What Do You Want to Clear Out This Week?

downloadBaseball season’s over (Go Cubs!), the clocks have Fallen back, and this election year ard2015-logo-noborderwill soon be one for the history books.  The leaves are flying around the yard today, with a chilly wind.  It feels like November!  And November is a great time to de-clutter, clear the decks, close the door on summer and open up the flannel sheets and hot chocolate.  Conveniently, with November comes America Recycles Day on November 15th!

America Recycles Day, https://americarecyclesday.org/ , is a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful.  Follow the link, then click Attend an Event and plug in your zip code to search for recycling events in your neighborhood.

Looking for more ideas?  Here are 5 things to purge / recycle / donate / re-purpose / etc. this week, to get ready for colder weather and the holidays!

Shoes!  Go through that pile by the door.  Yes, THAT pile.  
Purge the icky shoes (those 4 pairs of old sneakers someone keeps around for “yardwork”?) and the singles (ah, flip flops, missing either a flip or a flop). Donate the too-small ones or never-again ones, and, as it’s November, friends, put the rest of the warm weather shoes away in each owners’ closet.
If you are looking for places to recycle your shoes, just google “shoe recycling”.  There are lots of options out there (for example, Nike recycles shoes to create running tracks and playgrounds).  Locally, check out http://shareyoursoles.org/, a great not-for-profit that shares shoes with under-served populations.
And, won’t it be nice to not trip over shoes every time you come in the door?!

Put Away the Halloween Decor (and the summer stuff, too, if it’s still lingering on).  
November 8th, friends.  Purge the summer and Halloween decor.  Box it up, label it well, put it AWAY with your other seasonal stuff.  Do not spend your cold weather months tripping over off-season stuff.
Enjoy clean and uncluttered surfaces for a few weeks, before the Christmas stuff starts creeping out!

Catalogs and Magazines.  
I recently had an epiphany, and decided to cut myself some slack when it comes to my burgeoning reading pile.  There are days and stages of our lives when we read voraciously, and there are days and stages when reading books or magazines regularly just isn’t meant to be.  My life is currently in the latter stage and the reading pile grows quickly out of control.  Last week, I reviewed my catalog and magazine backlog, and – considering it’s November – I tossed anything from October or before.
You can recycle them, of course, or you can share the magazines with a local doctor or dentist office, or senior centers and nursing homes.

Cardboard.
Ah, yes, cardboard.  Now is the time to purge cardboard.  I don’t know why We (and I mean a global “We” and not just the Klimczaks) all seem to hold on to cardboard boxes longer than necessary.  If you have to keep boxes, break down the tape and store the boxes flat so they take up less space.
We are coming into Christmas season, however, which could be sub-titled “Amazon Prime is awesome and UPS drops off boxes often” season.  As soon as I start our Christmas shopping, more boxes will come.  So, I would challenge you to part with most, if not all, of your cardboard boxes, safe in the knowledge that more will arrive soon.  Break it down flat, and send it out with the recycling this week!

Expectations.
Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
I’ll rarely tell you that you Should Do Something, or Must Do Something else.
We’ve got just a couple months left of 2016.  It’s time to take a look at our current status, look ahead at the next 8 weeks or so, decide…
What Needs to Happen: friends, family, wellness, Holidays, faith, professional efforts?
And
What Does Not Need to Happen: ???
Last week, I completed some long-suffering tasks on my to-do list.  It felt so good to finally complete them and cross them off for good!  What else can go?  Completed tasks, yet, but also unrealistic or unnecessary expectations for yourself or others?

So, embrace America Recycles Day, check out events in your area, and let go of some clutter this week!

Mystery Meats and Burnt-Out Light Bulbs (National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day!)

November 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, though any day is a good day to tackle this project!

With this satisfying project, an hour or so and some elbow grease will reap big rewards! Saturday afternoon found me cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer.  The light bulb needed replacing, and I was working on our weekly meal plan and grocery list.  Plus, I was clearing out to prepare for a new season, healthier eating and the holidays.

