These are my rules for getting organized in 2010. I’m pretty sure they will be edited along the line, but for now, this is what I’m going with…
1. ) If you don’t love it or need it….give it or throw it away. Period. Be choosy about the things you surround yourself with. The things you love are what make your house a home – if you have a problem letting go, ask yourself if it makes your home more beautiful or does it have sentimental value to you. If it’s yes to either…keep it. If it’s no…pitch it. Can’t decide in 5 seconds? Pitch.
When determining if it’s something you “need”, ask yourself when the last time was that you used it. If it hasn’t been used in the last year…you don’t need it. Go through whatever you’re cleaning out and be faithful to these two rules. Go back a week later and see if there is anything else you can let go. I have one exception: I’m not letting go of my Calvin Kliens until I can fit into them again. I need them for inspiration 🙂
2. Create a place for everything and put it back in its place immediately after using it. My mother used to drive me nuts. In retrospect, I think I drove her more nuts. She knew the minute that something was missing from its place. Our house was never cluttered unless you visited my room. I now get it. It needs to become a way of life. Pick it up – put it back. Pretty simple, but life changing when put into action.
3. Organize NOW, worry about pretty later. This is particularly difficult for me. So incredibly difficult, in fact, I’ve come to realize I’ve used it as a crutch. In my anal little mind, I want everything organized AND looking beautiful. In fact, it drives me out of my mind so much to see that I have old vinyl floors in my pantry and laundry room, that in the past, I didn’t organize or keep up with them because I knew they would still look ugly. In fact, I applied that concept to most of my home which definitely needs a makeover. The good news is to stay tuned because there will be lots of before and after pictures of my home along the way. Here’s two examples of before and after of areas in my house. The Guest Bath The Pink Bath There is so much left to do, but I’m thinking this will be so much fun to share with you!
I finally organized my laundry room last month in spite of its ugliness and I swear to you it feels as good as losing 20 lbs. The areas still need a new floor and coat of paint, but that will be phase II. I did put up a little plaque, fabric bins and an inexpensive valance, but I can now live with it until phase II. The point here is to quit making excuses and get rid of the crap. Here’s a news flash: The crap makes it uglier. Split organization and decorating into phases if you have to, just get started.
4. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. The truth is, it doesn’t have to cost ANYThing to get organized and if you have a budget of zero, you will actually save money by getting organized. It’s amazing to find what you can save and what you can find. The point here is the same as in rule 3 … just do it. I will have a small budget; keeping an eye out for items that I already own and inexpensive bins and such to buy that will hold and store items. The goal is to find storage items will serve a purpose and yes, look beautiful. I am a firm believer that beauty should strive to be functional and of course everyone should have beauty in their life.
5. Do something once a week. The key to creating an organized life is to do something consciously towards it every day and actively towards it every week until you have an organized life. Every day you’ll be putting things in their rightful place and every week, you should pick a new area of your life to tackle. It might be a drawer, a paper trail or the garage. The point here is taking on a project each week, however big or small, brings you one step closer to your goal.
Tomorrow I’ll show you a couple of my projects from last month…my purse and my trunk. xoxoxo