Often we put off organizing because we aren't really sure where to begin and how to go about it. I have found that the best method to organizing any room, shelf, closet, or living space is to first, PURGE, second, SORT, and third, FIND A HOME. This approach is effective and thorough, allowing the greatest satisfaction, especially for the most difficult rooms and spaces to organize. 

PURGING. Select a space or room in your home that you want to organize. Remove everything from that space. If you are purging a shelf or closet, you can place the items on a table, bed, or couch in the same room. If you are purging a room, use boxes to place things in. 

SORTING. If you are organizing an entire room, you should sort as you purge since you will be placing items in boxes and won't necessarily want to sort every box again. Label each box with category titles of things you will be placing in them. For instance, if you are organizing your bedroom and you are purging several things that really belong in the kitchen, then label one of the boxes, KITCHEN. Other labels may include, BOOKS, MEDICINE CABINET, ELECTRONICS, MOVIES, and CHILDREN'S ROOMS. As you purge the items, you will see what categories exist. If you are organizing a smaller space like a shelf, closet, or night stand, sort the items you purged from that area and place them in categories. For instance, if you are sorting a night stand, after purging, you may discover extra books, numerous paperclips and pens, plates or cups from mid-night snacks, movies, a lamp, cell phone, lotion, cough medicine and cough drops from the last cold you endured, and other miscellaneous items. Place each item in categories such as the plates and cups under KITCHEN, cold medicine and cough drops under MEDICINE, paperclips and pens in OFFICE SUPPLY and so forth. You can write the categories on sticky notes and place the labels with the correlating items. 

FINDING A HOME. Once you have removed everything and sorted all the items, evaluate the space you are organizing and determine what exactly you want to go back into that area. Only put back what is pleasing and efficient for that space and what you really use. Avoid the temptation of putting something back in that space just because you aren't sure where else it belongs. Once you have placed the selected items from your sorting pile into the space you are organizing, then it's time to find a home for everything else. Some things may be easy to put away, like the kitchen items; simply place those things in the kitchen. But some items will have to take some thought. If you can't think of a place to put something and you don't really use that item (you only find excuses of why you might use it), then perhaps it is time to say good-bye and let that item go. If all else fails and you can't find a home or the heart to let things go, place the items without a home in a storage box or tote and label it: THINGS WITHOUT A HOME. Place the storage box on a shelf in the basement or garage where it is easy to find if you decide to look for it. 

Hopefully, as you go through the process of organizing, you can take the courage to let go of a few things and donate them to a second-hand store. As you add space to your home by eliminating things, you will find more room for the people and things you truly enjoy. Organizing your home will help to strengthen your relationships, re-align your inner goals and desires, and allow peace and energy to flow more abundantly.

Clutter has power and can have an adverse affect on us. Often times we don't realize how clutter impacts our lives because it is inanimate. By learning some of the elements that make up the seemingly innocent stature of our material things, we can overpower clutter's gripping clutch and possibly free ourselves from its bondage.

Clutter can decrease our energy and confidence. Every thing we own is attached to a memory and information about that item. It can drain us, especially if it becomes immoderate. We may find ourselves constantly moving things around from place to place trying to make it all fit and still have an organized home. The environment we create about us will bring a sense of burden and depression if our houses are not in order because it often reflects how we see ourselves. We will not feel successful because amidst the mess we will believe that we are incapable of accomplishing great things because we cannot clean up after ourselves.When we create order, we feel a sense of energy emanate from the spaces we clean, as well as a sense of accomplishment and affirmation in our ability to be productive and successful. We see the proof of it within our home, and it builds our self-esteem.

Clutter can deplete our resources. Money takes a big hit when it comes to being disorganized. If you can't find something, it's as if you don't have it. So, you buy a new one... over and over again because you keep losing it. It's amazing how many hammers, pairs of scissors, bottles of ketchup (yes, refrigerators can become tragically cluttered), cleaning supplies, and nail clippers people own because they can't find them when they need them and so they purchase new ones. If you run a business from your home and you are disorganized in your bookkeeping, it can affect you financially, especially if you lose an invoice, a customer order, or a money check in your piles of clutter. Time is also squandered in disorder. Think of what you could do with the time you save when you don't have to search for things you have lost, or take time managing your clutter.

Clutter can make you sick. Personally, I am allergic to dust. I am not sure that anyone is entirely immune from respiratory ailments due to dust, mold, dirt and animal hair even if they don't suffer from allergies. It is amazing how dust can build up after only one year. Imagine what can happen in two years, five years, or ten years. I have organized homes that had areas that were untouched for more than thirty years. The dust from the damp basements made me sick and I often ended up getting bronchitis. If we have so much stuff that we can't maintain it all, the dirt and dust that naturally accumulates on our things over time can make us ill.

Clutter can create anxiety. Anxiety is a common ailment among my clients. Excessive clutter causes them to feel overwhelmed and unfocused. They are not able to find refuge in their home from the stresses that daily living brings. De-cluttering and organizing homes helps reduce anxiety, increases energy and happiness, and creates an ambiance where peace and inspiration can reside.

Organizing your home is self empowering. Having control over your things, your spaces, and your time allows you to have control over your life. As you reap the rewards of eliminating clutter, you will discover new energy and inspiration to flow abundantly in your home. All in all, organizing your home can bless you in endless ways.

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The Power of Clutter   9/23/17

​(from Clutter & the Second Law of Thermodynamics by Sherry Allred​)

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