So, Lets’s Do This!  Here’s How:

  • Take out the trash, and re-line the can.  Then place it next to the fridge.
  • Put on some music, of course, and grab a cold beverage from the fridge (you’re standing right there, after all!).
  • Clean off the closest counter for work space.
  • Run a sink full of hot and soapy water.  Then get to it!
  • Start with the vegetable bins.
    • Empty them out onto that clear counter, and review the contents;
    • Soak the bins in soapy water as you review;
    • Purge what is past its’ prime;
    • Plan your menus for the next week based on food you have on hand;
    • Add items to be replaced to your grocery list; and
    • Put your produce back, stocking like a store – oldest inventory on top or to the front, to be used first.
  • Hit the door compartments next.
    • Use the same plan of attack (empty and review; wash down; plan your menu and purge the icky stuff) but this time, review expiration dates and duplicates, too.
    • Make sure you rinse and and recycle the jars and containers you are purging.
    • Put it all back, grouping similar items together within compartments, like salad dressings together, and sandwich toppings together.

 

  • On to the shelves!
    • Address the shelves with the same process:  empty and review; wash down; plan your menu and purge the icky stuff.
    • Before you put the shelf contents back, consider adjusting the height of your shelves to make your fridge work better.  We have a tall top shelf, for milk jugs, juice bottles, water pitchers and left overs.  The other shelves are adjusted to be shorter, but so are their contents (egg cartons, 12 packs of soda, short bins of small items like yogurts and pudding cups) so this arrangement works well.
    • Group similar items on the shelves, as well.  For example, create a “left-over shelf” for already prepared and cooked meals, and make your grocery dollars stretch further!
    • Also, consider clear acrylic containers to store small single serve items, so they don’t get lost rolling around the shelves.

 

  • Next, review your freezer contents.  I let go of anything that I couldn’t readily identify, hence the article title of “Mystery Meats”.  If I can’t identify a food, it is not something we should eat!  On the plus side, we have also been writing contents and dates on the freezer packaging (foil, freezer bags, etc.), so to not run into this challenge again!
  • Finally, take a moment to clean the outside, too!  Take all the magnets, photos and papers off, and wipe down the surfaces.  If the fridge front or side is home to outdated soccer schedules or take out menus, purge those, too!

Now, stand back and open the fridge door.  Bask in the glow of a clean space, and maybe even grab a snack.  Pat yourself on the back, then move on to something else!

P.S. If you have an old refrigerator to get rid of, here are two resources:
https://www.comed.com/WaysToSave/ForYourHome/Pages/Recycling.aspx
http://www.1800gotjunk.com/us_en/what-we-take/refrigerator_removal

To:

Receive more ideas and suggestions like these;
Book time with me in person or virtually;
Arrange a presentation for your upcoming event; or
Discover the benefits of Organizational Coaching;

Please contact me.

Call / text 708.790.1940
Online at  http://peaceofmindpo.com
www.Facebook.com/MColleenKlimczakCPO
Via Twitter, @ColleenCPO

My Client Asked Me If I Was Falling Apart

In conversation with a client last week as we organized, I mentioned that I was having my wedding ring, my favorite leather backpack and a loved black jacket all repaired at local businesses.

She asked, with humor, “Does this mean you are falling apart?!”

Not the response I expected!  I explained that all of those steps are actually a coming together, a positive process, and we then chatted about the importance of maintenance and being a responsible consumer.

For me, a big part of Being Organized means establishing and maintaining systems and items that work for you. Every system and item requires maintenance. And maintenance requires resources, of time, money and energy.

