I tried many methods across the years: GTD, Fly Lady, Pomodoro, ZTD, Kondo, etc. And I can’t do it! All of them have something great but it looks like they are not made for me. Of course, you have to find your balance, everybody says that and I feel that I have a mess magnet being a Creative.
I moved to Winnipeg 3 years ago with 3 suitcases, now I have a house so cluttered I can’t understand. How did I get on this point?
At the beginning of 2018, I made a list of 35 things to do before I turn 36. And organize my house was there. Now it’s August and I felt I arrived in a comfortable zone.
Two other items on that list were “be less lazy” and “procrastinate less” and those were very important to make this happen.
Fly Lady said your home didn’t get dirty in one day so you’re not going to clean it in one day either. With that in mind, you can remove the pressure off your back. It’s a long process, mine took 2 months. It really depends on how much clutter you have and how much time you actually have to dedicate on this tasks.
THINK BEFORE YOU BUY
And I am a Creative. I am always trying new types of art… oh Michaels, why do you exist? And the books? I can’t even start to talk about the books. Oh and the notebooks, from Chapters, omg, so pretty I need it all! And this tiny little keyring, it’s just a dollar! And the jackets, the scarves, oh so pretty 5 for $10! And the bookmarks, and the stationery, and the Disney store, oh my, oh my, Anthropologie!
How do you say no to pretty things on sale?
And that’s how I got here. And I can’t use the Fly Lady “throw away 27 things without look” or Marie Kondo’s “Throw away everything that you don’t use after all”. I paid for those things, I am not going to throw it away. Period!
So I did use Becky Bloom’s (fictional shopaholic 😆) “Do I need this?”. And if I don’t, I don’t buy it. It’s harder than you think. But I am managing well.
make a list
My house has 3 floors: the basement, main floor, and the upper area. I don’t know your home, you can divide that way it’s more convenient for you.
Basement: hall, laundry room, bathroom, man cave
Main Floor: entrance hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, sunroom
Upper area: my office, bedroom, our bedroom, bathroom
Each of this rooms has many stations.
The room I am right now is my office. Here are the stations:
- The table
- The desk
- The closet
- The shelf
- The red drawer unit
- The wood drawer unit
- The floor
- The walls
- The window
And inside each station, you can add what do you expect to do there:
- Shelf the books
- Organize pens
- Put unused stuff in boxes
- Put the boxes inside the closet
moving stuff around
So everyone in the house should be aware of this, every room has a purpose and what doesn’t belong there can’t be there for more than a day (or set a period).
Don’t move the stuff around while you’re working on a station. Wait until you finished otherwise you’re going to get caught in another task.
set a time to work on that station
Set a day and time to do laundry, make it routine and you will never be without underwear. I see so many posts about Organization trying to impose their routine on mine, that’s why I don’t like the FlyLady so much. She sends emails about of missions of the week, of the day. I know I should adapt it, but I prefer to have my own method instead of getting too entangled in a system that wasn’t made for me.
You have a messy desk, just look at it first, you can’t do it now because you have a meal prep to do. Open your Trello or your Google Calendar and make a block for that task. 15 min, 30 min or an hour. Put your mind in place, when the time comes you’re going to organize without distractions. I know that if you have kids, it’s harder but you even can put your kid to help you.
When I say without distractions is do not think too much of what the thing is. If it’s a letter, don’t open. You have 2 seconds to test a pen to see if it’s working, if not, trash. Don’t think on who gave this to you, the memories, whatever. It’s just a pen. If you really want to keep it, put aside and then, in the end, you can move the stuff around and find the perfect room, box, whatever to that thing.
Just 3 containers to help you organizing faster
One container is to donate, the other one is to Move Stuff Around and the trash can is just trash.
Here in Winnipeg, there are 4 days a year where you can donate whatever you don’t want, just leaving the stuff on the curb. I added everything I want to donate to boxes and left in the basement. When September comes, I can say goodbye to all those things.