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Here is the article, which I plan to implement right away... because it is one of my goals in 2009 to completely declutter our house.
webster’s dictionary describes a haven as: a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions.
is your bedroom a place of favorable opportunities? is it a place of refuge for you? chances are, if your room looks anything like mine has in the past there are dirty clothes sandwiched in between dog bones, and star wars characters buried in corners of the carpet you didn’t know existed. why not make your room… your haven?
Simple as one, two, three – right? No. But, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. This is a project that will most likely take you hours, and I mean hours. The payoff though, is a tidy, comfy, organized bedroom that takes just moments a day to keep up. The ‘Declutter, Clean, Organize’ technique will be your best friend during this project. Live it, breathe it.
Before you begin, do a quick sweep of the visible clutter that may be in your room. Make your bed, put things away. Take only 5 minutes to do this.
clothing & other
First, be sure all of your laundry is caught up, folded and put away – we are decluttering. Clear off your bed to make room for the three piles you will create: toss, donate, & keep.
start small and work your way up. yes, that means socks and panties. go through each one, work your way to PJs, tops, jeans, dresses, everything. this even includes accessories, scarves, and gasp, shoes. uh huh, i said shoes.
the following questions you will now ask yourself:
- is it stained, does it have holes or a missing match?
If the answer is yes, put it in the toss pile.
- does it fit?
If the answer is no, put it in the donate pile.
- have you worn it in the last 6 months?
If the answer is no (and not a seasonal item), put it in the donate pile.
everything else that is left stays on your bed while you move onto the cleaning phase. now, take a clean cloth and wipe down your drawers or shelves, wherever your clothing lives. if there is any garbage, throw it out. your clothing is important to you, don’t let it live in a dusty, dirty environment. be sure to take appropriate action with your toss and donate piles.
now organize. begin by neatly folding your clothes that live in drawers. match up your socks and keep them together. i like to organize my hanging clothes by color and style. tanks go first, whites to darks. next come short-sleeved tops, and long-sleeved ones… keeping with the color scheme. makes it quite easy to find what i am looking for when the clock is moving faster than i’d like. when you pull a top off of the hanger to wear it, put the hanger to the far left. you will slowly gather a little family of hangers in that one section, as to not have this massive mess of twisted hangers. your closet will breathe freely and you will feel much less overwhelmed when you are browsing through it.
chances are you are a housewife, or perhaps you are in school - you are bound to have paperwork somewhere in your room. Gather it all and either sit on your floor, or on your bed. Get ready to make piles again, this time you will be making four: to-be-filed, to-be-dealt-with, recycling, and unsure.
Declutter by immediately recycling the garbage pieces to that pile. If you are unsure about an item, put it in the unsure pile. You are now ready to organize and clean. Be very picky. Determine which papers need to be filed (pay stubs, health paperwork, etc) and which need to be dealt with (consent form to sign for your son’s field trip, projects to be done, bills to pay, etc). Be sure you deal with those papers. Take them to the appropriate people and places. Do not leave any paper untouched. Take your unsure pile to someone who can help you better deal with its contents.
This includes but is not limited to the following: items that do not belong to you, memorabilia from events, your daughter’s most recent art, and your beloved things (books, journals, trinkets, etc).
Declutter by pulling everything out into the open. You should have by now put your clothing and paperwork items all away, so you should have a clear space to work with. The amount of piles will be determined by you. Work through everything. If it is something that does not belong to you – put it by your backpack to take to that person tomorrow. Start to organize and clean by putting your items in their appropriate places. Again, be picky. Toss or donate those things which have no use or you do not believe to be beautiful or hold a special memory. Once you have put everything away, tossed the garbage piles, and returned borrowed items you can now focus on giving your space a good ole fashioned cleaning. Dust, vacuum, scrub. Make it shine, light a yummy candle and turn on some pandora.
keepin’ it up
Now you have a clean and comfy environment. Be sure all your hard work was worth it by not allowing things to pile up. Set a timer for 10 minutes each evening and see how much you can get done in your immediate environment. Recycle papers you don’t need, file ones that are important, hang your clothes up and keep your haven as peaceful as it deserves to be.
I promise it will be so worth it.