How Organized Is Your Home

Have you ever heard this phrase or perhaps you have said it yourself, “I really have to get organized, one of these days”. One of these days may never come. As with everything else in our lives our power is in this present moment. The ancient Chinese proverb, "A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind" rings true for many of us. It has been said that the majority of us lose at least one hour a day looking for the things we need and spend 20 percent of our annual budget buying things we need to replace things we lost.

According to experts, organizing is a very simple and learnable skill. Yet, according to the National Association for Professional Organizers (NAPO), only 25% of the population is organized. The rest of us struggle to some degree with disorganization and clutter in our home and work place.

If organizing is simple and learnable, what prevents us from being organized? It is helpful to ask ourselves, is the physical clutter in our home just that: physical? Or perhaps it is closely related to emotional and spiritual clutter; not being able to part with stuff, holding on to memories and relationships that don't work for us anymore, all prevent us from growing emotionally and spiritually.

The benefits of clearing the clutter, physical or emotional, and owning less are tremendous and rewarding. You definitely reduce the stress that clutter creates, gaining energy and clarity to be more creative and productive. Also, when we bring order into our lives, both our inner and outer reality change and stress and frustration are replaced with a sense of calmness and serenity, which is the cornerstone of every spiritual practice.

The biggest reward often comes from sharing and donating our things to charity or individuals who need and will use the things you don't use. Please, only donate items that are suitable and in good repair. There are many great charities in Metro Vancouver. Cinderella Projects help lower-income students with clothes and accessories to look their best on graduation day. 

There are hundreds of ways to organize your space. The one that everybody finds helpful is to eliminate the clutter from your home or office. Schedule 30 minutes on your calendar to get you started. Choose a room that bothers you the most and one that is used often, your kitchen or bathroom. Set up three big boxes labeled: Donate, Sell and Fix. Every time you pick an item ask yourself which box the item belongs. Also ask: is it worth your time to have a garage sale? Is it worth fixing?

Some things just aren't worth fixing, take the time to break them down into their components and you can recycle them. Places like “Return It” now take all computer equipment free of charge and you don't have to break it down.

In order to organize your space, you have to focus on one corner of the room. Sort things you are going to keep, purge the things you don't want or need. Separate the sentimental items and take some time to reminisce with your family over the weekend. Ask your extended family if they would like to have some of the things that have meaning to you. Store your sentimental items in a beautiful treasure trunk or basket.

Organizing your home will take time and energy. It is very important to know your peak energy level. If you are an early bird and you have abundance of energy in the morning, schedule your sorting and purging for the morning. If you are a night owl do your organizing at night.

SCHEDULE THE TIME. Schedule a specific date and time, example Saturday at 11:00 -1:00, the area you want to tackle and write it down on your calendar to reinforce your commitment. There is power in the written word.

ESTABLISH GOALS. Your house is probably too big a job for one day, break it down into a few days or weeks. Perhaps you will choose your kitchen for your big goal. In Feng Shui the kitchen traditionally signifies health and prosperity. So keeping it spotless and free of clutter will impact your health and finances favourably.

Day 1: Organize two drawers in your kitchen. Donate the items in your kitchen you don't use or like.

Day 2: Buy some drawer dividers or use old Tupperware containers to store the things you need and use. Batteries, matches, candles, paper clips, pens etc. These are small things that need to be visible and contained. Have one consistent home for your possessions.

Day 3: Sort and purge your cups. Keep two cups per person in your family. If some of your favorite ones are chipped, you may want to create a mosaic step stone, tabletop or other work of art. That way you can keep your treasures, enjoy them and keep them out of the landfill.

THINK VERTICAL. If you lack horizontal space in your home, or office, think vertical. Consider installing shelves, pegboards and hooks. For your shelving unit, buy attractive containers, boxes or baskets to store books, videos, toys, documents. Label everything!

HIDDEN SPACES. Remember the space under your bed. Buy long plastic containers that fit under your bed creating an ideal place to store extra bedding, out of season clothes, shoes, books etc. To create more space under your bed, buy bed lifters. Before you go shopping, measure the length, width and height, then measure again in the store – remember to take a measuring tape.

MOTIVATE YOURSELF. Many people need somebody to work with, to motivate them or give them the encouragement they need. Upbeat music works well for many people and taking before and after pictures as you organize each room is helpful and inspiring. Organizing is about making decisions on your possessions and taking control of your life.

Limit distractions by children, pets, telephone, or TV, especially if you are paying somebody to organize your home. Hire a babysitter or ask grandma to take the kids for a few hours. Once you organize one room and see dramatic results, you will be motivated to continue organizing your entire house.

Keep a donation box handy for day to day purging. When you come across items you do not use or like, put them in the box. When the box is full donate it to your favorite charity. You will feel great helping somebody in need.

I wish you the best of luck keeping your home organized and clean.

About Ranka Burzan:
Ranka Burzan is the owner of Solutions Organizing & Staging, professional organizing company and the author of Helpful Hints to Organize and Clean your Home, Your Junk or Your Life, 10 Tips to Organize your Child, Praise Helps to Get Children Organized, Replace Nagging with Guidance to Cut Clutter, Liberate Your Garage, Clear Your Home, Clear Your Mind and a recent published book Kick the Clutter, Get Organized,

Ranka can provide you with a fun and informative interview to help your readers kick the clutter, and get organized. For more information visit her web site

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ShannonH, posted on November 25, 2010

I really like this article, its very insightful and is just what I needed to hear. Its like an internal clease, things might look great from the outside but is all gunked up inside. I will definatly take this advice!

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