3 Techniques to Streamline your Space in 2015
I believe the difference between effective spaces and total chaos is having organizational systems and processes that work for you and your family.
Here are three techniques that you can try in your home in the upcoming year:
The Action Basket
Designate a large basket or container for objects that require action.
Clutter often includes projects and can turn into a physical to-do list. It may be anything from returning a library book to mending a shirt.
Sometimes we have designated areas for these categories of projects, such as a mending area in the laundry room, or a library book return area by the front door. But, in addition to these areas, you likely have random clutter just waiting for action. These projects and errands don’t get done because they are spread throughout the house and when you do see them you are not in a mental space to take action in that moment.
By gathering these objects into one box or basket, you have had the conscious recognition that this object requires your attention. You can then schedule a time, such as during other household chores or errand running where you address all the objects in the basket. Based on your situation, decide how often the objects need to be addressed (daily, weekly or monthly). The key is that you must actually take action on the items in the basket.
The Donation Box
Keep a box for donations in a designated spot in your home.
As you go through your daily life, whether putting toys or books away or happening upon ill-fitting clothing, put any unwanted item immediately in your donation box. Once the box is full, make a point of dropping it off, and starting a new box. If you have a large family, you can also have each family member designate their own box.
Having this system encourages fluidity in your purging process. Having an existing box makes it easier to let go of items when you run across them, which is usually the moment you determine that they are no longer wanted. It’s a more organic time to make that decision. And having a deadline of when you drop off the items (i.e. when the box is full) prevents a growing donation pile from becoming clutter.
Kids love this process too. It gives them autonomy to release things they no longer want or use. (Just keep an eye on their boxes!)
The Surface Sweep
This technique is one of my favorites.
Step One: Grab an empty box or plastic tote.
Step Two: Choose a space in your home that accumulates clutter. This technique works best if you take one very small area at a time.
Step Three: Clear the entire surface (whether it is a table top, desk, chair, section of the floor) and put ALL the contents in your box.
Step Four: Go through the box, one object at a time, and either put it away in its designated home, if it has one, or assign it a space where it will now live. Take up to a week to address the items in your box. It’s better to take your time and find an actual solution for each object, rather than just shove the item in another random place to be dealt with later.