When life is hectic outside of the home, you want to come home to a peaceful environment. For many that is not a reality because of all the activities that take up precious time to create an organized home. It's not impossible, but as a professional organizer I understand those demands on client's time and how home environments can snowball into clutter causing clients more stress in a place that should be a haven from the craziness. Whether you decide to hire an organizer or tackle the job on your own there are a few steps that are important before starting a home organization project.
1. Create a vision in your mind on what you would like feel when you walk in your front door. Is it a feeling of being in control of the clutter? Is it to create a Zen like atmosphere? Is it to create function? Once you have a good vision/goal in mind it's easier to start a project. Vision boards may help you push through your goals so go for it if you you are a visual person!
2. Pick a room. Once you have a vision and a clear understanding of your goals, start with one room. Pick a room that you feel causes you the most heartache and stress. Maybe its your bedroom where getting ready for work in the morning is a task of finding clothes that coordinate or the pair of shoes that are not located together. Maybe it's your kitchen where you hurry to make a meal but the pantry is a mess and you end up ordering out. Maybe it's the children's playroom or lack of a playroom where the toys end up all over the house. Just pick a room and stick with it until it is completely purged of clutter and organized. This way you see a room accomplished and that will push you to do the next room.
3. Get help! Whether it's a friend, family member or professional organizer. It helps to keep yourself on task and whoever you choose to help can challenge you when coming across items you are unsure of purging or keeping. A helper will be a sounding board and will keep you motivated to let go because they will be thinking logically instead of emotionally.
4. Take everything out. Evaluate your items and place in a trash, donate, or keep pile. The best way to accomplish an organization is to purge what is not working for your vision/goal. Question yourself and be honest. Have you worn it or does it even fit? Do those shoes hurt your feet? Is it expired? Is it adding or taking away your peace? This is where your helper can guide you to make tough decisions as they do not have any sentimental attachment to the items.
5. Donate immediately. Either drop off that day or put the bags/boxes in your car. Many organizers will take the donations off the property that day to clear up the home of clutter and keep clients from the temptation of rummaging into donation bags.
6. Give yourself a break during the process to take a walk around the block, or to make a nice lunch. It will keep you going. Remember organization is not a marathon and if you treat it as such you will burn out and stop altogether. I have clients that organize there whole house with me in steps. It may take seven to eight sessions for us to get a handle on the clutter depending on the home size and the amount accumulated throughout the years. This could be a two and a half month project, but the end result will be AMAZING!
7. Schedule 30 minutes each day. After your place is purged and organized, there will be a place for every item to go. Your task is to spend 30 minutes each day putting items back in their designated places. This is how to stay organized. Clients I work with get excited when they are half way through an organization and are able to say "Oh, this goes in the bin we created for this" and they are able to place the object in it's designated container"
8. Say NO to retail therapy. Also be sure that you keep away from retail therapy. If you are having a stressful day book a massage, go out with friends, book a nail/hair appointment, meditate, These are services and activities that don't cause clutter, but make you feel good.
May your journey into an organized home bring you peace and comfort.
Robin has been organizing homes in the Chicago and suburban southside area. She has an undergraduate in Clinical Psychology from Governors State University and uses her education to help clients clear clutter with the understanding of each individual client's situation. She has extensive knowledge of organizational systems and finds joy in helping others achieve their dreams for a stress-free organized home. If you are interested in her services please visit: https://www.beautifulhomeorganizing.com/