Thursday, December 22, 2011
TMM: Week 2, Day 3: Cut the Clutter
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful"
-William Morris (p.72)
Note: Clutter NOT hoarding is what this post is about...If you cannot walk from one room to the next without tripping over old creepy discheveled one eye dolls or step into Fifi's poopoo...click here...
If on the other hand you are like me, and millions of other mamas whose microwaves are piled with bills, still have some of Jane Fonda's VHS tapes (the ones with the warm-ups where she would yell out: "FEEL THE BURN LADIES!") and are simply overwhelmed by papers, pictures and toys...Lots of toys...This post is for you!
"You probably don't have to worry about whether or not you have a roof over your head. But how you care for your home makes a huge difference in your life. It affects your health, your spirit, and your entire outlook. And when you surround yourself with clutter and mess, it eventually begins to invade your personal life. In order to maximize your abilities and reach your potential, you need to begin with a clean and clear state. And that starts in your home" (p.72).
"Clutter is toxic, It can zap your energy and your peace of mind in one fell swoop. So roll up those sleeves and let's get started" (p.72).
Try to reach the sugar in the cupboard and get hit with a sippy cup...The boys are now 4 and a half. Boys feel warm and seem to have a fever...Can't find the thermometer (But did find that mascara I was looking for!). Want to create a scrapbook...Can't find my bin. Looking for the "missing-sitter's-can't-believe-she-deleted-her-care.com-account resume's? Nada.
Believe me when I say it's not that I like the clutter....My problem is that I do get rid of it only to stumble on it again...And again.
The Clutter Questions
"Many of us are guilty are devoting too many of our precious resources to the care and keep of clutter. You can waste resources on useless things like clutter, or you can use them to reach your goals and the the best mom you can be. Before you let another day go by with stacks of papers on the counters and piles of clothes in your closets, ask yourself a few questions: Do you have the time for clutter? Do you have the money for clutter? Do you have the room for clutter? Do you have the energy for clutter? Do you have the attitude for clutter?" (p.74).
No time, no money, no room and no attitude for clutter. Clutter is like credit...The less mindful you are with it, the bigger it slaps you in the face. Ouch.
Plan of Attack
"If you need to de-clutter your house, then make sure you do it right. If you dive in head first without a clear plan of attack, you are probably going to be left with a bigger mess than the one you started with" (p.75).
Kinda like when you vow to follow the South Beach Diet's phase 1 but failed to get eggs, cheese and almonds. By noon you are vandalizing the kids advent calendar. Not that I would know.
Collect your Tools
"You will need four containers- one for trash, a second for donations, a third for "put away" items and a fourth for "I can't part with it yet"(p.75)
Select one project at a Time
" Don't just start grabbing at stuff. Select the one area you will work on, such as a closet or drawer and make sure you adequate time to complete it. I know distractions are inevitable, especially with little ones around, but try to zero in on your target and keep working until you are finished" (p.76).
Don't handle something more than Once
"This is a trick that works wonders...When you pick something up, put it in one of the containers with no rest stops in between" (p.76).
Put everything where it Belongs
"Put the items that belong somewhere in the house in their proper places. And if there are any items that you feel you just can't part with, box them up, label them, and stick it in your garage, attic or somewhere out of the way. Not put a note on the calendar four months from now from that date to go back to the items int he box. If you have been fine that long without them, you don't need them-try to make yourself sell them or give them away" (p.76).
"Give yourself a treat for a job well done...Eliminating clutter is hard work, and you should reward your efforts" (p.76).
Keep the Cycle Going
"Clutter in, clutter out...THis wil be your new mantra....Clutter is sneaky. It's mischievous.It will find ways to creep in without your consent" (p.76).
"So let the march continue. Let the clutter come in, and then march it right back out again...It's a clutter cycle. Just make sure you keep the cycle going" (p.77).
Week 2, Day 3: Daily exercises (p.77).
1. In your Journal, divide your home into zones. Try not to go over 6 zones or it will become too much to keep up with....Give yourself one zone a week in which to do some serious de-cluttering. Remind yourself by writing the zone on a calendar with a big number in each Monday, and post a little chart next to it that lists your zone. It may feel a bit regimented, but it is an easy plan that will help you make a lit of progress. After you finish all the zones, the cycle begins again.
2. Use today, tomorrow and the week-end to begin de-cluttering your first zone. And remember to reward yourself with something extra special.
3. Practice Action Skill#5: Build It in Blocks. When you begin tackling that first zone, practice some of the block party tips, such as the 10 minute Tidy, where you only de-clutter for 10 minutes and then take a break.
Posted by Elissa at 7:49 AM