The weather is finally sunny and getting warmer by the day and the spring flowers are in full bloom so that must mean that it’s time for a little spring cleaning. I’m not referring to dusting, vacuuming and window washing but to eliminating the clutter in your NYC home or office.
This is the perfect time to implement a clutter management strategy and proven home organizing tips for tackling those piles of clothing, papers, magazines and the like which you carefully and purposely navigated around all winter. The stuff that is cluttering up your New York home or office is distracting and the thought of tackling the piles can be overwhelming. That aside, the benefits of getting your space back in order are many. To start with, your possessions will be more accessible and easier to find. You won’t waste lots of time looking for your last 3 month’s phone bill so you can address a billing issue or trying to find a lightweight sweater because the temperature is already 55 degrees when you are getting dressed for work.
In addition, by clearing away the clutter, you can maximize how your space is utilized which is especially important in smaller spaces. There will be room on your desk for the paperwork associated with your current daily tasks so if you need to put the paperwork aside to address an unexpected issue there is a place for it. And most important, you will be more productive so there will be plenty of time to be outdoors doing the things you want to do.
While decluttering is ultimately a positive experience, starting the process can be a challenge. Here are some tips to follow when starting your clutter management project so that you will be able to achieve the desired results.
1. Start small. Pick one small area of your home or office that needs to be decluttered and focus on it until the job is done.
2. Select the least cluttered area first. By tackling the best of the worst as your starting point, you will be able to finesse your strategy prior to taking on the more challenging (cluttered) spaces and you will also be able to see some progress early on in the process.
3. Set a time limit. As it has taken a few months for the piles to grow to their current height, it will take some time to get everything sorted and back in its appropriate home. Hence, scheduling 30-60 minute blocks of time on a regular basis at the beginning is a good idea. If you try to tackle too much at one time, you run the risk of getting frustrated and not completing the decluttering project.
4. Remove the unnecessary. As you sort through the piles to assess what has accumulated and determine what to keep it, it is time to make the tough decisions. This is the time to discard, donate or giveaway those items that you no longer need. The process will go faster if you establish guidelines regarding what will be kept for each category of possessions prior to sorting. For example, you might no longer need copies of bills paid on line once the payment has been made or all clothing that no longer fits is finally going to be given away.
5. A home for everything. If every item has a place, then it is easier to maintain your space. However, the area assigned to a given group of items, must be large enough for the collection and in a place that works for you. As you are re-assessing your storage areas, you may find that they need to be de-cluttered as well. Apply the same clutter management strategy as you would to an open area like your office or home.
In addition to dealing with physical stuff, it is also a good idea to review your systems and processes as they also tend to get bogged down in their own clutter. These are home organzing tips that I will be addressing in my next blog.