Nope, not time for your annual too-private-to-discuss-in-an-organizing-blog exam (although, I don’t know, it may be). It’s Spring (or at least it feels that way here in Denver) and it’s time to get organized. There is a reason they call it Spring Cleaning. I recently did a deep cleaning of my place and when I told people about it they said things like, “why?” and “wow!” and “will you come do mine?”. The ‘why’ is because It has not been done in too long to mention publicly, and my dust bunnies had dust bunnies! The ‘wow’ is how I felt when it was all done (and for the 6 hours before I had fresh cat litter paw marks all over the floor and had to mop it again). The answer to ‘will you come do mine?’ is “yes…for a price!”.
With the change of weather I am getting out of hibernation mode and feeling like I want to make things fresh. Obviously I am not alone in this, so I thought some simple Spring cleaning (well, really organizing) tips would be a good idea here.
• Make it fun! This may sound like an oxymoron, but while organizing may not be as fun for you as it is for me, you can make it less of a chore by opening up the windows and putting on some music you love. I recommend dance tunes to classical (It’s easier to sing Madonna into the vacuum hose than an aria from Carmen).
• Tackle one area at a time. No matter how much of a superman or woman you are, you are not going to get everything done at once and if you try, you will only succeed in burning yourself out before the job is done! I like to tackle a room in a circular motion (I prefer counter clockwise, but I’m quirky like that), starting at the door and organizing each area systematically. This helps me stay focused and not get overwhelmed by the whole job.
• Be prepared. If you know you will need some storage solutions, make sure to purchase them before you get started. There’s little worse than pulling everything out, organizing it and discovering you have nowhere to put it (ok, a Tornado re-organizing for you would be worse). I don’t advocate going crazy buying every storage solution you can think of, but plastic bins in various sizes are always a must.
• Get rid of your purged items right away. As soon as you’re done with an area and have a bag of items that need to leave, put them in the car and make them gone! The more they sit around pleading with you to take them back (we’ve heard this before somewhere, haven’t we?) the more you’re likely to dig in that bag and retrieve those pants with the holes in them (that style is not back, I promise). When I work with clients, I take their bag of giveaways when I leave so they’re not tempted to revisit those items.
• Get help! Yes, it feels like you should be able to do it yourself, but sometimes you can’t, or don’t want to, and that’s ok. Most people don’t think twice about hiring someone to come clean their homes, so why not have someone help you organize it too? This can be anyone from a family member or friend, to a Professional Organizer. Check out The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) for someone in your area. The best part is, we don’t judge (I’m not sure the same thing can be said about your mother-in-law)!
Ok, the weather is good! The time is now! My new mantra is (say it with me): Spring is here and it’s time to clear! Goooo team (I think I got a little carried away, but I can’t help myself)!!