Small Steps, Big Changes

We all deal with clutter, believe it or not. Yes, even that friend with the spotless home. She doesn’t appear to have clutter because
she deals with clutter before it takes over her office, home — and life.

But what about the rest of us, with overflowing closets, ready-to-topple piles of magazines or bottles or spices spread over three cupboards?

The key is to tackle your decluttering step-by-step. A woman I know swears by the Wood Theory. It goes like this:

Facing a daunting load of wood that needed to be stored in her basement, she committed herself to toting one — and only one —
piece of wood to the basement every time she had to go to the basement for another reason (to unload her washer, for example).

A whole load of wood is daunting. But one piece of wood isn’t. It’s not even that heavy.

Little by little, and painlessly, the load of wood got smaller. And smaller. Until it was gone from her yard and stacked in her
basement.

Hmmm, she thought, if the Wood Theory works for wood, it can work for other tasks. Dust one slat of the blinds before going to pick up the kids at school, and the blinds are soon dusted, for example. It’s harder to avoid a small task that takes minutes — or even seconds — than it is to carve out the time to finish the entire job in one long, back-breaking session.

Here are five chores that are worth tackling the Wood-Theory way:

1. Never miss a birthday: Write one card per night while you’re watching a post-dinner rerun of your favorite show and you’ll soon have all your birthday cards for the year signed, sealed and ready to be delivered

2. Streamline your closet: Line a cardboard box with a plastic bag and place it in your closet to hold donations. Every morning when you’re getting dressed, choose one item for the box. When the box is full, take the bag and drop it off at a roadside donation bin. Repeat until the job is done.

3. Scour your bathroom: After you brush your teeth, chose one area of the bathroom to clean (wash the tub or change the towels, for example). Once the room’s clean, start all over again.

4. Organize your spices: When you run the dishwasher, choose one spice container to fill, re-shelve (in alphabetical order, of course) or toss. Your spices will be organized in no time! Consider using a drawer insert to keep spices neatly together and easy to grab when you’re cooking

5. End magazine mayhem: While you’re watching TV, keep handy a kit with scissors, a three-ring binder, page protectors, label tabs, a plastic bag and a pile of magazines. Flip through one or two issues at a time, cutting out the pages that have articles you want to keep. Put the pages in the protectors and file them in the binder, using the label tabs to separate them by category. Then bag the leftovers for recycling.

Clutter doesn’t have to seem daunting. By taking small steps and applying the wood-theory, you can accomplish big tasks in no time!

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About Organize Anything

Colette is a Gold Leaf member of the Professional Organizers in Canada (POC). Through the Canadian Redesign Association (CRDA) she has received the designation of Certified Interior Redesigner. She is also a member of the U.S. professional organizing associations National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) where she has the Golden Circle distinction and is a member of Intsitute of Challenging Disorganization (ICD) where she is the first in Canada to receive her Certified Professional Organizer –CD (Chronic Disorganization) ®, ADD and CD specialist Certificates. Among her many distinctions she has also earned Level I certificates of study in Chronic disorganization (CD), Basic Mental Health Conditions, Learning Styles and Modalities, Basic ADD Issues, Physical Conditions, Client Administration and Understanding the Needs of Elderly.

Posted on September 23, 2014, in Home, Productivity and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I personally don’t BELIEVE I have that many clothes so I don’t do it daily but I do have a donation bag that I fill as I come across stuff and donate when full. There is a full bag by my door right now ready to go
    I have a Real Simple subscription and I actually use 3 binders one for business ideas, one for home projects and one for recipes. Gotta say I love my plastic sleeves and labeler. I also love the binders that come in a bunch of bright colors and have black rubbery edges that prevent them from cracking at the seams (you can find them at Staples).

  2. Great tips! I will definitely use those ideas!

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