Friday, March 5, 2010

Me: Well... Did you get it all organized?

Reply from Me to Me: Are you crazy? Oh, yes you are! You are talking to yourself and even answering questions. Good grief!! Oh well.

No, I didn't get it all organized, but I do have my planner and I am writing things down. I have a list of errands that I have to run today and I know what my next few days are going to be spent doing.

I am excited that I am off to a good start!!

Me: What is the next secret. Remember you said you would keep sharing.

Reply from Me to Me: Ok. Here is today's secret to getting organized and staying organized. This is a long post, but I think it is worth the time and effort it will take to read and implement.

2. Reduce and de-clutter!

Let’s start with our “stuff”. I know what you are thinking, because I am thinking the same thing. Get rid of my stuff? Are you nuts? I can’t live without my stuff!! I say, if you are like me, you don’t even know you have half of the things you are holding on to. Yep, we could go out, spend a small fortune on storage bins, sort it, label it, and shove it all back in the closets, under the beds, in the garage, or rent a storage unit to hold our treasures, but really... What have we accomplished if we take that approach? We still have bins full of things we don’t need, won’t ever use, and will forget about as soon as the bins are stacked and out of site.

Reducing and de-cluttering is a very important first step on the journey to getting organized and staying organized. It will be easier to reduce and de-clutter if we divide and conquer. There is no way we can de-clutter in a day, what it took years to collect. It is going to take time, effort and energy to get rid of our clutter. Take it a step at a time. Conquer one room at a time. Stay in that room until you are done. No! said with exaggeration. I don’t mean you have to work on that room for a continuous 120 hours until it is complete. Just work for your designated time each day in one room until that room is clutter free. Take time to celebrate after each area is de-cluttered. I like to reward me for a good job. It makes me ready for the next job and the reward for accomplishing the task at hand.

I am dividing my home up like this:

Master bedroom closet
Master Bedroom
Master Bath
Main living area
Dining Room

You get the idea…

NO! You don’t have to go out and buy a lot of “storage” supplies. Be creative and use things you have on hand. For instance, you could use the storage containers you already have on hand for some of the items you plan to keep. You could put like items in an old shoebox, label the box with its contents and store it in a closet. You could use an old chipped coffee cup as a pen and pencil holder.

How do I reduce? Start somewhere, anywhere; just pick a place to start and start. Whether it is your closet, a drawer in the kitchen, a storage bin, a pile of mail on the kitchen counter, or whatever is lying around that you are tired of tripping over every day, take everything out of the closet, drawer, storage bin, etc. (including your schedule), AND only put back the things that you really use. Chances are if it is in a bin covered in dust and you are shocked at what you find, we don’t really need it. Let it go.

For the sake of an example I am going to start in my closet. Oh boy!! What a mess. I have enough clothes and shoes for… well; let’s just say I have a LOT! So, I am going to reduce! Just for fun, (it’s not really for fun ‘cause it’s a big fat mess and I don’t’ have room for more clothes or shoes) I have over 100 pairs of shoes. No, I don’t wear them all, (and you don’t either) so reduce today!

Now that I am ready to start, cleaning out the closet it seems really overwhelming. That’s why I have not done it before now. What am I going to do? Am I going to abandon my resolve to get organized? NO!! I am going to divide the task of cleaning the closet into smaller bites. This is an elephant to me, so I need to eat it one bite at a time. I am going to divide the closet into manageable tasks.

My shoes
Hubby’s shoes
My clothes
Hubby’s clothes
Shelved items

That seems more manageable to me. Now I am really ready to start getting organized.
In my planning stage I determined that I am willing to devote one hour each day to the getting organized process. Tomorrow I am going to start on my closet. I plan to get up at 7AM and work from 7:30AM-8:30AM on the closet. At 7:30AM I will set a timer for one hour and work like mad to accomplish all that I can to reduce items in my closet. I will start by removing all the shoes from the closet and only keep the 10 pair that I love and wear. Yes only 10 pair. We are reducing. Now, I don’t need to go out and buy a new shoe organizer!! The next day I will tackle the clothes in the same manner. Maybe the next day I need to tackle the shelved items in the closet, or my husband’s area of the closet.

No matter where you choose to start remember to take it one day at a time. Slow and steady wins the race. Determine the time you are willing to devote to the task, set your timer and work like a crazy woman to get as much done in the allotted time as you can. Don’t be upset if you don’t finish, there is always tomorrow and the reward of being organized will be worth it!

More tomorrow... or maybe it will have to wait until Tuesday of next week, cause I am not going to hit the closet until Monday. (I have a lot of prior obligations this weekend.) I will try to remember to take pictures.


  1. Love it! What a great start and attitude! This can be so overwhelming and hopefully you have made it well....hopeful!

  2. You are so right Nanna. It can be really overwhelming. I have conquered the garage, and next week it is on to my closet. Someone is going to have some nice shoes and clothes.

    Thanks for reading. I hope you will enjoy future posts.

  3. I am always fighting clutter. Your post gives me courage to tackle it some more if ever there is time. :)


  4. Sharon, It does seem that there is never enough time in a day to do all that you want. That is why it is important to plan, and use some of the other tips in the getting organized series I am currently posting. It really does make a difference when you set aside a pre-determined amount of time to accomplish a task. I know that you can get organized and stay organized. Thanks for dropping in, reading and commenting.