Decluttered and organized space in your home, garage, office and even the trunk of your car has a calming effect. Sometimes my clients view it as an invitation to fill it again rather than keep it clear. So, how do you keep it uncluttered? First, acknowledge the work that you put into clearing the space and be proud of your accomplishment. Second, identify the benefits of having the space cleared. For instance, you can see the lovely granite countertop or enjoy the beauty of the wood grain on your desktop. Perhaps it’s that sense of knowing where you put things when you cleared the space and feeling calmer because you can find what you need and are less hurried. The key is to create a logical storage area or tickler system for those items that used to be piled up in the space. That way even though it’s out of sight, it’s not out of mind! Start with something simple, easy to maintain and immediately beneficial. Invest in a bill organizer with numbered slots for each bill statement. Use the drawer below for related supplies such as postage and return address labels. You can keep this compact system on your desk or counter so everything is well-managed and organized, or if you prefer more privacy you can store it in a closet that you use on a daily basis. TIP: You can place birthday cards that need to be sent out by certain dates in the slots as well, it’s not just for bills. BENEFITS: Bills are paid on time, no late fees, no clutter.
Everyone experiences some level of anxiety about getting rid of, or as I prefer to think of it, letting go of things. The reasons are as varied as the individuals: “I might need it some time.” “It was a gift.” “I spent a lot of money on it.” Letting go of things that you don’t or will likely never use is a process. Here are some Outside In Organizer tips for reducing your anxiety about decluttering: TIP #1: If it’s in disrepair and more costly to fix than replace, discard it. TIP #2: It you have duplicates, donate or sell some of the items. TIP #3: Get a bag or box and find any 5 items that you are able to let go of (perishable trash doesn’t count, just get rid of it), just experience letting go. Over time, begin including items that are more difficult to let go of. TIP #4: Give something that you don’t use or haven’t used in a year or more, but find difficult to part with, to a worthy charity such as Hospice or Goodwill. My clients find it easier to let go if it’s going to someone in need.
What makes people anxious about organizing? It’s different for everyone but the best strategy is to recognize the anxiety and begin by taking small steps. As a Professional Organizer I am trained to break down big projects into smaller tasks. The benefits? Reduced stress, calmer environment to live and work in, sense of control and focus…the list goes on. The positive feelings that come from success early on are very motivating for my clients. When they “downsize their stuff, they upsize their life”!