When did you last purge out your purse? Now is the time to do so! Get rid of the trash, and organize those things that you NEED to keep inside, putting away those things that somehow ended up in there and don't belong. Be sure to also look through the wallet as well and get rid of unnecessary receipts, discover old gift cards you forgot you had and file away unused credit cards. Make a point to do this monthly and it won't be such a scary job.
Many people find organizing a real chore. I love it, but I recognize that most people are not like me and my two sisters!
I tell my clients that the best way to accomplish decluttering is to take it in pieces. If there is a stack of old mail you need to get through, tell yourself you will work on it for 15 minutes and then set a timer and do whatever you can in that 15 minute time frame. Then, leave the rest for tomorrow when you will do another 15 minutes. For the future, you will have just the current mail to go through each day and you will immediately trash, file or process it when you do so. This way you won't see that growing pile in the future. This 15 minute rule works great with other organizing tasks too. Give it a try!
The last thing we want to do is add clutter to the home of a friend. If it is a birthday, we want to give something that will add pleasure to his/her life, but not clutter. How about going for a pedicure with your BFF? Or how about a bag of freshly picked blueberries? A friend of mine recently gave me a card which said inside that she would honor my birthday by donating blood three times in the next year, a practice that is true to my heart! Give it some thought. Coming up with that clutter-free gift is the best gift of all.
Old cans of paint, usually in the garage, can take up lots of space unnecessarily. When I purge through paints with my clients, I take the following steps.
1. Determine if there are colors you no longer use, and place those cans in the pile to go to the dump.
2. Shake the can of each you want to keep to see if it is liquid, or if it has completely dried up, in which case it goes into the dump pile as well.
3. Organize remaining paint to determine what you have. For example, if you have 1/4 of a gallon of the Winter White that you used in the guest room, you want to re-can that paint into a quart size can. Empty cans are available at Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as at other hardware stores. Look in the next can and if it is nearly full, but there are lumps and rust, you will want to re-can that into a gallon size. Go through all the paint you are keeping and count the number of gallon size cans you will need to buy as well as the small quart size cans.
4. Purchase or round up from your stocking drawer the number of knee highs you will need to act as strainers. One per can is what you will require. I used knee high hose I knew I wouldn't wear again. Place it over the new can with the foot hanging down inside and roll the elastic portion over the top exterior of the can.
5. This is a two person job. Both of you should wear disposable plastic gloves, also available at the hardware stores. One of you needs to hold the stocking in place while the other does the pouring after a good shaking. After all has been poured into the new can, carefully lift the hose up and gently press it together careful not to tightly squeeze, as you face the possibility of lumps coming through. This is what you want to get rid of, as you ditch the hose in the pile going to the dump, or leave them out exposed to the air and once they dry out, just toss in your regular trash.
6. Be sure to label every can with the info of which rooms it belongs to, as well as dabbing a touch of paint on the lid. I prefer to box them at this point, and keep all the exterior paints together, as well as the interior paints together. It just makes locating what I need a lot easier!
7. Look with joy at the results. Put away the cans you are keeping and all the excess you are getting rid of at the dump will now provide you with extra space—and who doesn't want more of that??
Keeping extra greeting cards on hand can save you time and effort. If you find a card specifically for your nephew, or grandson or BFF, put a sticky note on it so you will have it when the time comes. Make a note on your calendar that you have it, so you don’t forget and go out to buy another. Also have some generic cards for those times when you are caught without and need one quickly.
Steph has been organizing for over ten years. Her simple tips here can help you get and keep organized and add calm to your life.