Start this New Year with a clean slate! But do you have a clean slate?
Did you know one of the fastest growing business is storage? Who doesn’t love the Container Store! Who doesn’t watch Hoarders to say to yourself “Oh I’m not like that”. Or are you?
The number one reason why things get left out and things get piled high is because you don’t have room to put those items back. Hint-hint that means you have to much stuff!
When I talk with clients about their projects, storage space is alway the main focus. Reviewing the right amount of space is key for any project from new construction, remodel or just organizing in the current space you have. Truth be told, when I look into their closets, cabinets and drawers I say, “I think you need to declutter first and organize the locations of where these items belong”. That way I can really determine what type of space and how much is needed that best fits their lifestyle and needs.
The beginning of a new year is always a great time to get organized. Does more stuff really make you happy? I find when you start collecting an item like, let’s say antique cameras. You start collecting and very soon you start running out of space to display them. I know its hard to stop because you might see one at a garage sale and you just have to have it! Next thing you know you have cameras in every room of the house! I get it we like to collect things but it can go a bit over board. This is when I consult on which ones to keep. I can help you decide which ones are your favorites to help down size and by finding the right area in your home to display these items. This will be a good reminder on the amount of items that fit nicely in that space.
When you are going through items ask yourself, does this give me joy? Have I touched it in the last 2 years? If it were in another location would I use it? The best way to start having that clean slate is by challenging yourself by tackling just one room at a time. This will help trigger the achievement on into the other areas of the home. When you see something accomplished like a well organized pantry you will want to hit your closet next or even the office.
Start by making a list of goals you want to accomplish. For example: maybe you want to turn that unused bedroom into a full-time office? So you think of what environmental cues you would associate with that goal. An example would be a picture of a beautiful room with a desk and that computer you have always wanted to upgrade to. You can’t purchase the computer until you clean out the room. So by placing these cues (picture’s) in a prominent place where you’ll see them will help stimulate the chore. These visual cues will elicit the lasting effect you need to create psychological connections between your goals and the things you commonly encounter in your daily regimen.
If you need help on what to get rid of, have a good honest friend help or you can hire a consultant like myself. Rule of thumb is plan on getting rid of about 70% off what you have because you really only use 30% of it all. Also make three piles; Keep pile,Toss pile, and a Maybe pile is always a good starting point.
Another great trick to help kick start your clean slate is to change your computer and or online passwords to phrases that remind you of your goals. Your new password could be something like new-mac-computer or bookcase-30cameras-only.
Depending on how big of a slate you need to clean will correlate to how you want to get your projects accomplished. You may find it best to start one room at a time. If thats your plan of attack check out this great monthly timeline I found called Declutter Challenge Handbook at
Such great ideas for a less is more lifestyle from the author at http://www.slowyourhome.com/
Another way is to get started is by focusing by categories. For example start with all your closets/clothing or all paper/magazines/pictures. This way you can donate or recycle items you don’t need anymore all at once for a one stop trip to those particular drop off sites.
Before you trash things please think about the many charities you can donate to like http://www.freecycle.org or http://www.donatestuff.com
If you have family that find it hard to part with items review with them the declutter change handbook and make a game out of it or a goal for them as well. It is hard to part with things so it may be a good idea to have someone else carry out those items other than the person donating.
After your done with the cleansing and purging the key to keeping your slate clean is to get great storage which will help keep you organized. Then store items where they can be seen at a glance and or label the bins so you know to always return things in the right spot. You want to see things at first glance so stacking is a no-no. By visiting a storing/container store you will find beautiful ways to keep your items in check and you home will look fabulous, fresh and picture perfect as well!
To be organized is key!
Remember, when you surround yourself without all the unnecessary things, thoughts become clear and it will become easier to work on yourself. When you are organized physically it becomes mentally. You will find more time to focus on those more meaningful resolutions like volunteering, being happy, being positive. And intern you will become nicer and have more time to focus on relationships. In the end you will realize less is more!