Friday, 26. December 2014 by Renee Ellison
Organizing your home deeply and thoroughly has some hidden pluses for your emotions. Decluttering and arranging helps clarify you. As you do it, you discover where your subliminal goals are headed: “There’s no time for [this] or [that]”, or “I’ve lost interest in this or that”. The action of organizing takes people who are struggling with depression, out of that depression in a hurry. Gaining order in your home makes you feel on top of things (instead of under them), and moves your life forward, positioning your past where it should be—in your past—defined and drastically pared down. Further, you just plain feel happier sitting down in the midst of a very organized home, tickled every time you open a drawer or a cupboard. An organized environment is invigorating. Your entire family feels its effects.
To accomplish this, a person must say no to other activities for a brief while to provide more time to do it. We all make time only by prioritizing time. Action clobbers negative emotions. Motion creates e-motion. Here’s how to start that motion:
1. To conquer that overwhelmed feeling, just move in that direction. Take a baby step. Sort and organize some little corner, or some little box of something, and you’ll find you take off like a rocket. Unfortunately, that overwhelmed feeling may remain an obstacle each time you start. Overcome it by applying the same strategy tomorrow: just “go”, move, vamoose, and soon you’ll have a trail of finished organization—in your wake—behind you. Even 15 minutes of “organization attack” a day will work wonders in your home.
2. Visual clarity is the goal of all organizing. You must be able to see everything at a moment’s glance. No more rummaging for anything. For example, according to this line of thinking, you don’t want to stack t-shirts, you want to roll them so that you see the spine of all the colors at once. You don’t want to put cans of food behind other cans of food, you want to make risers for cans so that you see all three rows at once. You don’t want to stuff scarves or belts into a drawer, you want to perhaps clip them on a hanger so that you remove one hanger and see them all at once, or roll them.
3. Files are most often just stand up trash. Purge your files. Label well the ones that survive.
4. Label all boxers and containers on the end that you see first, as you approach. Label everything. When labeling glass jars, get a large roll of white electrician’s tape to use as the base of all of your labels. Put a piece of this down first, on your glass. Then attach your lettered label on top, making it slightly shorter than the white electrician’s tape, or write right on the electrician’s tape with a black marker. Cover it with a shorter piece of scotch tape, too, to keep your writing from smudging off. Then whenever you want to change the label you pull off the electrician’s tape and it all comes right off easily—no time wasted picking and poking off an old paper label. For cardboard boxes you can attach 2 strips of electrician’s tape about five and 1/2 inches apart. Then scotch tape your 3X5 card label on top of that; that way when you go to pull off your label it doesn’t pull off a patch of cardboard box with it. The scotch tape that you have on both ends of your card is only attached to the top of the electrician’s tape. Or just use 3X5 cards and don’t care if they pull off a patch of cardboard .
5. Overcome reaching obstacles. If you have to move things to get at things, put things that are seldom needed in those areas, or re-hang a door (of a room, fridge, or cupboard) to open in the opposite direction if that would make access more convenient.
6. We use 20 percent of our stuff 80 percent of the time. Therefore, put hot things in hot spots. This one tip alone will revolutionize your home. Store your most used stuff efficiently, within optimal reach.
7. Think about your containers. Corral your stuff into pleasant looking containers. Records boxes (no larger than one cubic foot) are the best. They are inexpensive at only $2.00 a box—cheaper than most plastic containers by far. The lids are super easy to take off and on. And the uniformity of how they look all stacked up or spread throughout the house makes you feel neat and organized. This is far better than an assortment of random cardboard grocery store boxes with four-flap lids; those look messy and are a pain to open and close. Then proceed to little containers within containers—all labeled. Little containers in all drawers and cupboards will organize things beautifully. Under the bathroom sink, use the space on both sides of the drain pipe by using narrow containers lifted up higher than your front containers. To achieve this, put your “to-be-used-containers” on top of other “not-to-be-used” containers turned upside down, as stands for the top container. You can also use bricks or narrow cardboard boxes or old plastic storage containers for these unseen risers.
8. Obtain more instant space. You can purchase plastic bed risers to put under the legs of each bed, thereby obtaining instant increased space to organize into, there, as well as install a ceiling shelf around the top of a room in your house or down a hallway—these fit neatly over your door jambs and provide enough space to tuck scores of additional records boxes up there. Use shelf boards that are 12 inches deep.
8. Put like things together.
9. Purge books that you will never read again or that are easily obtained from libraries. Purge old college textbooks and notes. Purge jars and unneeded dishware.
10. Use only plastic hangers in your closets, for a uniform neat look. Pitch the wire ones. Put containers in the bottom and top of your closet so that you can see everything at a glance. Obtain a little two-step folding ladder to use to retrieve all your high-up storage.
11. Re-think your outfits. Don’t have 13 outfits that all say the same thing. Make your outfits different enough to merit keeping those clothes. Think only 8 (maximum) nice (well thought-through from head to toe) outfits for “public”; having 8 (instead of 7) puts you ahead one day each week in your rotation so that no one ever sees the same outfit for 8 weeks (two months) if you attend the same gathering/meeting every week. (Perspective: when George Mueller clothed 10,000 orphans he had only three outfits for each child: their Sabbath outfit, one to wear, and one to wash during the week.)
12. In with the new; out with the old. When one new thing enters the home, one old thing has to go—whether it be a purse, a magazine, shoes, a serving dish, etc.
13. Mat both the outside and inside of both your front and back doors. The more dirt that is trapped in these mats, the less dirt there will be on the floor.
14. Use command hooks anywhere you need to hang things for easy retrieval—i.e. extension cords, bag of clothes pins, etc. These are super easy to apply.
15. Pack your cupboards with more food staples—food that is stable, that is good for you, and that you like to eat. Food is only going to get more expensive and more difficult to find.
In conclusion, remember that the goal of organization is visual clarity.