Last week, I

  • Picked up my favorite black jacket with a repaired liner from Park Cleaners in Evergreen Park;
  • Picked up my leather backpack from the local shoe repair shop, Fernandos, in Evergreen Park, and it looks new!  I knew the other customers that day, too, all dropping off cold weather shoes and boots for repair before winter sets in;
  • Picked up my wedding ring from Coren Jewelers in Evergreen Park, with the prongs tightened and looking sooo shiny; and
  • Shipped off Tumi suitcases for repair for a client.  Expensive bags, yes, but their maintenance and repair policies are amazing.

Taking care of our favorites helps us out in a number of ways:

  • Save money:  Buying high quality items once and maintaining them is cheaper than buying and rebuying many cheap items.  And identifying and taking care of Favorites keeps us from buying more stuff and making more clutter.
  • Save Space: A small collection of favorites takes up a lot less space than a large collection of un-used and un-loved items.
  • Save Time:  with less clutter to have to sort through, you will find what you’re looking for quickly.  And you’ll spend less time, overall, maintaining “stuff”.
  • Clear Clutter:  Clear spaces with just your favorite items in view gives our minds and eyes a break!

Suggestions – Here’s How!

  • Know What You Have.
  • Know what your favorites are (You may be thinking “But, Coll: they’re all my favorites!”  No, not everything is a favorite, you are not a toddler.).
  • Know how to take care of your favorites, and what the product warranty entails.  And when in doubt about how to, say, clean a crystal vase (a client question a couple of weeeks ago), Google it  (denture tablets, by the way)!
  • Use your favorites!  There is nothing sadder than cabinets and boxes of beautiful and treasured items that never see the light of day!
  • Buy things once, then spend time and money and energy taking care of them. Less is more.
  • Research major purchases for value.  Be willing to invest a little more $$ for higher quality stuff.
  • When making major purchases, make sure to register the item with the manufacturer, to activate the warranty, but also to receive recall information, promotional specials, etc.
  • Support Local (keep the green in evergreen!) Look for local repair opportunities, and if you are unsure what local business to use, ask your friends / family / neighbors for a referral.

Maintain your favorites.  Take care of them, and they will stay your favorites for a long time!

To:

Receive more ideas and suggestions like these;
Book time with me in person or virtually;
Arrange a presentation for your upcoming event; or
Discover the benefits of Organizational Coaching;

Please contact me.

Call / text 708.790.1940
Online at  http://peaceofmindpo.com
www.Facebook.com/MColleenKlimczakCPO
Via Twitter, @ColleenCPO

What If… Your Halloween Decor is Scary, But Not In a Good Way?

In preparation of posting this blog, I just zip-tied a scarecrow to my front stair railing.  And threw away 3 tattered Fall colored dried flower… things.005

This may sound odd, but this week is a GREAT TIME to get rid of your Halloween Decorations. And Easter, and Independence Day and Arbor Day (though I don’t believe we decorate much for Arbor Day), etc.

Look around your home this week.  Are you decorated for Halloween?  Or for Fall, in general?

Yes?  Great.

Are there still Halloween  / Autumn themed items in the bins/ boxes/corner of the basement or garage where you store such things?

Yes?

Why?  Why are you keeping decorations you don’t use? If your house is decorated satisfactorily, and there are leftover decorations that did not get used this year, please take the time to think about just WHY you are still keeping these leftovers. Let me be the voice of reason here, and suggest that if these decorations didn’t make the cut this year, they are even less likely to be the Decorations of Choice in years to come.

True?  Yes, you know it is.

The same logic can be applied to other holidays, too!  Don’t tackle Christmas decor this week, though, the other holidays are enough for now, and Christmas Decor tends to be a much bigger project!  It’s easy to be objective about your Easter and Spring decor in October, trust me. This week, look at your items – REALLY look at them – and decide now if you want them to stay or go. Bag them up, donate them, sell them on FB, etc., just make the clutter leave your home.

