Ready, Set, Organize!

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but January was all about organizing.  And for those of us who didn’t get it all done in January, February is about organizing, too. 🙂

It seems that with a new year, people get excited about putting their possessions in order, once and for all.  I am right there with you, getting sucked into all the ads for storage containers and articles about shelves and colorful baskets and tidy bins being the solution for corralling our possessions.  But before you go out and buy 50 new containers to stylishly store all your shoes, let’s talk about clutter.

Those of you who know me personally are probably laughing right now.  I know a lot about clutter, because I deal with it every day.  My little family has made huge progress in the clutter department over the last couple of years, but we are still working on the tendencies my husband and I (and our two kids) have to collect various items.  And to not put things back where they belong.  We all like to create, and surroundings sometimes get a bit crazy during the creative process.  

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But, the important lesson we have each learned is that it is much more fun to work on a project when we can easily find all of our materials and when our environment is uncluttered.  

Aspen and legos

There are so many reasons why we as humans tend to collect too much stuff.  In fact, I teach a whole class about clutter Monday, through ISU Workforce Training. My biggest personal reason is that I plan to use it or ‘I might need it’ someday.  So while I wait for that ‘someday,’ the stuff is cluttering up my workspace and causing me stress.  Before I purchase any ‘get organized quick’ storage system, I must first declutter.  I know from experience that getting rid of anything that is not bringing joy to my life is incredibly rewarding (this does not include my son at 3 in the morning).

closet organized

While our home is small compared to the average, we really have more than enough room for the four of us.  We hope to downsize even more in the future, so learning how to keep clutter at bay is essential.  My husband and I are really good at repurposing items, but we also tend to buy ahead for future projects.

Goal #1: Stop buying ahead!  If I am not ready to do the project right away, I should leave the materials at the store.  What do I think is going to happen?  That I will finally have the time to do the project and the roads will be closed so I can’t get to the store?

Goal #2: Set a deadline and plan for projects I already have materials for.  If I am still not inspired to do it, get rid of the stuff because it likely won’t ever get done.  Only after all the excess clutter is gone can I even start to think about goal #3.

Goal #3: Organize.  By this time, all that should be left are the things that we really use and actually like.  I don’t want to organize junk, I want to organize things I care about!  And guess what, by this time I will probably have discovered I don’t actually need any more storage containers.  Well, except maybe those cool glass jars with the copper lids I saw over at Ross.  I am sure I could find a good use for them. Someday.

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