Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Daily Household Clutter: 4 Secrets to Take Control (May Newsletter)

It's a familiar story. Our days are often filled with busyness. There are appointments to get to, places to take the kids, phone calls and emails to return, volunteer responsibilities to fulfill, job duties to stay on top of, shopping to do, and the list goes on. Many Moms ask me, "How am I supposed to find time to tackle the everyday clutter that seems takes over my home in just a blink of an eye?" You can do it.

Here are my four secrets to taking control of the clutter in your home. For more Works for Me Wednesday tips and ideas visit We Are THAT Family.
  1. Stop and breathe. You can only do one thing at a time. Remember, your job is never done. There will always be something you have to do. However, you can prioritize. Ask yourself, "What needs to be done now?" and focus on that one task.
  2. Be aware of the to-do list trap. To-do lists don't make us productive. What they are great for is to help us remember what it is we want to do. But, you also have to consider when you're going to do a task and how long it will take. If you are just adding items to your list in hopes that everything will find a way to get done, you might be setting yourself up for failure.
  3. Do a quick sweep. Go through each room, one at a time, with a basket or box. Collect those items that do not belong in that room. Deliver the items back to their homes. Get the family involved by having each member put their own belongings away.
  4. Work in follow-up time into your daily routine. Follow-up is the fifth step of my organizing process, the STUFF System™ (Sort, Take Out, Utilize a System, Fill Containers and Follow Up). When you get a space organized, it will always require follow-up. The more you use a space, the more maintenance it will demand. The time that you invest daily in your follow-up is nothing compared to the time you will regain.

You might also have to consider cutting one or two items out of your calendar. If you are feeling overwhelmed and supper busy, that's a clue that something has to go. Remember, one thing at a time. Clutter is something that takes its claim on a space quickly, but you can take back control and stay on top of it.

P.S. The kitchen counter is often the biggest clutter spot in most homes. If you are ready to get rid of those piles of paper once and for all, I can help. I have developed my successful Virtual Paper Organizing Workshop for Busy Moms and have set the date for the next class. Can't wait until September? I will do private classes for you and 5 of your friends. Just contact me for more information.


Hadley said...

i needed to read this this morning. i am in overwhelmed mode. i can't seem to keep clutter from taking over.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

This was so timely for me. My house clutter is creeping up on me and I feel very overwhelmed.


Heather Happymaker said...

I love what you had to say about to do lists. I never thought about it that way. Nice to get it down on paper and out of the head, but it can make us feel like failures if we don't tackle every item on the list.

By the way, love your new pic!

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