003We, and our seasonal decor, have evolved over time.  These days, seasonal decor runs toward cut flowers in a favorite vase, door wreaths, table runners, linens and scented candles.  The last two Christmas grab-bag exchanges have kept me well supplied with festive dish towels, see photo (thank you, family! These make me laugh!). All are: easy to transition; easy to store; appealing to the senses (smell, sight, touch); and personal, collected with care over time.

Check out your seasonal decorations this week, and toss all the left-over and unloved seasonal decor.  Clearing the clutter now will make putting away your Halloween and Autumn decor so much easier, and will ease the transition into the next season.

Spiders, Mice, Many-legged Things and Christmas Decor (a.k.a., Our Crawl Space)

We tackled the crawl space this weekend.  Yes, the organizer dives into weekend organizing rubbermaidprojects!  The crawl space is under the addition to our home  (both were here before we got here).   It is great storage space, but gets a little grubby and needs our attention about once a year, and this was the weekend!

We can all learn from every experience, so what lessons do I want to share with all of you from this project?

We often spend more time and energy dreading or avoiding a project than the chore actually takes to complete.
For a month, I’ve been thinking that we needed to get to the crawl space, and I would get frustrated whenever I thought about going in there for something.  And then,  we completed the project in under an hour.  So silly to worry so much!

Relatedly, Bugs and creepy crawlies aren’t really that creepy.  
Come on, people, they’re not that big of a deal.

Working on and completing projects often create more ideas or tasks to complete, though small ones in this case.
Keep a notebook with you, as you work, to jot down ideas.   As we cleaned out the crawl space, I realized a number of further tasks needed to be added to my to-do list:

  • As of October 1, I will list the extra Halloween Costumes on Facebook;
  • As of October 1, if the baby items we found have not been picked up, I will drop them off at the Courage Program at St. Germaine Parish in  Oak Lawn;
  • As of November 1, I will check the Christmas light sales, as we need new ones this year; and
  • As of January 1, we need to review and purge excess Christmas decorations!
  • All of these were added to my to-do list, and I’m pondering a few more ideas, too!

Keep your smartphone with you.
We texted a family member about some baby items we were still storing, plus I posted on Facebook that we had free baby items to be picked up (the bassinet is already gone!)

Sometimes, it’s just really helpful to remind yourself of what you have.
The crawl space wasn’t actually disorganized, we just needed to review things and make sure they were stored well.  We pulled the often-accessed items to the front, made sure everything was well labeled and grouped, and cleaned out the spiderwebs, dead bugs and mice droppings. (another note, put out more mice bait).

Completing Organizing Projects feels Great!
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so.  I am so glad we spent time on the crawl space, definitely a worthwhile investment for my Peace of Mind. Now, on to the garage!

Find 5 Minutes in Your Morning

“We need to leave earlier for school” said one of my sons this week.images

And he’s right.  His school day starts a few minutes earlier this year, and we need to adjust our mornings accordingly.

(I wish that, way back when, a more seasoned parent had told me that when School says “The doors open at 8:15, the day begins at 8:25”, what they really mean is “make sure your child is already in line at 8:15 when the door opens”.  I’ve wised up a lot in 15 years.)

In typical Me / Mom fashion, I reminded my son that being on time is ultimately up to him.  But also in typical Me / Mom fashion, I know there are things I can do to make an earlier departure happen.

Where do we find an extra 10 minutes in the morning?  To be early instead of on-time, or on-time instead of late?  To catch an earlier train or bus, or meet with a teacher for help with an assignment?

Everyone, STEP AWAY FROM THE DEVICES! 

hand-apple-iphone-smartphone-large (1)
Your kids, your spouse, your co-worker, You!
Showering and brushing your teeth?  These must be done, and they must be done at home.

Checking FB or email, posting to Instagram or texting while someone else drives?  These can all wait.

Turn off the TV, too.
Have you noticed?  If the TV is on, people must stare at it. It could be a test pattern (do they even have those anymore) or a lame commercial, and people will still stop and stare.  TURN IT OFF, and remove the temptation.


