"Disney's Frozen made this phrase catchy, but when it comes to organization & clutter, "let it go" is the perfect mantra. In a time where "one-click order" & "same day delivery" is a thing, it's no wonder we've become inundated with "stuff." It's easier than ever to accumulate. The key to balancing the new stuff with the old stuff is figuring out when you can let the old stuff go.
Have you ever heard of the KonMari Method for organization? Marie Kondo writes in her book "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" that you should hold items in both of your hands and ask yourself if it sparks joy, if it doesn't you should toss it. I'm sure this is what you're thinking...
Us too! But we get where Marie Kondo is coming from; simply stated if you haven't used it, worn it, known you owned it, or unpacked it, let it go.
So you've committed to organizing, but where do you start? Kondo advises organizing by category not by room, meaning go through and organize/donate all of the clothes in your house rather than organizing one single closet. While this approach makes sense, for a family of 5, that can be a daunting task. Most of us have to chip away at these projects between school hours, work hours, days off, drop off & pick ups; our thinking is do what you can, when you can. If you have 15 minutes, open a drawer, take out the contents and throw away anything that is "junk" and put the contents back in the drawer in an organized manner (ie. group pens, paper clips together). If you tackle a drawer or closet a day, before you know it you have a number of completed, organized spaces.
Now that you've committed & started to organize, how do you maintain it? This is something you may have to work at. It's easy to swipe everything off the counter into a drawer or throw the clothes at the bottom of the closet for later, and sometimes, given our busy lives, that has to happen. The key is to be cognizant of clutter and maintenance. What does that mean? If you had to throw some stuff in a drawer, make a mental note to go back later and pull those things out and go through them. If you had to stuff some clothes in the closet, go back and put them on hangers or in a drawer. If you make the pile a priority (even if it's down the list) & remain cognizant of it, it'll start to become habit. Mail drives me nuts; I hate junk mail. One piece of advice I offer with mail is to go through it immediately and throw out/recycle the junk & file away (whether placing it in an office or in a bill organizer) the important documents & bills. If you do this, your mail will never accumulate and you'll never lose track of the important documents.
Our hope for you in this New Year is that you can begin to "let it go" and remember if you need help, we are here.
-Leslie & Christine