Friday, May 7, 2010

Happiness Project - Organizational Tips: Part 2

Continuation from Part 1...

So now that you have everything all dragged out and sorted into like piles it's time to do some de-cluttering. Clutter is seriously my number one enemy. I like "stuff" but "stuff" can get in the way and be extremely frustrating at times. That's why I always find myself reorganizing things and asking myself "Do we really use that anymore?" "Can we make more space by getting rid of this?".

The Happiness Project book goes into a deep explanation of the different types of clutter. It's truly something I've never thought of before and really it helped me see even more things I could get rid of. In fact, in all honesty, there's probably still some things in my closet that I really need to get rid of still...sometimes it's just hard. But oh so gratifying in the end right?

Types of Clutter

Nostalgic Clutter - Things that you hold onto solely for the memories it holds like old T-shirts, movie ticket stubs, memorabilia from trips.

Conservation Clutter - Things you keep that are useful, but not necessarily to you. For example - I have about 20 cozies and we probably only use 4 on a semi regular basis...say goodbye to the rest!

Bargain Clutter - Things you bought just because it was on sale at a great price. Don't fall for the sale should only buy things on sale that you would have bought at normal price. Example: Grocery coupons...seriously should you really buy two packages of Klondike bars to save $1 if you rarely eat them they are just taking up space.

Freebie Clutter - Stuff that family members or friends give you for free because they want to get rid of it and you think you might use it one day. Seriously - just say no unless you have an immediate need for it or a spot for it to put it to use.

Crutch Clutter - This is stuff you use, but truly shouldn't like makeup that you've had for several years. You know it's expired, but you continue to use it anyways (GUILTY!) Throw it out and replace it if you really love it!

Aspirational Clutter - This is stuff you have that you don't use, but want to one day. Like the 3 boxes of paint and two easels I have. I don't see me painting anytime in the near's probably time for it to go or at least get seriously narrowed down.

Buyers Remorse Clutter - Like that pair of nice pants that you bought, but have never worn because they just don't fit exactly right......Goodwill it!

I don't know about you, but that list definitely opened my eyes up to some pitfalls of my own. It's crazy how you can find ways to justify the "stuff".

Another tip is to make sure you make keeping things organized something easy to do. If there's not a system that works for the whole family, then things will never get put where they need to go. One very important thing I have found is to make sure you get an especially good system for the dump zones. For example...we have to have some kind of system near our back door. We both are guilty of throwing down our coats, shoes, and bags immediately when we walk in. If you have a place to put that stuff right at the door...problem solved! In fact that's the project we are taking on this weekend.

Focus on a paper system as well. Coupons, bills, paperwork all tends to pile up on kitchen tables and desks. It gets shoved around and things get lost. That's no good. Make an easy system, because as well all know junk just attracts more junk. Something that could have taken 30 seconds to clean up now takes 5 minutes because there are other things piling up around it too.

The best thing about organizing is that even though it might be a pain in the butt and rather a messy job at first, it really pays off. Good luck!

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