Take breakfast with you.
Grab and go with a granola or Clif Bar, banana, a Tervis go-mug with milk, juice or hot chocolate (when it’s cold!)?  Looks like breakfast to me.  For next time, create a breakfast basket, stocked with nutritious, quick and easy options like apples, bananas, granola and breakfast bars.


Get over carrying your favorite.
Got a favorite mug or cup?  Is it still dirty from yesterday?  Tough love here, but get over it, find a new favorite for today, and get on with things. (If you think I am only talking about little kids with this one, you’re wrong.  I’ve seen many cabinets stuffed with re-useable coffee mugs or water bottles that never get used, while the favorite gets used every day).


No, you do not have time for one more thing.

Do you ever find your self thinking “I know we need to leave in 3 minutes, certainly I have time to start a load of laundry, send off an email and wash some dishes.”  Yeah, me, too.  I used to fall victim to this One More Thing thinking, and then the kids and I would feel rushed or stressed.
So, take it from me – No, you don’t have time for one more thing.  Cut and Run.


Know the difference between Needs and Wants.

We need to bathe and eat and wear clothes and brush our teeth.  That’s about it for the Needs. The rest of our morning efforts are more likely Wants than Needs.  Take care of needs first, and then start taking care of wants, if time allows


Invest in duplicates.

Buy extra socks.  Or umbrellas, go-mugs,  phone charger or earphones.  Buy extras of that thing that you or your kids or co-workers always seem to have to run back in the house to retrieve before you can leave (for us, it seems to be the last minute search for the correct black socks.)

With focus, clarity of purpose, and some clever time management skills, you can be on time, and find an extra few minutes in your busy mornings!
To:

Receive more ideas and suggestions like these;
Book time with me in person or virtually;
Arrange a presentation for your upcoming event; or
Discover the benefits of Organizational Coaching;

Please contact me.

Call / text 708.790.1940
Online at  http://peaceofmindpo.com
www.Facebook.com/MColleenKlimczakCPO
Via Twitter, @ColleenCPO

“…Except For the People You Meet and The Books You Read.”  Summer Project #3

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”  

– Charles “Tremendous” Jones, author and motivational speaker.

 

 Last month, I re-read Marie Kondo’s bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” for a

003presentation at a local library.

 

According to Kondo, the purpose of a book is to impart information.  Once the book is read, it has done its job and fulfilled its purpose.  Therefore, there are a handful of paths every book in your house may take:
  • You keep it because you are reading it now;
  • You keep it to refer back to it again;
  • You keep it because you love it (Kondo’s “Hall of Fame”); or
  • You pass it on so that it can impart its knowledge to someone else.

I love these very simple decision-making choices!   These criteria fit into my typical advice to keep things only if you need / use  / love them (Barbara Hemphill).This week, let’s tackle those book cases!

Tackle the Books a room at a time (or a family member at a time).

     Marie Kondo would suggest bringing every book in the house into one room, piling them on the floor and handling each and every one of them.  I do not agree with this suggestion!  Too messy and too overwhelming for most of us!
     Tackle the books a room (or even a shelf or case) at a time.  This makes much less of a mess, and keeps the project a manageable size.

    Today, I quickly reviewed my tween’s bookcase for any books he has grown out of or doesn’t like anymore.  I also reviewed my own book case, and will ask the teens to review theirs this week, too.

Now is Not the Time To Read.

     Review the books but do not open them! (Per Kondo, and me!)  It’s so easy to get pulled into an old favorite, so do not open the books!  Stay the course, keep your focus, and make your decisions!

Find a Motivator.

