Many coaching clients tell me that getting “stuff” organized is a primary goal in times of transition, such as moving to a new home/city, preparing for tax season or getting ready for guests.
When our physical space is disorganized, it can create emotional chaos in our minds and bodies. I tend to keep my home and office very tidy because it helps me stay centered and energized. Oftentimes, when clients come to my office, they comment on how neat and peaceful the space is and notice themselves relaxing on the spot. Our external environment can trigger either positive/calming feelings or negative/stressful feelings.
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Make a list and prioritize your plan to organize your stuff and your space.
- Review the list on a daily & weekly basis to note your progress and re-prioritize as needed.
- Be ruthless when purging your stuff
- Toss old undergarments and use old T-shirts as dust cloths
- When you buy a new article of clothing, choose one article to purge/donate. In with the new, out with the old!
- Toss shoes and clothing have not worn in over a year and honestly don’t like anymore OR that do not fit. Most of us keep a few items for those “gained a few pounds” days, but holding on to an entire wardrobe in another size is a waste of physical and emotional space.
- Household items
- Go through your “wounded” utensils, cookware and dishes. When was the last time you used the cookie sheet that has one edge permanently curled up? Will it make a good oil drip pan in the garage or is it time to toss it? Does anyone ever use the glass with the chip in it? Do you still fondue?
- Organize your kitchen drawers and cabinets in a way that works for you. Keep it simple and consider putting a list of what goes where on the dishwasher or refrigerator as a guide for other family members, house cleaners, guests, etc.
- Linens & towels – how many sets do you use? Which ones look ready to go to the rag bin? Did you know that animal shelters and veterinary hospitals love to receive used blankets and towels for the animals?
- Remember the “Touch It Once” rule? Not easy to follow, is it? Have folders, labels, paper clips, stapler, sticky notes, pens, a trash can and shredder ready.
- Make labels for all the categories you can think of before sorting and make additional categories pop up. For example, do you want a folder for UTILITIES or three folders for GAS, ELECTRIC and WATER? Your choice. Just do it!
- Use a timer to give yourself a break when sorting papers and DO use a sticky note to mark where you are and what you were thinking before the break.
- Consider how you work best – will this be a marathon paper sorting event or a daily jog through one or two inches of paper?
- Too much to tackle alone? Enlist family members to help sort and shred under your supervision.
The key is to keep it simple and begin to let go of the excess surrounding you. This is a good reminder for students heading off to college. Take only what you really need and know that you will still probably take too much! ADHD coaches can help with both the planning and sorting/decision making process and if you need help onsite with organizing, contact a professional organizer at www.napo.net.