Ask the Experts

Achieving an Organized Home

“Not just my workspace, but my whole house is in much need of organization since spending a lot of time helping with my mother’s needs. I’ve been working at it by donating unneeded items, but it is just taking me forever. Any suggestions would be appreciated.” — JEB, Pennsylvania

It can be frustrating when you are not able to spend as much time as you’d like to working on getting your own home organized, regardless of the reason. I would imagine that you are often tired when you get home after having spent the day taking care of your mother and organizing or tidying your own home is just too much to think about.

However, I also believe it’s very important that you have at least one place in your home where you can sit and not see clutter, someplace that is clear physically so you can become clear mentally.

If possible, I’d suggest that you pick one room of your house and assign it the temporary status of ‘Stuff Room’. Put several large boxes into the room and label them ‘Donate’, ‘Go Through Later’, ‘Keep’, ‘Toss’. If you don’t have an extra room to put the boxes in, perhaps you could put them in the corner of another room. As you walk through your house each day, pick up one or two things at a time and see if you can’t drop them into one of your Stuff Room boxes. Start with the area of the house in which you spend themost time, or would like to spend the most time – again, the immediate goal is to clear out an area for you to sit in each day and re-charge your own batteries. You may need to dedicate some time initially to get an area cleared to put the boxes in; don’t be afraid to enlist help from your family or friends.

Create the habit of never leaving or entering a room empty handed; you should always have something in your hands that you can drop into a box. Weekly or monthly, take the action on the box, donate the donate items, toss the toss items, etc. Even if you find that you can’t empty the boxes as often as you’d like, you will have successfully moved and contained the clutter into a smaller area and you will have kept at least one area clearfor you.

By daily working on filling and emptying your boxes, you are constantly organizing your home, even though you may not see it immediately. There’s no doubt that working on your home a little bit each and every day takes longer than devoting days to doing nothing but organizing, but remember that the result is the same, an organized home.

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