Monday, January 2, 2012

Project Organization - Preparing to Sort

Ask yourself  "What is my ideal living space?" 

Photo courtesy of

Do you want to be able to sit down and eat something at your table without having to move a pile from here to there?  Do you want to sit in your bedroom and feel calm and serene instead of looking around at the piles of clothes that need to get put away?  Is your living room ready for company that may drop by unexpectedly?

Our goal is to start to live every day with the peace of mind (and soul) that results from having your home exactly the way you want it - where YOU are in control of your stuff, and not the other way around. Things will start to fall into place in every area of your life when you de-clutter your surroundings.

De-cluttering doesn't happen overnight.  It didn't appear overnight and solving the problem won't come that quickly either.  Don't expect to be able to take one day and get it all done that day.  When you don't complete everything you set out to do, you will want to give up.  It is an ongoing, continual process. 

There are usually two reasons that so many of us hold on to the clutter that takes up so much space in our homes.  (1) because we might need it one day or (2) it holds some sentimental attachment for us.  In an economy that has been struggling it would normally make sense to hold on to these things in case you need them. But I would look at it more like, "will I possibly need this in the next 5 years"?  Chances are in the next 4-5 years you would tire of whatever it was anyway.  Also think, "How much would it cost me to replace this?"  If you use a hole punch once every 10 years and it only costs 97 cents to buy one, why would you hold on to it for 10 years?  There are so many things I have held onto that I may use one day and I have NEVER used it once.

Sentimental attachments are another story.  We all want to keep our grandmother's blanket or mother's jewelry to remember how special they were to us.  But if we have something from everyone we have loved in our lives our house would be taken over by our stuff.  Let's try to think differently about the things we keep that are sentimental. You really need to take out some time to ask yourself many questions like, "Does this mean anything to me" or "what memories does this item hold?"  When we hold onto items because they remind us of something, we then need to ask, "Do I have to have this to remember this time or event?"

1.  Is it a useful item?  Does it serve a purpose?  Blankets, baskets, jewelry, dishes, clothing

2.  If it isn't useful, how much space does it take up?  If it is a few pieces in a jewelry box, that doesn't take up much space.  If it is a large trunk taking up space in your closet, that is a different story.

3.  Regarding the items taking up a lot of space, ask yourself "Do I have to have it"?  Does someone you know need it more, maybe someone in your family that would like to be reminded of the loved one that it came from?

4.  Ever thought about taking pictures of the items and putting them in a photo album and then getting rid of the actual items?  This way you can look at them and remember the loved one, special event or memory, but they aren't taking up space at your home.  But also, we need to remember that when you get rid of an item with sentimental value, you're not losing the memory you're just losing the item that is cluttering your home.  When getting rid of sentimental items, make sure you are 100% sure you are ready to part with it before letting it go.

I have a hard time with the sentimental attachment.  Just today I looked at my bouquet from my wedding.  My husband and I got married 11 years ago this June.  Why do I still have that?  I made it myself and was very proud of it.  Also, it is from the day I married the love of my life.  I have lots of pictures with the bouquet, why do I need to see it sitting in my spare bedroom?  It is time for this to go, it doesn't mean that my wedding didn't mean anything to me.  It is just that having an orderly house is really important to my well being.

1 comment:

  1. My rule of thumb is if I forgot I had it, I don't need it!! If I have to think about whether or not I should keep something, I pitch it. I should immediately know if I truly need or love the item.