It's About Time
Shovel out from under all your stuff
I received a phone call recently from a mother determined to pare down and clear out the clutter in her house before the holidays. She said she knew she needed to make space for the influx of holiday gifts and toys.
Beginning now to shovel out from under all that clutter is a great idea!
The Japanese have a tradition of being sure that the house is thoroughly clean before the New Year. I know one woman who regularly takes vacation time the week after Christmas specifically to clean her house.
For many, one week definitely isn't enough time, especially when one must de-clutter first. Why wait until later? Now is a good time to begin the process.
Here are some tips to help you to "Shovel Out" from under all your stuff, whether at home or at work:
S: Sort your stuff pile by pile, room by room, closet by closet, shelf by shelf, drawer by drawer. Start with the area that's the greatest frustration to you.
H: Honestly evaluate your belongings. Is there good reason to keep it? Is it useful or beautiful? Do you love it? Do you have the space to store it? Do you need multiples of the same item? Is it working? Will you really fix it?
O: Only keep what you need, use and love. Anything else will cost you precious time, space and energy. We do have room for our treasures but not for all the excess.
V: Value the space and time you'll gain. Getting rid of clutter can cut cleaning time by 40 percent.
E: Establish a specific home for things near where you use them. And develop the habit of putting things back. Train family members to do so, too.
L: Leave out those things you use daily or regularly, and put away the rest. Items that need to be left out can be put in decorative baskets, bins or boxes.
O: Organize your important papers in a filing system that works. Paper clutter is not just unsightly; it can be a source of stress when you need to locate a specific document.
U: Use your time for people and activities that are important to you. Life is too valuable to spend on just taking care of possessions!
T: Take care not to accumulate too much. From now on, buy only what you need and use what you buy.
Follow these steps and you'll be de-cluttered and organized for the New Year, and you will have space for incoming gifts. It will be time well spent!
See you in two weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org