We have so much to learn in the World of Organizing, don’t we? I know I do. That’s why I fortify myself with reading great material on decluttering, organizing, cleaning, decorating, time management, and so on. It is encouraging, invigorating and brings focus. Here are some tips that I’ve learned from the best!
1. Shine Your Sink – this one came from the Queen of Organizing, Marla Cilley. Otherwise known as the FlyLady, Marla has started zillions of us off on the path to an organized life. I’m proud to say that I’ve met Marla personally…by phone but we spent 90 minutes talking one afternoon about organizing and writing. She has taught me so much.
The Shiny Sink 101 lesson was monumental. Somewhat skeptical, I took it on. Following her instructions almost exactly, I emptied my very full and grungy sink, shined it up real pretty and WOW! It looked so good, I just had to do the counters, too.
Keeping my Windex nearby, I continued to keep it empty and shined and it really did what she said it would do…REPELS DIRTY DISHES! No one wants to be the first to put a dirty dish in it. Check out her tutorial Shiny Sink 101 and try it. (BTW, the same concept works in other areas of the house, like the dining room table.)
2. You Can’t Organize Clutter – Clutter is just that…CLUTTER! And clutter cannot be moved, regrouped or organized. It must go. It MUST go! Recognizing the truth is a huge step toward conquering it for good.
Erin Doland on her website “Unclutterer” shared an eye-opening reality in her post “Single Socks and How They Can Help You To Process What-if Clutter.” We’ve all experienced the paralyzing thoughts that oppose throwing or giving things away. “What if I might need it later?” torments us till we do absolutely nothing but maybe move it aside. Fact is, that thing MUST go. Be brave. Be strong. Get rid of it!
3. Do A Little Bit Every Day – organizing projects take time. Especially if decluttering has to take place first, don’t try to do it all at one time. Why not? Because you’ll fail. You’ll give up and then the clutter will start to climb again. If you set a habit in place and let it become a lifestyle, soon whole rooms, entire closets and finally your entire dwelling will be neat, clean, manageable and “drop in company ready“.
Laura Wittmann teaches an easy to follow “How to Get Organized” process on her website “Organizing Junkie” and she even provides a beautifully designed bookmark with the steps right on it (free printable pdf). Even the top organizers refer to her process and it’s a good thing for all of us to learn from. Then, while we are doing a little bit every day, we’ll know WHAT to be doing! 🙂
4. Many Hands Make Light Work – if you can get the family involved in the process, do it. Not every family falls into line like we might wish but Organized Home writer Cynthia Ewer has some great suggestions on how to make it work in her Five Tips for Spring Cleaning With Kids post.
5. Don’t Let New Things In The House – Yep! Sounds severe but sometimes you’ve got to really attack the situation. How’d the clutter get in? You LET it in. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has a great article entitled “15 Great Decluttering Tips” that tells it like it is. Point #2 is “don’t let new stuff in”! Makes sense. Until you get the other stuff out, don’t compound the problem. It’ll make you want to get control faster, too because, let’s face it, we all love new stuff!
“1950’s Kitchen Remodeled” by NancyHugoCKD.com on Flickr Creative Commons.
“View from the Floor” photo by Puuikibeach on Flickr.com