THREE tips for task-oriented organization.
I promise it will change your life.
January is the universally recognized month of organization. We spend the fall months nesting, adding stuff and more stuff to our living spaces in an effort to celebrate the changing season and make our homes more “festive” for the Holidays. From Halloween to Christmas, the stores are jam packed full of stuff to buy, buy, buy!
So. Much. Stuff!
Once the second week of January hits, there's a collective frenzy to purge and/or buy stuff to stuff the stuff. Read any given blog or home magazine and it seems everyone has a different method of "organizing"! My husband (for example) is the Tetris King. He can pack stuff in boxes and make use of every single possible square inch. Never mind that I’ll never know what is inside those boxes because I can’t get to it, and I have no idea what combination of things are inside--assuming I could lift that heavy box down off the top shelf! Argh!! Opening a box he has packed is like Christmas all over again, “Oh! Wow! I forgot we had THAT!” I’m a task-oriented organizer. All wrapping supplies go in a box, paper, ribbon, tags, scissors, tape; everything needed to sit down and do the dreaded present wrapping deed.
The best way to organize is the way that you can maintain.
Years ago, I read a life changing book about being a home-maker. This was one of the best books I've ever read, it was my lifestyle bible. You can find it HERE on Amazon (no, I this isn't a paid affiliate link).
Remember kiddos, there was a time before HGTV and Martha Stewart. We were pretty much left to do things the way our mother's did them or fend for ourselves! This was an early 1980's book about how to be more efficient and plan ahead. It took home management to a degree of planning that I never learned in Home Economics, sorry Miss Weinrich. So, let's forget sorting and purging for a moment. It doesn’t solve anything to start tossing stuff only to realize you need it again in six months! That’s not thrifty! Slow down…let’s think this through.
WHERE DO I USE THIS?
"First point of use storage" This is the key to sanity! Having what you need, where you need it, solves daily irritants, trust me on this one. My mom had a cleaning closet with all the cleansers, rags and tools kept in one spot, above the washing machine. When it came time to clean the bathroom, I had to grab a step ladder, get my supplies and typically run back and forth between my bathroom and the closet because I inevitably forgot something. Cleaning was an event. Ugh! A chore!
After reading Confessions, I changed the way I did things. I Learned to keep a spray bottle of cleanser and a roll of paper towels under the sink. To this day, I spray everything down while I’m brushing my teeth, let it soak a minute and wipe from the top down to the floor. BOOM! Done daily with minimal effort and zero fanfare. How much time and aggravation would you save if you applied this tip to your home?
ITS OKAY TO HAVE MULTIPLES
I used to have a roll of paper towels stashed in every room, but I’m trying to be more environmentally conscious. Microfiber cloths are your friend and a great way to do a quick dusting, finger print blasting, or emergency spill. My friend has a huge house with a vacuum on every floor. That may seem an extravagance to some, but lugging a vacuum up and down stairs is a major pain! And possibly a safety hazard as we age?
IS THERE SOMETHING TO MAKE THE JOB EASIER?
My house is small, about 1500 square feet. I can vacuum most of my living space (one floor) in a single swoop. Vacuuming is a task I enjoy. Those tracks in the rug make me super excited and I adore my Dyson Big Ball Allergy Animal, (talk about a splurge!) I can reach almost everywhere, with the exception of about 10’. It dawned on me one day that if I bought an extension cord, I wouldn’t have the annoyance of a re-plug. Easy, problem solved!
So...slow down. Think about how YOU function. What are your daily annoyances