Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Yes, it Has a Home!

Open, rolling containers that can be stashed
out of sight are an easy access choice for
many of the styles and can be used for
this activity or for storage.
(This one is from The Container Store).
In my last post, I shared the concepts behind the STYLE acronym. By now you know that a positive outlook and confidence in your own abilities (Start with Successes) are necessary ingredients as you develop a plan based on your personal and organizational styles. And if you Take it Slow,  using simple strategies like Give it Five! and Don’t put it down, put it away! you'll see steady progress and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Which brings us to Y: Yes, it Has a Home.  

When it comes to getting organized, home is simply where an item belongs. Books have homes on bookshelves. Shoes may have a home on the floor of the closet. Pots and pans find homes in kitchen drawers, or hanging from racks over a kitchen island.

Very often, clutter develops because items lack homes. Consequently, things are left lying out (I need to see it or drop and run) or improperly stashed away (I know I put it somewhere, cram and jam), because we don't know where to put them. Sometimes, an overload of stuff (I love stuff) or a dearth of time (I love to be busy) compounds the problem.

Let's look a little more closely at our strategies from the last two weeks. Give it Five! is a clutter-clearing strategy. Don’t put it down, put it away! is a clutter prevention strategy. They can be used separately or together, as we will in this week's task, which focuses on building the skill of Don’t put it down, put it away!

A simple plastic bin or laundry
basket will work for this task,
but you can choose something
prettier if you wish.
(Basket above: Crate and Barrel)

To get started, find a medium-sized container that can be used as a clutter catcher. Set it on the floor of a closet or out of the way in a room where clutter prevails. 

Then for the next several days (or until the container is full, whichever you prefer), every time you're finished with something, follow this routine: 
  1. Look at the item in your hand.
  2. Ask yourself, “Does this item have a home?”
  3.  If it has a home, put it there.
  4.  If it does not have a home, drop it in the designated container.
That's it for now. Tomorrow, we'll talk about what to do at the end  of the trial period.

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