Have you ever had a morning like this?
- You wake up, go to make coffee but realize you’re out because you didn’t stop by Peet’s yesterday after work.
- You have to dig out a work shirt (now wrinkled) from the pile of laundry on the couch because you didn’t feel like folding them when they came out of the dryer last night.
- You go to do your daughter’s hair before school but there are no hair clips in the bathroom – she finally finds one on the coffee table after 5 minutes of searching.
- At the last minute you realize you need to return a form to school – and spend 10 minutes scrambling through the last 4 piles of papers left around the house that you meant to go through.
Sounds like an easy and relaxing start to the day, right? NOT!
This is going to sound too simple but these 3 words could drastically improve the flow of your life:
DO IT NOW
The little decisions and actions you routinely delay have a cumulative effect of creating clutter…and lots of inconvenience and stress!
Here are some common areas people delay decisions and actions:
Kid memorabilia – It all seems so special. So you keep it all and because of our busy family lives, it just ends up in a heap, getting dusty and dog-eared. Once it comes home make a quick decision – does it go on display? Go straight to the memorabilia box (you have one, right?), or straight into recycling (yes, behind their back if need be)?
Junk mail – Are you in a rush when you retrieve the mail, leaving it in piles around the house, half processed? Instead of setting the fresh pile of mail down to go through later quickly extract the obvious junk mail and throw it straight into recycling. If you truly can’t get to it immediately, having one unprocessed mail-dumping station enables you (or your partner) to deal with it when you have the time to do it right.
Putting things away – If you’re passing through one room on the way to another, keep an eye out for things you can take with you and put back in their proper homes. This keeps general clutter to a minimum and prevents the need for a big chunk of time to get picked up – especially before cleaning day.
Keep the fridge fresh – How many times have you picked up a jar of something in the fridge to find it’s expired and put it right back to deal with “later” because you want to rinse it out and recycle the jar instead of just dumping it in the trash? Instead, clean out the jar right away or set the jar in the sink to be dealt with the next time dishes are done. The next time you open your fridge and find all the food inviting, you’ll thank yourself!
Weed regularly – I’ve seen many a client survey the contents of a closet or drawer saying “oh yeah, I could get rid of that” or “probably half this stuff could go…” As soon as you realize you’re never going to wear that shirt again or you really could let go of that figurine you‘ve always hated, get it into a donation bag right away. Letting potential donations accumulate in closets and drawers clogs up valuable storage space with unused clutter.
This sounds easier than it is – it takes a lot of consciousness and follow-through.
Just because we’re organizers doesn’t mean we have it all down; we have to practice at it also. But following this philosophy even some of the time will definitely make life easier.
Think of your future self – will doing it now save you headache later? Then DO IT!
Do you have a funny story of the domino effect of putting things off? Share it with us!