March is always an exciting month for us here at Get Organized with Bridges + Co. As the valley begins to return to its sunny weather, many people are making plans for Spring Break getaways and staycations. For us on the other hand, it’s time to gear up for a busy month! That’s right, everyone: it’s almost Spring, which makes it time to combat clutter in our annual “Spring Cleaning.”
The last week in March is Clutter Awareness Week, which means we focus heavily on educating folks about ways to recognize clutter, ways to prevent it, and most importantly, ways to tackle it head-on!
It may sound silly to you, but a lot of clutter in our lives can go unnoticed for long periods of time. You may say, “How can that be? I can always tell when my home is messy!” The truth is, sometimes we feel too busy to see what’s right in front of us.
Clutter is also sneaky; it accumulates over time, turning a small stack of old documents or coupons into a recycling bin-full of wastepaper without us noticing. The smallest corner of a room can hold much more clutter than you think, not to mention dust if the area is left untouched. (Note: this is NOT a challenge to stuff your cluttered corners full!)
There are a few simple tricks to recognize clutter BEFORE it gets out of hand. The first involves a change in perspective, literally! Using a paper towel or toilet paper roll, look at each part of your space, inch by inch. This limited view will help you focus on problem areas that may have been hiding in larger rooms, and really see them for what they are! I also suggest taking daily stock of your surroundings. Even five minutes of downtime is enough to accomplish the task of looking, and awareness is the first step on the path to success.
If you are already fairly organized, but anticipate a busy period or major life change coming, there are a few tips that will help you to stop clutter before it begins. First things first: one of my Golden Rules of Organizing is Delayed decisions create clutter in your life. Taking the time now to get ahead of clutter can make all the difference. I’d like to think Benjamin Franklin would agree with me. After all, he was both productive and organized, and he gave us quotes like “Never leave that till tomorrow what you can do today,” and “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
One trick I like to use is to create a “staging area” in your home. The staging area is where you will prepare items for an easy start to your next day. Purses, wallets, keys, etc.—these items are much better prepared for tomorrow morning in a staging area than strewn around the house as you enter at the end a long day.
Another golden rule of mine is One in; One out! This applies to everything from tools to receipts. While of course saving useful items is beneficial, ridding yourself of outdated or little-used objects when you get new ones prevents a buildup of unnecessary junk.
Dealing With Clutter
At last, we come to my bread-and-butter. Over the years, I’ve experienced as many different forms of clutter as I’ve met types of people. Clutter is something almost everyone struggles with to some degree, and it’s my job to help my clients to see a way through the mess to a happier, more organized, future.
I’ve written many times before about dealing with clutter, and often the first steps involve what we’ve talked about here: taking stock of what you face. Pick apart those identified problem areas; make a list of items you have too many of; and most importantly, you must decide that NOW is the time for action.
That’s where we come in. My team and I are organizing pros, which means we’ve seen it all, and we’ve cleaned it all. We can arm you with the tools for success and point you down the path to a happier lifestyle whether you are facing a busy work schedule, downsizing, or grappling with unexpected change. As Spring Fever overtakes us all, gear up with us to overtake the clutter in your life, and get organized!