TiP for Your TUESDAY!

Clean it, Clear it, Contain it! (1) copy

Clear before you contain!

It’s a new year and you might have made a resolution to get more organized- Yay!  The tip this week is to remember to clear out what you no longer need, use, or want before you dive in to organize.  As Joshua Becker says, “Never organize what you could discard!”

Putting off projects creates to-do list clutter

Here we are at the tail-end of summer.  It feels hard to dig in & make big changes at this time of year.  Energy gets used for last minute get-aways, school prep, & trying to stay cool when the humidity rises.  For me, it has been a struggle to find ways to keep momentum moving ahead but…   the things on my to-do list still keep staring me in the face & nagging at me.

Last week I was fed up with putting things off!  I gave myself a big push, turned on some music & dug into a decluttering project that had been hiding behind closed doors for too long.
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cluttered closet

before

What’s funny is that spaces like this seem to get left waiting on the to-do list because they aren’t causing any trouble.  Right???   In this case the clutter had it’s own closet and some organization.  It wasn’t taking up space that was needed for something else.  It wasn’t really bothering anyone was it?

I can tell myself all of this, but the truth is that every time that closet door was opened to get paper from the printer, envelopes for bills, or to replace worn-out batteries, we were faced with a mess & a reminder of a space that didn’t “feel” right.  A space that wasn’t being honored & allowed to function for our family.

cluttered office closet

before

BEFORE

I got things rolling with the sorting & sifting , but the space isn’t just my space, it stores family office supplies, as well as my husband’s work & sentimental things, so I needed a partner in this project.  He knew the project was on the list & made time to cull through the piles.

We had been holding onto so many things simply because that space had a closed door & they didn’t need to be looked at everyday.  But those items were so out-dated & unnecessary for us now, that the donate & recycle  boxes were overflowing!

donate

donate

donate

Some of the items were sentimental pieces & it was a fun trip down memory lane as we read old notes, retold stories, & took pictures of the physical items that we knew we could get rid of, but still wanted a visual reminder of.  A few items were displayed & others were offered a dedicated “memory box,” where the most important pieces will be stored.

Once the sorting & sifting was complete, there was so much empty room.  It was so light!  The space felt ready to be used in a way that makes sense, not just to store things for “someday.” 

after

after

after

after

after

after

As with most projects there are still a few things to take care of- a box of cords to be sorted, paper from binders that will be recycled, a file cabinet to be reorganized, but those items are manageable in small chunks of time-30 mins. here, 10 mins there & they will be done!  The heaviness of this “to-do” has been lifted & the end is in sight.

YOUR turn…

Do you have projects on your to-do list that keep nagging at you?  Decluttering isn’t just about the physical stuff that is hanging around your home or office, it’s taking a look at the mental clutter that has been clogging up your daily life.

Next steps…

Take some time to acknowledge & feel the heaviness that those projects have brought to your life, then take a deep breath, let it out, turn the page & make a plan!  Which project is a true priority- the one that slaps you in the face each day with a reminder that you haven’t given it time & attention?  Get out your calendar & set a date to begin.

Then prioritize the other projects & offer them dates too -maybe some are on the 6 mo. plan or the 3 year track.  Having a plan will lift the weight & clear the “to-do clutter” so that you can focus & make a change!

Which project is first on your list?  Tell us the project that has kept nagging but has been hard to start?

The Most Versatile Storage Container

When you are ready to contain it, try one of these!

IMG_7306

I don’t believe you need to go out and spend a lot on organizing tools, and I also want to make it clear that organizing always comes after the clear & clean out!   With that said, I am happy to share when I find a container or bin that is super versatile & can make life easier.

If what you have just isn’t working, then you might want to try one of these!

multi-purpose bin

The Multi-Purpose Bin is found at The Container Store & comes in 4 sizes.  They are priced right, see-through, and easy to label-all bonuses when organizing!

Here are some ways that we have put them to use!

pantry bin

Separate your grains into categories and store in a bin to make the hunt for the right package easier.

office bin

The perfect size for file folders, notebooks, & paper.

bin with art supplies

Coloring & crafting books stored in a bin that can be carried to your work area.

bin for pantry

No more hunting for baking ingredients. Slide out the bin & you’ll have everything you need for your recipe.

 

Happy Organizing!

-Kate

 

TiP for Your TUESDAY!

garage bins

Store hard-to-reach items in clear bins with labels

When you are faced with storage space that requires a ladder or step-stool to access, store items in clear bins & take the time to attach a label.  The label can be created simply with a piece of masking tape & Sharpie or you can get fancy with a label maker!  The result = items that can be found at a glance without making multiple trips up the ladder.