Organization is the theme of my next two Hot Home Products columns, so I did what I always do when I need information or inspiration on the topic. I called Estelle Gee of Orderly Lives, which helps homeowner with everything from moving to assistance with juggling the day-to-day to-do list. Estelle says she likes “stuff” as much as the next person. But she adds, “ At some point, stuff can start to overwhelm your ability to function efficiently.”
To determine if you’re at that point, answer the following questions.
- Have you been severely disorganized for at least five years?
- Do you hoard?
- Have you repeatedly tried and failed to get organized?
Nodding your head? Estelle has a few tips that might help turn things around:
- Establish a physical limit ("when the newspaper pile reaches 18 inches, I’ll recycle it”).
- When clearing out a space, ask yourself the following about each item: Do I like/want/need/use this? Do I have room for this? If I were moving would I take this with me?
- Keep a few samples of a collection and display them beautifully. Give away the rest to someone who’ll appreciate them.
- Remember that that electronic organizers, daily planners, and storage bins don’t actually organize you — they’re simply tools that can support good habits.
- Make a 21-day commitment to yourself to stick to a new habit. By then, it will become second nature.