These 30 Days have been so busy. But I know that a busy 30 Days is also an effective 30 Days. I am pleased with the projects I’ve gotten done this month because what a difference it’s made in my home and time.
Here’s a little of what I’ve learned.
- First, get rid of the stuff. What an important lesson. I can’t organize clutter, say The Minimalists. And they’re right. Too much junk is too much, and I can sort and tidy and straighten it day after day, and it will still be too much junk. When I clean out, my house and my life is easier to organize. Everything seems to have a home, and space isn’t so tight.When I got rid of the stuff I gave myself room to think and breathe on top of all the physical space. I think clearer, I become more effective. Having a clean desk makes all the difference. I’m not getting rid of anything important, and even if it feels important now, it’s only stuff. I get to keep my memories, and love, and all the happiness that surrounds me.
- Some tools are required. Having things like folders or files or boxes or tubes to organize into makes life and organization easier at times. I realize this is a slippery slope, because I could easily start trying to box all my clutter. But knowing where and when to draw the line with the needless stuff is important. And knowing when to put something in a box in a drawer is important too.
- Organization takes time. I always start my 30 Days with the highest of expectations. I want to get everything done in my time frame, and I’m always certain that I will. I never do. I have so much more that needs organizing in my home and life. But I am comforted by a friend who e-mailed the other day about her own road to organize and de-clutter. She worked over a period of five years, but went through her entire home, “until,” she wrote, “I had gifted, donated, discarded, etc. whatever we hadn’t used in years or would probably never use in the future.” And she got donated 4,500 book to her local library! So I’m cutting myself some slack, and giving myself four years and eleven months more.
- It’s kind of addictive. I like the feeling that comes with less stuff and when all the stuff I do have in its place. It makes me want to maintain, makes me want to organize somewhere else that needs it. I find myself straightening the kids books on the shelf or lining up cans of soup in my pantry. A little out of organization is much more apparent and much more important to fix these days.
- Small steps matter big. The one-minute rule is so monumental. I’m getting things done simply, quickly, and it’s becoming habit. That’s what’s so amazing. By putting things away right when they need putting away, I’m able to stay on top of the work.
- Organization is an ongoing process. There will always be something else that needs organizing, so new project that needs to be done. And I might never be perfectly organized. But I can get closer to polished, and that’s always worth working toward. But more, if I work to stay organized (even without tackling big projects) then the big projects aren’t so big. This is where those one minutes really add up and make a difference. I am going to put clothes back in their places or put groceries where they belong so they don’t need adjusting in the future. That’s the process.
(And let me say Happy Halloween! I hope you have lots of treats and not quite so many tricks. And if you’re curious, Max is going to be Elmo and Julia will be Miss Piggy this morning at her school parade and a sweet white bunny tonight for Trick or Treat. Apparently she couldn’t decide. And that’s cool, especially since her double costumes were $5 total, which made the couponer in me so happy.)