Everyone tells you that if you’re going to write, you should write about what you know.
Right now I'm pretty familiar with this girl because she is (very nearly) me.
(For starters she writes a weekly blog and can’t seem to get going on it.)
Like her, I’ve been slammed by work and life for the last several months and unfinished projects have piled up around me. I am buried in disorganized clutter and I can barely see the floor for the all the accumulated shhhhh-tuff.
And you think I exaggerate.
What finally sent me over the edge was having to bring home a boatload of items from the Street of Dreams that needed to be taken care of.
I can’t believe I’m showing you this, but here’s a peek at what my living room looks like this week:
You can just see a smidge of the leopard print carpet between the green plastic garbage bag and the buried ottoman. I'm at my wit's end. PRETTY. HORRIFIC.
In high contrast to my vast experience with a disorderly home, I also do a bit of professional organizing, so this week I’ve had to take myself on as a client in order to get something done around here.
You’re free to listen in as I remind myself of my Five Favorite De-cluttering Tips for The Overwhelmed.
Start with caffeine
Nothing gets done if you don’t make some kind of start. Doing even the smallest thing to get yourself going will make it easier to KEEP going.
And sometimes doing that smallest thing will not happen without coffee. Much coffee.
If you’re an expert procrastinator like me, you may want to invest in one of these to wear as you work.
It’s intended for beer or soda, but I’m sure it would hold a couple of venti nitro cold brews just as well. Get yours here!
Take baby steps
When I’ve got some huge task looming that I can’t wrap my head around, it helps to break it down into smaller chunks. So I’ll make a list of the steps I need to make, and even write down the number of minutes it will take to get that one baby step done. It’s easier to find 10 minutes to check something off your list than to find 10 hours to get the whole thing done.
(As a reward for getting stuff done, take a break and watch the movie What About Bob. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a therapist and author of a self-help book called Baby Steps. Bill Murray, his would-be client, drives him crazy as he tries to follow his advice. Hilarity ensues.)
Set a timer
You can do endure most anything for 15 minutes, right? Well that can include mucking out the guest room or organizing your tax receipts or some other horrid project you’ve been putting off - - you don’t want to start because you think it’s going to take hours to finish it.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and work like crazy until it goes off. Then just walk away. Close the door. You don’t have to work on it one minute longer. Until tomorrow when you set the timer again. But only for 15 minutes. Not so bad!
27 Fling Boogie
I love this one from the Fly Lady who is all about tips and tricks for extreme home organizing. Here’s what you do: boogie around the house with a large bag, find 27 things that you can get rid of, and fling them in the bag.
When you’re done, take the bag to the trash or to the thrift store to donate. Repeat weekly or as needed. Not only is it quick and easy, but it’s really fun to say.
“No, I can’t talk right now, I’m in the middle of a 27 Fling Boogie!” :-D
Throw a dinner party
When I’m having SERIOUS trouble getting motivated to clear the piles off the kitchen counter or paint the bathroom, I invite a few friends over. There’s nothing like the threat of company coming to help you see things with fresh eyes and actually get some important things done around the house!
That's it. My five favorite tips for de-cluttering. And hey, I don't just make this stuff up, I actually do all of these things myself.
In fact, when I'm finished here, I've got some baby steps to do in my living room. And probably a 27 Fling Boogie. On second thought, maybe I better have you over next week!
If you geek out over organizing stuff like I do, here's a few things you might find interesting:
The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to De-Cluttering
Becoming Minimalist - Creative Ways to De-Clutter
Pro Organizer Tips on What Not to Do When De-cluttering Your Home
David Allen's Getting Things Done Methodology