There are lots of reasons to move your books along, from your bookshelf to someone else’s.  If you’re looking for motivation, here are a few destinations for books you would like to purge:001
  • Your local public library.  Our Evergreen Park Public Library has a book sale every August, so we have the habit of going through our bookshelves every summer for books to donate.  I spoke last month at the Oak Lawn Public Library, and they always have a sale table, to keep books moving along and to help fund library programs.
  • Little Free Libraries, http://littlefreelibrary.org/  .  Love these!  A few friends have them in their front yards (pictures included), and they are a great place to pick up or leave a book, to move the info around!
  • Leave your book in a public place, after labeling it as a BookCrossing book, to be picked up and shared, check out http://www.bookcrossing.com/ .
  • Contact local retirement or nursing homes, to stock their resident libraries
  • Half-Price Books, www.hpb.com.  You may not make lots of $$, but you may make some!
  • Check out Stick Figure Books, if you have a large collection to part with,  http://www.stickfigurebooks.com/shop/stickfigure/index.html  .
  • If you’re in my neighborhood, check out Bookies,  to buy or sell used books (summer reading lists, anyone?!)  https://www.facebook.com/bookieschicago/  .

Know Your Self and Your Reading Habits.
     As I review my bookshelves this morning, I was extra ruthless with my purging, as I reminded myself that:
  • I have a kindle app on my IPad, so I buy new books in digital form;
  • If I’m traveling, I only bring my Ipad and not physical books;
  • I can check out e-book copies of new and old books from library, also to be read on my Ipad app.

“Should” is not a reason to read a book.
    Kondo tells us that half-read (for a long time)  books are telling us something.  Sometimes, that something is that you don’t want to read that book.
     Over the years, I have read lots of books on the suggestions of others.  And I have loved some of those books.  And I have really disliked some of them, too.

     Today, I am giving you permission:  Unless it’s for school or professional purposes,  You do not have to read a book just because someone gave it to you or told you that you Should read it.

Review your books this week.  Choose the books to keep, and let the others move on to impart their wisdom to others!

15 Minutes and $30. Chrome Shelves – 5 Solutions!

Chrome storage shelf unit, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways!  Chrome storage / shelf units are:

  • Sturdy (we’re talking – able to hold hundreds of pounds);1170bb44-bd15-4b8a-a37f-a79d6fc1b4dd_400
  • Aesthetically pleasing (they look nice);
  • Water and weather proof (ideal for garage and outdoor use);
  • Good for ventilation, with the open spacing;
  • Easily dis-assembled and re-assembled, if necessary, for ease in moving from home to home; and
  • Adjustable and flexible, coming in a wide range of sizes with feet that can be adjusted for uneven floors (like my sloping laundry room floor) or wheels to be added.

Over the years, I have assembled dozens of shelving units like these for clients and myself.  These sets are inexpensive, utilitarian and attractive, and can be set up in no time at all.

What organizational challenges or underutilized spaces could use a Chrome Shelving cure?

My personal favorite, a storage unit as a printer stand on the counter extension next to my desk (30″ H x 24″ W).

030

Here, we use the shelves to hold luggage and extra bedding in a summer cottage bedroom
(30″ H x 36″ W).

004

The shelves are great for adding storage to awkward areas, like the small space between my wash tub and wall in my laundry room, or shown here as storage in an empty corner of a bathroom in need of a linen closet  (30″ H x 36″ W).

008

Ok, so these larger shelves cost more than $29.99 + tax, but they still were a snap to assemble, and a really great storage solution.  These two photos are taken of 6′ tall chrome shelving units, with the optional wheels added so we can maneuver the units.  One of my clients has 4 of these 6′ x 4′ units on wheels in her garage, and we can move them around based on need and convenience.  The photo on the left shows area rug and off-season houseware storage.  The photo on the right shows my own garage, with the shelves waiting for donation and recycling items that come and go from my clients.

035                             001

So, what organizational challenge can you solve with this simple solution this week?  Give it a try!

A Monster Standing Between Me and My Coffee.

