It’s Fall. That means it is almost Christmas – at least the department stores – the Walmart in Raleigh comes to mind – would have us think it’s almost Christmas. And what does THAT mean? A whole lot of new stuff that is going to need space in YOUR house. The only way to get geared up is to go ahead and start thinking about clearing out all that old stuff that you’ve got tucked into crevices and cracks around the house now. It happens to everyone. You hold on to something thinking that at some point, you’ll find a way to use that thingamabob. It sits there and sits there. One day, you’ll get around to it. I have NO doubt that if you look around your house a bit (in those cracks and crevices), you’ll find more than a few things that fall into this category.
So what are we going to do? We’re going to get organized! Getting rid of junk can be one of the most gratifying things you’ll do around your house. Unless, of course, you’re a hoarder. We’ll go with the idea that you’re not for now as that would REALLY complicate this whole thing.
So let’s start off with the basics. I use this particular rule whenever possible:
TOUCH IT ONCE
Period. Don’t move something to where you can get a better look at it later and then further sort it into other piles and then maybe into other piles. Once. People often put off the actual taking care of something and lull themselves into a very small feeling of having done something by piling things differently. Either don’t touch it, or just take care of it. Once. We do need to have just a little preliminary work though to make this viable. What you ask?
Find someplace for it to go
What goes along with this is having a place or destination FOR everything you touch. That requires just a bit of planning obviously. It is part of getting organized though. I’m a firm believer in at least starting off with one area that is organized for things that you will encounter. Start off with the kitchen for example. Go through the kitchen – and figure out what really SHOULD be going in that junk drawer from hell and what should really be going outside, or into a toolbox, etc. The little oddity cabinets. Places where you might put some the fun swirly straws. Not used every day, so you want to find a place that is slightly out of the main run, but someplace where you can get them when the need for a daiquiri hits. Get them there.
Really the technique that works best for me is to to really just look at what you use, and how often you use it. The more frequently used, the closer to you it needs to be. The less frequently used, the further away you need it to be. I go around and around with the girlfriend over this – she has a major lack of organization. Can REALLY get on my nerves at time. She was trying to save an old rug the other day. She declared that she hated the area rug (actually a pretty nice persian rug that I *did* like) and wanted to put it upstairs. We argued for 10 minutes with me on the “If you don’t like it, let’s just call Junk Doctors and get rid of it along with all the OTHER crap we have upstairs!” “But we might use it!”, she countered. If you’re reading this, once a woman makes up her mind that she doesn’t like something, it would NEVER be used. It would end up being a staple upstairs in the attic for a year or two or dragged with us should we move. At some point she would then finally agree that she would NEVER use it and THEN we could throw it out.
You can save a whole LOT of time on these things by just admitting and being honest about old furniture, junk you have piled up in the spare bedroom, clothes or old electronics that are squirreled away. Either drag them off to the recycler yourself, throw them in the trash if you can or just call a good junk removal company… The girlfriend will eventually get over it.