Organizing Your Home: Some Inspiration for Organization

‘Tis the season for spring cleaning, which I suppose is the reason I keep hearing this quote:  “The organization of your home reflects the organization of your mind.” 

Hmm. Not sure I buy that. If it is true, I’m kind of a mess--inside and out. 

I’ve always preferred this one: “A messy desk is a sign of creativity.” I do feel most creative when surrounded by mounds of paperwork. Though, looking back on my afternoon, I lost more than 5 minutes searching for my AP stylebook, and I had to hunt for a few client email addresses, as well.  

Inasmuch as my mess contributes to my creativity, it also detracts from my productivity. Truth is, I don’t like tripping over errant toys in the morning on my way to the coffee pot. I don’t like making a second to-do list because I’ve buried the first. 

So to optimize both the creative and productive aspects of work, I had to get organized, but the de-cluttering process didn’t end at my office door. 

I live in small cabin, originally designed for lazy, summer weekends. That means I have no closets and since my attic has been converted into offices, all of my clutter is visible. All of it. 

After researching the articles for this week’s edition, I have cleaned out junk drawers and armoires, re-filed files, and recycled reams of paper. In the process, I have discovered that clutter management leads to time management, which leads to even more creativity and productivity. 

De-cluttering is a form of empowerment.  Few things are more rewarding than a system in which you can find anything quickly and efficiently.
If I can de-clutter, anyone can. Here are some tips to get you started.

Get Ready...
Set the mood. Play some energizing music or an audio book. Enlist the help of your children or set them down in front of a good video so you can work uninterrupted. 

Get Set...
Start small. You don’t have to do this all in one day.  Tackle one junk drawer or a single rack of your closet.

Set a timer for fifteen minutes. No matter how much you dislike a task, you can do it for fifteen minutes. When the timer rings, you might find yourself in such a rhythm that you’ll just keep going. If not, decide when you’ll come back to work for another 15 minutes.  

Some organizers find it helpful to make the cleaning process a game. Don’t touch the same item more than twice. 

When you’re working in your closet, think about the image you wish to present. If an item doesn’t reflect this image, give it away. If an outfit doesn’t fit, give it away. If it was a gift you never liked, give it away. 

The same goes for your stuff. Decide which items you truly want and part with the rest. Think about all the time you will save by not having to mend, clean, and otherwise maintain all the clothes and objects that are just collecting dust around your house.  Be relentlessness. “If in doubt, throw it out.” 

Place sentimental items in a designated basket, box, trunk, or chest.

Now decide what organization can best use your give-aways. Call Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a women’s shelter. Ask your accountant about possible tax breaks from your donations, too.  
If you start this project and realize you really hate it, call an organizer. These professionals really enjoy this process. If you decide to forge on yourself, don't miss Momscape’s new articles, "Organizing Your Closets" and "Conquering Kids’ Clutter."