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A. Rey of Hope

De-Clutter

Step Right Up!

Step right up and see the show! 

Do you ever use your steps as a temporary holding zone for items waiting to either head up or down?  I do.  There's just no denying that traveling up and down the steps, no matter how quickly you can do it, takes time.  And extra time is something that most of us lack.  Staying in one room until a job is complete and then making your trips to other parts of the house to deliver stray items is much more efficient.

Besides, if you have trouble with staying focused or completing projects, running up or down stairs frequently is an easy road to distraction.  Staying on task in one area until the job or your allotted time is done, is a good plan for success. 

Using the stairway as a landing spot for stray belongings however, only works when that landing spot is cleared.  Regularly.  Consistently.  

Staying organized requires completion - not just of the first steps of a task but, of ALL the steps - this should always include putting things away when you're done. 

For instance, you decide to clean and organize your bedroom.  You may end up with a glass or mug from the kitchen, a towel from the bathroom, wrapping paper from the hall closet and tape from the junk drawer, all needing to return to a different room.  Putting these items near or on the stairs to be delivered when you're done makes sense.  Leaving them there as you run right past - again, and again and again, day after day - doesn't.

Piles of clutter on a stairway are an eyesore, an inconvenience and, most importantly a safety hazard.  Allowing stuff to pile up on a stairway is a formula for a disaster that can only be found as funny if you're donning a clown's nose and shouting - Ta Da!

Close, But No Cigar




Remember that saying, "Close, but no cigar"?  In other words, you've played the game, but didn't quite win the prize.

How often do you come close....close enough....almost there.......but notquite?  I got home today from babysitting for my niece and nephew in Maryland for the weekend.  Soon after I came into my house, I brought my weekend travel bags upstairs, unpacked and put it all away. 

Unpacking for a trip of any length is normally attended to pretty quickly in our house.  Yet, I know this is not the case for many and I can understand why.  It's so much easier to drop everything once you get home, walk away and leave it to think about another time. 

Or is it?  Is it really easier when you can't find your favorite pants and search the entire house before realizing that they're in the suitcase from your last trip?  Is it easier to step around your travel bags every time you cross your bedroom?  Is it easier to use toiletries out of your carry-on bag as if you were a tourist in your own home?  Maybe.  Maybe not. 

Aside from travel bags, think about what other items in your home that you come "close" with without actually winning the cigar?  Do you put your jacket or shoes down near the closet but not in it?  Do you put your jewelry down on your dresser instead of in it's box or holder that's only inches away?

Go ahead, take that extra step and win the cigar this week!


Clear Up Before Moving On

"Guess: What Arguably Trivial Habit Gives a Giant Boost of Happiness?

 It’s….putting things away in the proper place!"

~ Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project


Well, I suppose that naturally this is something you would expect to read when coming to a professional organizing blog.  Ok, I admit it.  I get great joy out of knowing where things 'belong' and putting them there.

But, shy of the proverb, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place," what is on my mind this week relates more to the Clean Desk Policy (CDP) utilized by companies such as UPS.
CDP is the rule that, at the end of the day, your desk is left free and clear of all paper and projects.  When you return to work the following day, you return to a clear work space.

At home, I use an abbreviated version of this.

When I take something out to work on - paying bills, doing a craft, a book I'm reading - I try to stick to the policy that when I'm done for the day with it, even if it is not complete I put it away.  Even though I may sit at the kitchen table to pay bills, evidence of my bill-paying is gone by the time we are ready to sit for a meal. 

This may mean having a temporary holding area nearby for works in progress - a file box for action items, a crafting bag for smaller parts of big projects, or a catchall basket for items that are heading up or downstairs.  The important thing is that clearing your space before moving to something different helps to clear your mind of clutter and distractions and lets you focus on what's next.


A Fresh New Year


Outside the window, as I write this post, I can see a bright blanket of white snow.  What a great vision for thinking about the upcoming New Year.  The snow makes things look new and fresh and clean.  That's what I want to think about this first week of January.  All the possibilities that are open to me for my life heading into 2013. 

Yes, I know those same possibilities were there yesterday and all the days before that, but there is something special about a new year.  Maybe it's the fact that I get to fill in a new planner and look at what will happen in the weeks and months ahead.  Since the pages are blank, I feel as though I have more choices about what to put on them.

I think that's what I like about my profession.  No matter who I am working with, I am helping them to clear their color palate.  Wipe the slate clean so they can choose their colors. Yes, they could have chosen yesterday.  Yet, sometimes it can seem that because the colors are already there, we have to work with them.  It's hard to see beyond the mish mosh of choices all around us.

With a clean slate, the mind is open to new colors.  New ideas.  It's energizing and calming, empowering and joyous all at once!

Join me in looking forward to the unpainted picture of 2013 that lies ahead.


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