Friday, December 30, 2011

and the last little shelf...for today

Well my blogging friends, the Medicine Man trick didn't work so I had to sort through the clutter myself.
My goal here was to remove everything from this shelf, sort it and immediately put it in its place (even if it’s just the “dump” pile.) Unlike the cute little boxes which were more or less storing clutter, this shelf held things that actually have a home. In a rush, I’ve used this shelf as a “resting” place, but now it’s time to bring it back to order.

First, I pulled out the bamboo trays. These hold my business promotional papers. I sorted through what was still of use, recycled the out-of-date stuff, made a list of what I need to replace and made it all nice a neat again.
One of the trays held previous “demo” items I used to sell on my website. I put all of these in my “gift” cabinet downstairs. I no longer make these items and can use the demos as shower gifts later in the year.
The mumbo-jumbo on the shelf itself was a mix of knick knacks I’d moved off other shelves to make room for Christmas decorations. That was an easy fix once I took down the holiday stuff. There were also a few loose handmade cards. You know what I did? I took them all out, wrote a little note in each one and mailed them off! My friends will get a little treat and I’ve moved those cards of my way.

Whew! Several hours for one bookshelf of clutter. Now I know why I struggle so hard to keep my house clutter-free in the first place. Everything in my house has a place. Everything. From the salt and pepper shakers to the mop bucket to the remote controls. Of course, my self-imposed OCD sickness is really to blame!
As you can see, even my house gets clutter. It multiplies overnight sometimes. Hopefully today I’ve inspired you to tackle at least one area of your home that’s been tugging at you. Sometime fixin’ (another southern word) a small thing get’s the ball rolling - or at least clears that one little thing off your mind.

For a recap:

• You are never going to get caught up on reading that pile of magazines by your bed. You can’t possible store every single magazine you purchase. Pare down to the most recent issues, plus a couple of ones you just can’t live without (like Martha Stewart’s Christmas Issue), and recycle the rest.

• When you read through magazines in the New Year, tear out the pages of recipes and ideas you like. File them or make an “idea” book instead of keeping the entire issue.

• When sorting through junk drawers and boxes in the attic don’t just move the stuff around – get it out of your house. Even if it’s just one drawer, sort the contents into categories like “Donate,” “Give Away,” ‘Sell,” “Recycle” and “Toss.” Once the drawer (or box) is empty immediately take it out. Let your family know they have 24 hours to get what they want and then remove the boxes from the house.

• As you sort, schedule time in the next week to accomplish tasks that arise. For example: In your drawer is a ton of business cards your husband has collected for business leads. Schedule some time to file these in his rolodex, enter into his computer or whatever method he uses. In my clutter I had a few loose handmade cards. I went ahead and wrote notes to my friends just saying hello and mailed them. By scheduling the time with yourself or taking care of the task immediately – it’s more likely to get done and not revisited later in the year.

• Everything in your home should have “a place.” Every knick knack, every tube of toothpaste, every pair of scissors. By creating a place not only can you find it when you need it, but everyone can put it back too. If it doesn’t have a place, then it’ doesn’t need to been in your home. Perfect example is the set of beautiful butterfly plaques I found in my boxes today. I bought these 6 years ago at a craft fair. I have tried to find the perfect place to hang them, but they always end up back in a box somewhere. I finally realize that they just don’t have a place in my home. So – I’m packing them off to my sister-in-laws. Maybe she has place for them.

• By fixing just one small irritant, you can clear your mind. I have a picture in my stairway that will not stay straight. Every single time I pass it, I get irritated, even if it’s just for a slit second. Once, in a fit of irritation, I put a piece of double sided foam on the frame to hold it straight and – bam! No. More. Irritation. Seems silly, but I guarantee there are more than a couple of small things like this in your home that drain you, bit by silly little bit.

Now, I’m off to lie in bed the rest of the day with that Stephen King book I mentioned earlier. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get to that eBay research tote!

What did you accomplish today? What area did you clear of clutter? What little “irritant” did you remedy? Please do tell….

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