Summer is coming – that’s the good news! We want to enjoy the summer but with graduations, weddings and bbqs happening every weekend, things can get ahead of us because we don’t have the time but we also don’t want to use what little time we do have on decluttering, so things can pile up- that’s the bad news.
You know that pile of mail (oh that’s right you handled that in last month’s newsletter) maybe it’s the family room or the kitchen that is frustrating you. If your very busy, overscheduled life is causing you to tolerate clutter then it is likely that you are losing valuable time dealing with its effects. The following four steps can be done separately or in tiny pieces depending on the time you have available. It’s easy to crack the C.O.D.E. to an organized life.
Each letter in the word CODE stands for a step in the process. The “C” is for Collect. Collect what needs to be organized or de-cluttered into one space. If it’s video games, cooking utensils, magazines, or laundry it doesn’t matter, just pick one and collect it all. You can get the whole family involved by having each person pick a “thing” and collect it in a laundry basket or plastic bin.
The “O” is for Organize. Now organize the collection into sub categories by putting like items together. In the case of video games it might be by gaming platform, or separate kid’s games from teen games, or like and don’t like. With kitchen utensils it might be those you use often and those specialty items or the ones you use by the stove and those you use at the counter. As you do this with your category, you will notice what can be recycled or trashed, repurposed or removed to a different room. What is left is the important stuff – those things you love, use and/or need in your life.
Now “D” is for Decide. This is often the hardest step of all. Asking yourself questions like, “What do I do with this?” or “Where is the best place for this?” can be difficult. Having the important things close by and the not so important (but still necessary) things away from the every day items will give you more space for the things you use daily. Some things may already have a place but began to overflow into the surrounding area. Now that you have collected those items you can sort, toss or pare down to suit your needs.
Wherever you decide to put things be sure to “contain” them. Things have a tendency to expand to fill all available space and by containing them you can curtail that. Draw dividers, kitchen organizers, bins, baskets, empty jars, storage bags, use whatever fits your need, will contain that category, and keep it from spreading. Now decide where each category is going and deal with them.
Last in the four step process is “E” for Evaluate. After a week or so of using your new organization check the surrounding area to see if it is “contained” and evaluate if it is working for you. If not, then try something else. Keep trying until you find what works for you and your family. In order to maintain your organized home, be sure to evaluate each drawer, cabinet, closet or shelf periodically and use the C.O.D.E. to get it back under control. This is the key to staying organized – maintenance. It’ll also give you more time for summer fun. Enjoy!