Originally published May 5 2008
Have a Spring Fling: Clean, De-Clutter and Organize Your Space
by Lana Redle
(NaturalNews) It's that time of year. The time when everyone gets the urge to clean out the closets, sweep the floors, wash the windows, de-clutter the drawers and organize the garage. When the days get warm and the sun starts shining on a consistent basis, something in the make-up of humanity typically calls for order. The warm, spring sunlight starts creeping in the windows and we can suddenly see all of the dust motes staked out in the corners and under the couch. The piles of clutter in our living spaces cause irritation that is magnified and instantly we long to become organizational gurus.
It's time for spring cleaning and organizing.
This is the time of the year to clear out the old and to make room for the new. When gearing up for this process there are some key concepts to implement that will make our organizational process retainable and maintainable. Three basic myths about getting organized are 1) Some people are born organized, 2) Getting organized is a huge chore, and 3) It's impossible to stay organized. There are some simple techniques to help us get our stuff in order and to keep it that way.
According to organizational expert Julie Morgenstern, a generic organizational system is not going to be as effective as one that is based on an individual's personality. Many people are intimidated simply by the thought of attacking their clutter. A key concept to overcoming our habits is to first identify the root and the cause of the problem. A great place to start when analyzing how we want to fix and overcome the problem of clutter is to examine the cause for the disorganization in our space. Identifying daily habits or activities that keep us from being and staying organized will lead us one step closer to solving the problem. Once the problem has been identified then we can sit down and define a strategy for fixing it.
While thinking about what the possible reasons may be for our disorganization we can also pinpoint external and internal factors that contribute to the problem. External factors may be as simple as having more stuff than storage, inconvenient storage, or simply not enough room to hold the things we have. Internal factors can also be identified as personal reasons and may go a bit deeper than the external factors. Personal factors may be as simple as being too busy or lacking cooperation for the clean-up and organizational process. However, when dealing with internal factors, more psychological reasons for disorganization tend to be identified. Internal factors typically consist of issues such as: depression era based need for abundance, a need for chaos based off of childhood crisis responses, unclear goals or multiple priorities, a fear of success or failure, a need to retreat using clutter as a barrier, a fear of loss of creativity, covering up or distracting from personal issues, sentimental attachment, and perfectionist tendencies yet lack of time.
We can begin getting organized by asking ourselves questions such as: What is working? What isn't working? What do I want to organize? What is holding me back? What is my organizational goal?
The next step is to strategize by creating function zones. This can be done by identifying rooms and common areas and defining what purpose they will serve. Once function zones have been created, then our strategy can be implemented.
A great concept for strategizing is the concept of SPACE.
SPACE is an acronym that stands for Sort, Purge, Assign a home, Containerize and Equalize. Sorting is as simple as categorizing items that are similar. Take one room at a time and commit 15 to 30 minutes a day to sorting. Once the sorting for that location is finished, proceed on to the cycle of purging. Throw away items that are trash, give away what can be given, organize what needs to be kept on hand and create a storage location for the rest. Next, assign a home for the things that need to be kept or stored. Once a home has been assigned for those items that are keepers, the next step is to containerize. Many of the items that can be used for this process are: wicker baskets, shelving, plastic storage bins of all shapes and sizes, file cabinets, and sorters. Last but not least, equalize the organizational process. Keep up with and maintain the changes that have been made by continually assessing what is working or what isn't working. This can be done in as little time as 15 to 30 minutes a day. Mail is a huge irritant so throw away or shred junk mail as soon as it comes in the door. It is a simple process to sort through one's mail while walking through the house.
It's time for a spring fling, so get with it and fling off all the things, material and immaterial, that may contribute to chaos in your living or working environment. Turn on your favorite show or crank up the music, open the windows and let the fresh spring air in, put a little groove in your move and have a cleaning good time. Taking control of our environment and having ownership over the flow of things in our living and work space creates a level of contentment and satisfaction that only comes from implementing order. Working space will become efficient and home will be worth going home to, with friends more than welcome to visit. The process is worth the time and effort and the reward is simply that feeling of accomplishment that comes from a worthwhile task well done. Happy spring cleaning and organizing.
Morgenstern, J. (1998). Organizing from the Inside Out. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Morgenstern, J. (2000). Time Management from the Inside Out. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Walsh, P. (2004). How to Organize (Just About) Everything: More Than 500 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Organizing Your Closets to Planning a Wedding to Creating a Flawless Filing System. New York, NY: Free Press.
Morgenstern: Never Check E-mail in the Morning (office)
Walsh: Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?
About the authorLana Redle has a B.S.Business Administration and is currently working on her MLS. She is a part-time instructor at a midwest community college, where she is also the Assistant to the Director of a thriving student services program. Faith, People, Cultures, Music, Travel, Shopping, Cheesecake, Reading, and Politics are her interests. When things get crazy, Lana enjoys taking roadtrips to get away from it all.
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