This time last year I wrote a post mentioning that there’s a school of thought amongst professional declutterers that says you should try to treat your space with a little more respect if you really want to take control of your clutter.
The theory goes that the inside of your home is a reflection of you and the organisation within should reflect the life you want to live. Getting organised and decluttering your pad could therefore be the answer to enjoying the space you live in this New Year and maybe also allow you to take a little more control of your life.
With this in mind, if you’re one of the 21% of UK residents who’s New Year’s Resolution is to be a bit tidier and more organised in 2011 here’s a few tips to help:
Just be You!
Some of our shop customers looking for storage solutions to solve their clutter problems confuse being organised with being perfect. Others confuse being organised with being neat. There’s also plenty of neat freaks out there (including myself!) who are also disorganised. What you actually need to strive for is simply being neater than you are currently.
Doing something practical to declutter your space whether it’s your office desk or your entire home is going to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself this New Year but if you’re not the kind of person who’s going to keep things super-tidy then don’t pretend you’re going to change overnight. Instead try to find small simple ways to effectively manage the clutter you create on a daily basis. For example, something as simple as a small plastic storage box or container to store and manage the daily post is simple but very effective.
Whether you’re intending to spend the entire weekend tackling a room full of clutter or simply wanting to reorganise your shoe storage collection, start your de-cluttering in bit sized chunks so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t try and re-organise the entire house in one go but concentrate your efforts in one area trying not to “zig-zig de-clutter” by moving things from one space to another creating even more mess!
The 3 Box Rule is a great trick we often share with our STORE customers and it goes something like this:
When decluttering and reorganising a room, put each item you move into one of three cardboard boxes,
Definitely Keep Box – This is the “I’m 100% sure” temporary storage box for items that are definitely being returned into the space you’re decluttering.
Attempt to Sell Box – Would you rather continue to hoard that shiny new squash racket you’ve not used in the last 2-years since trying to get fit or have the cash? If you haven’t used it in the last 12-18 months then it’s time to go! Ebay, car-boot sale, postcard on the notice board at work, etc. etc. just be decisive and be realistic…you’ve never used it so let someone else enjoy it and you can enjoy the cash!
Charity / Recycle Box – Have a good look through your Attempt to Sell box and be realistic, some of your decluttered items may just be a bit too tatty to sell. Instead, why not take them to the local charity shop or donate them to your local primary school etc. and if they’re just tatty or worn-out then recycle.
But my New Year’s Resolutions usually only last a month or two
Wrong!…Last year Sheila’s Wheels car insurance undertook a survey of 2,000 UK residents that suggested our will power ran-out on average in less than 12 days! If you think you’re going to falter try reading my post on Staying Organised after you’ve Decluttered or follow this simple tip which I gleaned from a storage professional across the pond:
Think of that pile of unopened post or stack of untouched paperwork on your desk that needs organising in the same way as you think of your kitchen sink. Most of us (even STORE’s warehouse manager Kevin) have a natural tolerance for how long we leave dishes cluttering-up the sink and draining board. For some people it’s a day or two and others can’t stand to go to bed at night without doing the washing-up. Have this same tolerance threshold to your household post or paperwork: open, read, action and decisively discard or file and you’ll notice the differences within a few days.
The more you perform this simple decluttering task, the more your awareness will grow of better organisation and the longer your New Year’s resolution to be a bit more organised might last.
This transferable organisational skill can be used in other areas of your home too and over time you’ll naturally become more conscious about what you bring into the house and indeed what you spend your hard earned pennies on. You see, decluttering and reorganising is a money-saver too!
Finally, a very Happy & Organised New Year from all at STORE !