12 May 2009

Clean and Simple

I started reading Clutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett today. People generally are pack rats, keeping things we shouldn't. Accumulating stuff (knick knacks, books, clothes, shoes etc etc) just means more to clean...more to protect...more to store. All that just does for you in the long run is expends your already precious time and energy. So I think I'll go on a spring cleaning frenzy and get rid of some stuff in prep for my upcoming marriage and household fusion. Let the frenzy begin!

Organization is not really something that I've ever found easy to maintain. I'm more of a random-clutter-piles type of person. These piles accumulate until it bugs me so much I put everything away. However.... I have lived with organized people.

My own personal observations about maintaining effective organization:
1. It must exist. If you have no organization system, obviously you won't be organized and the home will be disorderly.
2. It must be accessible and easy to use. The more you use an object, the more easily accessible it should be. Otherwise, it'll just end up being out of place...because out of place is more convenient than tucked away. Keep it simple...organization systems that are too complicated will not be used either.
3. Make it a habit of putting things in their proper place as soon as you finish using them.

Ok...going back to the book.
Aslett works as a professional household cleaner. He says that clothing is one of the worst junk-accumulating areas in many homes. The following guidelines are summarized from his book:

Pull it out of your closet if it's....
1. Unflattering. Wrong color, wrong style for you
2. Fits poorly or uncofortably. If you have to stay standing, can't move your arms, have to suck it in... if it itches!
3. Too complicated. You have to adjust it every 10 minutes.
4. Too fragile. If you have to worry about preserving it so much that you never use it... In my case, if I'm too worried about getting dog fur on it.
5. damaged beyond repair or missing parts you probably won't replace (like unusual buttons)
6. damaged but repairable before you can wear it.
7. never or rarely worn. Or if it goes with things you despise wearing or never wear.

Sort the stuff you pulled out into two piles: 1. Clothes that aren't being worn for a fixable/pracital reason. 2. Clothes that you don't use, don't fit, or just don't want anymore. Get rid of pile two (think salvation army).

OK! Here I come closet!

Other junk accumulations to deal with...
1. Shoes --> see closet stuff above.
2. Class notes --> throw out ones I'll never look at. Have the rest bound into spiral bound books.
3. Art supplies
4. Saved greeting cards --> scan and throw out.
5. reciepts + Junk mail --> shred/burn

Random Speed Cleaning Tip 1. Have a "To Sort" box instead of bouncing from room to room.
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