park your $20,000 car in it instead? What if you didn’t have to scrape off ice or go out into the rain as you rushed to work or an appointment? How would that change your mornings?
Basement: Perhaps your basement is the problem. How would it feel to get rid of all the junk or have your holiday decorations in labeled plastic bins on a shelf? Would it be easier to find when the holidays roll around? Would it cause less anxiety when looking for items?
Our choice to do or not do something has more impact than we can imagine. Now that we have time during uncertain times, how will we use it? -- Robin Pufunt
Now that you have decided what room to tackle it’s time to…
SET A DEADLINE
Deadlines keep us motivated and are crucial to completing projects. Set a realistic deadline and then an incentive to look forward to.
As your family tackles each room, make it fun. Some incentives could be:
Finish a room and the family sits down for a treat such as ice cream sundaes.
Finish a project and then it’s pizza, popcorn, and a favorite movie night.
Get rid of 20 toys and every child gets $5.00 (to make it more fun you could hide the money in the house and when one child finds it, they sit down or help the others search.
Cook cookies or do a craft after completing a project
If you’re tackling a project yourself, you still need an incentive. At the end of a project:
Take a bubble bath
Sit down with your favorite book and a glass of wine
Watch your favorite movie with popcorn
Garden or go for a walk
CHANGING YOUR ENVIRONMENT MAY SPARK A CHANGE IN YOU
When we continue to make positive changes in our environment and situations, it tends to open into other areas of your life. Taking control of your clutter is empowering and can create many benefits in other areas of your life.
Your anxiety is reduced knowing things are under control and you can find what you need
Your social life expands because you can entertain proudly in a clean home
You find inner strength knowing that everything is the way it is because YOUR hard work and determination
You have time to pursue other hobbies or interests
You leave the home on-time and in a better mood
You develop good habits and are conscious of what you bring into the home and where you place it
You can focus more without the distraction of clutter
Your home becomes a haven instead of another chore that you need to "get to" someday
Let's use this time to get our lives in order and have some peace in an uncertain time filled with anxiety and fear. We will get thorough this together. Stay safe and healthy!
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