Sunday, January 1, 2012

A new year of organization!

Happy New Year!  Like many people, I often get motivated about starting/doing things at the beginning of the year.  Right now I'm on a major organizing kick.  I know, I already had a comment on Facebook saying, "Can you be any more organized?!?"  The truth is, being an "organized" person is also a curse, because you never feel you can be organized enough.  There is always something to tweak or re-do.  Plus changing life stages mean changing needs.

I'm not a full-fledged FlyBaby, but I have adapted quite a few suggestions from the FlyLady over the last year.  One of the biggest tools for me has been an app on my iPhone called HomeRoutines.  It aids me in breaking down cleaning chores (both surface and deep) and other tasks that occur (or should occur) on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  I have a morning, after lunch and before bed routine similar to the FlyLady, as well as specific tasks assigned to each day of the week.  Do I follow all of my routines perfectly?  Absolutely not!  But I have everything set up.  I want to work on getting better at actually following through.

However, I'm always looking for new ideas, and there are certainly a lot out there!  One area I really need (and desire) to work on is decluttering/purging.  I have finally reached a point where I realized we have way more stuff than we need, and I'm emotionally ready to start letting some things go.  I started doing some of that with my wardrobe this past fall, but I still have a long way to go.  Almost every day I run across something somewhere in the house that I really don't think I would miss.  So here are some things I'm going to try:

52 Week Organized Home ChallengeThis 52 Week Organized Home Challenge is from Home Storage Solutions 101.  They have broken down things into weekly challenges.  You can check the challenge online or sign up to receive the weekly email that comes on Monday mornings.  You can also post before and after pictures to be featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame.  I have a button on the side bar of my blog if you'd like to check in at any time.  I hope to post updates of some of the challenges I complete.

Another tool/option I just found out about is the 2012 Declutter Calendar from MySimplerLife.  It is a series of monthly printable calendars offering very small tasks for each day of the week with a fun or renewing task on Sundays.  You can also sign up for a weekly email containing simplicity tips.  You can even join a "Declutter Group" in January or May!

Since I am a task-oriented person who LOVES to check things off a list, all of these options are very attractive to me!  I know it seems quite silly and repetitive, but I'm going to try these simultaneously.  Maybe I can get organized in half the time! ;o)  In the end, I hope to find a system or combination of systems that work best for me at this stage of life. 

Here are some other resources I have found interesting and/or helpful:
Memories On Clover Lane: Organization
I Used to Be So Organized: Help for Reclaiming Order and Peace by Glynnis Whitwer

What resources/systems have you found helpful?

I'll end this post with a excerpt from the Clover Lane blog.  The quote at the end needs to be my mantra.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

40 Days Tips and Tricks: Questions and Decisions

Take time to deliberate; 
but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
Napoleon Bonaparte

Some tips for de-cluttering decisions:
Is it really that hard of a decision?  If I am pondering over keeping that kitchen tool that I don't really need or want, what is the WORST thing that can happen if I get rid of it?  I might have to buy a new one down the road after I find that I miss it terribly?  It might cost me $3.99!  If I am thinking of getting rid of something that costs $1,700 of course I will put some thought into it.  But most of the clutter is the little stuff that slowly ads up.  Fear of letting go of little things is silly, I have found.
I was going to post some practical professional questions I found on the internet to ask ourselves while de-cluttering, but it was just all so stupidly generic and magaziney-ish I thought "OH how dumb".

I'm a mom just like you, so here are my unprofessional  REAL-LIFE thoughts when I am making decisions to rid my house of something: 
  • Do I want this in my house anymore? 
  • Where the heck did this come from and why is it in my house?
  • Do I love this toy for my children?  (Was it just a gift that I would never have bought, or did I make a mistake thinking it would be hit and it's plain old dumb.)
  • Do they play with it often?  
  • Do I look good in this shirt or do I never wear it because my bra straps always show and bug me or the sleeves are too short, or some other annoying thing?
  • Do these pants make my butt look big?  Or do they make my butt look bigger than it already is?
  • Will my child look like a rag-a-muffin wearing this?
  • Will he/she EVER wear this in spite of my attempts to force them into it?  
  • Does it have stains?
  • Do I want to dust this for the rest of my life?
  • Do I want to look at this for the rest of my life?
  • Is this really me or do I feel I need to keep it out of obligation?
  • Do I use this daily, weekly, or monthly? 
  • How long will it be before anyone even notices it is gone?
  • Will I be able to sleep at night if I get rid of this, or will I be racked with guilt?
  • Do I really need more than one of these?
  • Do I swear at this thing a lot?  (Like a small lamp that was in my kitchen once that shocked me all the time.  Or that battery toy that never shuts off and drones on and on and on?  So long, sucker.) 
Or more eloquently put, I always keep this quote in mind:
Have nothing is your house that you do not know to be useful,
 or believe to be beautiful.
william morris

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