So, you’ve identified your WHY. You have made the decision that you CAN and WILL do something about the state of the clutter in your home, and you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get busy.
One thing I personally appreciate about Joshua, is his methodical and thorough approach to dealing with clutter. Anything worth doing is worth doing well; this takes time. More than that, one has to embrace the frame of mind necessary to begin to make changes that will LAST. Weeks three and four of the Uncluttered Course had us doing just that.
‘Starting small’ for me was heading out to my red Ford Escape and doing a simple clean out. There are things like umbrellas and reusable shopping bags that I keep in my car.
We have a lidded storage compartment between the front seats in which I keep Kleenex, breath mints, a spare pair of readers for when I absentmindedly forget to wear my glasses and a few other things. A simple zip-lock bag organized these sundry items.
Week four we were to address our living space. Focus was given first to our bedroom.
Bedrooms are intended to be spaces for intimacy and rest, but for so many they are anything but restorative in a visual sense.
One of our biggest issues around clutter in our bedroom has to do with books. We both love books; we both enjoy reading. Reading in bed is luxurious; books tend to pile up on the bedside tables or on the bench at the end of our bed. It is something I need to accept. It will always need regular attention.
My dear husband has a habit of emptying his pockets at the end of his work day and stashing “stuff” on the top of his dresser. I figure it’s to be expected, so have simply placed an attractive basket on top of his dresser, so things have a place to land. When things are corralled (and contained), they are not so visually disturbing.
The upholstered bench at the end of our bed is another landing pad for various and sundry things. If I am in a hurry or tired it’s my ‘default’ place. It requires daily attention to free it of the clutter that can land there.
Standing in the middle of my bedroom, and slowly and methodically looking…really looking at my space, helped me to ascertain whether there were things that did not either aid in making the space restful and serene or lend themselves to my comfort and the intimacy I wish to foster.
Joshua recommends creating 3 piles with things you gather:
- Things that are out of place in the space
- Things to relocate within the home
- Things to remove
Then you deal with them – returning the first items to their proper designated space in the current room and the second pile to their rightful place in your home.
In dealing with the second pile, be mindful to observe patterns or habits that contribute to these getting out of place.
Lastly, sort the “things to remove” pile into 4 subcategories: donate, sell, recycle and throw away.
MOVING 'EM OUT!
Joshua’s next exhortation surprised me, and yet it shouldn’t have. He instructs, “Immediately deal with each of these piles in the appropriate way. Don’t let them sit any longer than necessary, because if you do, they’ll get scattered and turn back into the clutter you’re trying to escape.”
This resonated but also pressed. I don’t seem to have difficulty sorting and making the piles. Dealing with the removal right away so they are done away with, is MY growing edge. I've got to get them past the garage! OUCH! That is another story!
Interestingly enough, this is an approach that can be applied to each and every area of our home.
The Master Bedroom is looking pretty good right now. I have gone through the drawers of my bedside table, and the dresser, and purged.
AND MY 'NOT-SO-SMALL'
For me, a relentless frustration are the receipts that accumulate in my top dresser drawer!
It is imperative for me to keep good records of purchases for my business; however, I keep ALL my receipts. It means that systematically I must go through all of them, assign the business receipts with the appropriate VISA statement, etc. Once all the business costs are captured, most personal receipts are unimportant. I only keep personal receipts for clothing and shoes…things that I might need to return. This is the stuff of another story.