De-cluttering is a process, not something that happens overnight. And it certainly doesn't have an end. Sometimes getting more organized can feel overwhelming. Usually you have to create more chaos to get started but there are some basic principles you can use to stay focused on maintaining order.
Use positive self-talk: It can be very easy to let negative thoughts slow you down, especially if you find it challenging to master the art of organizing. Remember, your organizing plan has to be your own. Organizing is not one-size-fits-all. Since your actions are usually driven by your thoughts, you can find yourself feeling depressed or helpless: two emotions that can stop your uncluttering plans in its tracks.
Your goals may seem impossible at first, but remember that it’s normal to come upon a few stumbling blocks along the way. But, and this is the good part, you will get through it as long as you keep trying. Replace negative thoughts (“I will never get this place organized”) with more positive thoughts (“I’m getting more organized by doing a little at a time”).
Use the “one in, one out” rule: Another way to limit impulse buys is to think about the one thing you currently own that you’ll let go of when you bring the new item home. This also gives you some time to consider if you truly need or want the new item. If you’re working on uncluttering, you might even use the “one in, two out” rule to raise the stakes a bit. We use this rule for our kiddos at Christmas and birthday. In October we have them do "the great toy clean out." They must have a pretty good pile to donate because typically the size of the pile they discard resembles the size of the pile they receive.
Use lists/checklists: Without a list, you will be lost. Lists are great for capturing just about anything and can help you remember things you don’t do on a regular basis, or you might otherwise forget because you’re feeling stressed or rushing around a lot. I have a smart phone with list app built right in.I have the following lists on my phone:@grocery@home@work@errandsHome RepairsThings I must remember
If there is something I simply cannot forget to do at work, it goes on my @work list. I check it when I'm at work. If there is something the kiddos need from Target, I put it on my @errands list. You see how this goes. The point is, make your lists work for you.
When leaving a room, always take something with you: One of the things I often ask my kiddos to do after a cleaning session is to keep it clean. A fairly easy way to maintain an area is to leave it better than how you found it. (The Girl Scout Way) Before leaving a room, take something with you that doesn’t belong (like glasses from the coffee table to the kitchen, mail on the kitchen counter to the mail processing station). These small steps can go a very long way to helping you keep things looking and feeling the way you want them to.
If you use these tips throughout your January organize-a-thon, you'll create habits that will stick with you, and will help you maintain an orderly home for yourself, and your family.
Only By His Grace,
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