8 ways to conquer clutter in 2010
Organization is a common New Year's resolution. After all, who doesn't want to start the year off by whipping their home into shape?
Of course, that's easier said than done. According to a survey conducted for Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) in December, the majority of Canadians - 80 per cent - say they feel disorganized. Many also say they have a hard time keeping order in their home, with 29 per cent saying their house was the most disorganized part of their lives.
And, the study says, all that chaos is upsetting: 43 per cent said it made them feel stressed, 39 per cent frustrated, and 11 per cent said their disorganization made them feel like failures.
But, fret not, we've got some tips to help get you started on a tidier path:
1. Prioritize: The POC says you should decide which areas are the most important, and start with those. For me, that means my kitchen cupboards (a few cookbooks tumbling on your head's a good reminder), others may have hit their limits with entryways, mudrooms or piles of paperwork. Removing one of those major stressers makes a huge difference - and is great motivation to keep on going.
2. Know your "power hours", which, the POC says, means knowing how you work and when you're the most productive. For example, if you work best with a clean space, tidy your desk or counter before getting started in the morning.
3. Plan it. Set aside some time in your schedule to tackle a space. By writing down that you'll organize the linen closet at 1 p.m. on Saturday, you're more likely to actually get around to doing it!
4. Involve the whole family. Make sure everyone in your household knows where items should be kept - and that they need to be returned to their proper home once they're done with them!
5. Be prepared. Tara Stubbins, president of Take it Easy Concierge Services, says that having everything that you'll need on hand - like garbage bags, labels, boxes, file folders and markers - means you're less likely to get sidetracked.
6. Start small. Stubbins suggests starting with a desk drawer, a closet or your car -- these small tasks will help build your confidence, and breaking it into small chunks helps make it more manageable.
7. Do a bathroom audit. Stubbins says you should toss anything in your cabinets and shelves that you haven't used in the past three months - if you haven't used it in that time period, you're probably not going to.
8. Check your closet. Chances are, there are things in your closet that don't get worn very often. But it's still tough to let go. To help, Stubbins suggests placing all the hangers in the same direction. Every time you remove, wear and wash an item, place it back with the hanger in the opposite direction. At the end of the season, take a look at the items still hanging in their original position - these haven't been worn and are great candidates for donating or a clothing swap with friends.