|PRACTICAL ORGANIZING SOLUTIONS||
September is Self-Improvement Month! What a great time of year to re-focus on ourselves. As the days cool and shorten, it’s the perfect time for looking inward. Now is a natural point to assess our goals, make adjustments and create plans to carry us through the year end. We may want to declutter a personal space, set up a workable filing system, or finally organize a photo collection. Of course, self-improvement can encompass any area of our lives such as health, relationships, career, volunteering or education. How do we get started and make progress and maintain momentum? The best way I know is to choose a small improvement and go for it! Don’t be tempted with grandiose ideas that could lead to frustration but be realistic, honest, and practical. The purpose is to make changes that will improve the way we feel about yourselves. The changes can make us stronger, wiser, or more capable of dealing with everyday struggles. Thus, time spent on self-improvement is never wasted. What small self improvement would make a big impact on your life? Are you ready to make it happen?
Have you already decluttered your car but it still looks a bit messy? Try these time-tested organizing strategies.
1. Organize like items into containers. You might have a car supply bin, a first aid kit, or a conveniences box. Bins keep individual items tidy and easily found.
2. Always label bins and boxes for easy identification.
3. Make use of your vehicle’s built in holders and cubbies. Vehicle manual and registration belong in the glove box. Paper maps go in the door pocket or back of the seat pocket. Convenience items like tissues, sunglasses, and hand wipes go in the center console. Keep gift cards and loyalty cards in the glove box or a storage cubby. Flashlight, notepad and pen in the glove box.
If you’re tired of driving around in a messy car then clean it up! Decluttering a car is infinitely easier than decluttering a whole house and there are many benefits. You will feel happier and more energetic once the useless stuff is cleared out. If a friend needs a lift you won’t feel embarrassed to offer one. Lost items will be found and fewer things will be lost in the future. As a bonus, decluttering your car will give you practice to move on to house decluttering (if you need to do that too!)
Sooner or later, with just about every client, we come across a box of old car stuff in the garage. You know what this looks like: a dusty, neglected, cardboard box full of things that came out of an old car. Maybe it resulted from cleaning out a current car. This stuff languishes sometimes for years. As a result, people go without sunglasses, snow brushes, coupons and other favorite items because they forget that the box exists. Eventually these necessities are replaced out of desperation.
It’s only one box! Hopefully! Don’t be afraid of it! Sort it out right now. You’ll feel better knowing it’s done. You might even find those favorite sunglasses or a missing check! Begin by sorting things into two piles: 1) RELOCATE elsewhere and 2) REPLACE in the car.
Looking for advice on how to plan, pack, and organize a move? Here are my top eleven tips learned from experience.
1. Identify what can be packed in advance of the actual move day. These would consist of seasonal items, artwork, specialty cooking appliances, yard tools, specialty tools, and crafts - anything that is non-essential. You may think you will miss them but you will be glad they were out of the way when moving day finally arrives.
June is a popular month for families to move. Kids are out of school and parents have time to settle the family in a new place before fall. The weather is fine – no considerations for snow and ice. It is also a good time of year to take stock of your life and consider a possible future move. This month’s posts focus on planning, packing and moving. Today we describe on how to plan ahead to avoid stress!
Does mental illness cause you clutter stress? Here are nine tips to help overcome inertia and achieve your decluttering dreams.
BECOME AWARE OF YOUR SITUATION – How did this happen? When did it begin? What is the cause? What’s going on? What are you feeling? Are there other things that need to be fixed before decluttering begins?
COMMIT TO GET STARTED – decide today, now, you will begin on your journey to improve your living space.
SET GOALS – if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s hard to know whether you’ve arrived.
START SMALL – expecting large results is a recipe for disappointment, stress, negative feelings. Plan bite sized tasks on your calendar and stick to them.
STAY POSITIVE – celebrate little accomplishments to keep motivated and maintain momentum. A journey begins with just one step. Baby steps ARE progress.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK – when you backslide. Every day is a new beginning, don’t give up.
SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH SOMEONE – a friend or relative who will listen to your successes and struggles. You will feel supported and accountable.
GET HELP WITH PHYSICAL LABOR – if you are challenged with energy or strength. Another person can work under your direction to do the heavy lifting.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP – in a therapist and/or professional organizer. A professional will hold you accountable and motivate you in the initial steps at the very least.
In the previous post we saw that depression and anxiety can contribute to clutter in the home. Further, clutter can make depression and anxiety feel much worse. Here, we describe how you can begin to take action to reduce clutter. As the clutter decreases you will feel better – less stress, more confidence to handle things, happier with your environment and more calm.
What’s the first step? The first step is to become aware that there is a problem. The next step is to reach out for help. Neither is easy but both are necessary. If you feel comfortable, talk to a therapist, friend or relative about your desire to declutter. If this is not possible or if you have already tried without success, you should contact a professional organizer.
Yes! In my experience it does.
In light of Mental Health Awareness Month, I am sharing some thoughts on the connection between mental health and disorganization. My hope is that readers find this post hopeful in their efforts to organize themselves or to help a loved one get organized. I speak primarily of anxiety and depression here but other mental health issues are linked to disorganization as well. It is probably no surprise to readers that mental illness affects most areas of a person’s life and organization is no exception.
Are you still with me? If you have accomplished parts 1 & 2 - great. So far, the stuff that doesn't belong is gone (or marked to go). All bins and boxes are sorted and labeled. Categories are identified. Don't give up - you're almost done. In Part 3 we continue to sort the remainder of things into defined categories and then actually do the organizing.
This step is really easy. Continue to pick up individual things and place them with similar items (in their categories). Label them in your mind if not out loud to reinforce your grasp of the emerging organizational system. Or, write category names on paper and hang on walls/shelves. Or, use chalk to identify categories on the floor or driveway.
Carol Martin-Ward, encouraging practical ideas for easy organizing