Some mornings, I am greeted with a terrifying sight.
 

coffeeYou see, sometimes we (and I include myself in this “we”) will snack / cook / make popcorn in an evening, and not clean up the kitchen before going to bed.  The next morning, I head to the kitchen only to find a big mess between me and my first cup of coffee.

Ahhhhh!!!

On a recent weekday morning, I spent 10 minutes setting my kitchen back to rights after some last night snacking.  As I went through the usual list of tasks, I realized I could share this organized process!  Especially considering that this phenomenon may happen other times of the day, too, like when I rush home from a client to get dinner started before a busy evening only to find stuff on EVERY COUNTER and no room to cook.
 

(I just read a Real Simple article over the weekend, that likened this trashed kitchen phenomenon to “the refrigerator exploding”, or “the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo”.  It was a great article, click here to read the whole thing: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/how-to-live-with-messy-person)
So here is what you need to clean up your kitchen in a flash!
  • A system;
  • An empty dishwasher;
  • A dish pan (to corral your dirty dishes);
  • A sink dish drain (no counter clutter!); and
  • cleaning spray and a paper towel or cleaning cloth.
dish pandish drainmicrofiber clothspray bottles
 
Here is the system
  • Pick a counter to start, and move around the room:
  • (30 seconds) Start with the easy: toss the trash, close the cabinets, put away the toaster or popcorn maker (for example);
  • (30 seconds) Put away food (we’re good about putting perishable stuff away right away);
  • (60 seconds) Load the dishes into the dish pan, and wipe down the counters with the cleaning spray;
  • (2 minutes) Empty the in-sink dish drain and put away the dishes;
  • (2 minutes) Empty the dishwasher if it’s clean;
  • (60 seconds) Load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher; and
  • (Optional – 60 more seconds) Run the garbage disposal, and then fill a dishpan full of hot soapy water and set any pans and non-dishwasherable items to soak.

Now, your kitchen is cleaned, or at least clean enough to start that first cup of coffee, assemble breakfast and pack lunches, or get dinner on the table!

6 Organizing Steps To Take This Week for Spring!

It is indeed SPRING, despite the indecisive April weather here in Chicago!  Or so say the calendar and longer day light hours.  And we may be getting the itch to clean up and clear up for Spring!

Open the windows (or at least the blinds), let in some sunlight and fresh air, and energize you and your home this week with these 6 steps:

 

1.  Start with the EASY.  Look around your house for items you have already decided to purge or pass along, and send those items on their way.
  • drop off bags of charitable donations;
  • drop off your EWaste at your local drop-box;
  • take out all the trash and recycling;
  • do the laundry and put it all away;
  • drop off your dry cleaning (the heavy coats and bedding) to your favorite cleaners.

2.  Get a car wash, and splurge for the interior wash, too.  Nothing perks up our outlook for Spring like a clean car, inside and out.

3. Make and Prioritize Your Spring Project List:  Grab your clipboard, and walk around your home and yard.  Note all the projects or areas of concern, and also all the areas that you love just the way they are.

4.  Plan a Taking-Care-of-Business Saturday, even if its just the morning or afternoon, to tackle the big projects or the ones that require assistance (heavy lifting or group decision making).  Personally, Earth Day is a Saturday, and is looking promising…

5.  I always encourage de-cluttering, but this week, I Challenge you to de-furnish (which is de-cluttering on a big scale)!  Non-functional furniture?  Too many of any one type of items (usually small chairs and tables, I’ve noticed!)? Small kitschy items that block the flow of traffic and energy? Yup, all of these can / should go away.

6.  Create accountability around getting your projects moving. Make your appointments: Call and reserve the dumpster or the carpet cleaner, or plan a party!  Often, a deadline can motivate us!  One of my spring organizing projects is our furnace room, and we always have the HVAC fella out in April to check over the furnace and air conditioner.  If I book the appointment, I am sure to get the furnace room cleaned out before he gets here!

Try one (or all!) of these steps and lighten up, freshen up and re-energize this week to get organized for Spring!