Spring is the perfect time to create a plan for clearing out, cleaning up and making way for the new.  Some people look forward to the process and the wonderful sense of rejuvenation and peace that comes with it, while others are overwhelmed by the thought of where to start.

 

Here are four steps to help you get started.  If you take it step by step, and task by task, you can make the seasonal transition a simple and graceful process:

 

Step 1.  Assess the situation.  Go from room to room and make a comprehensive list of everything you want to do in each room to make it clean and fresh.  Think in terms of what needs to be eliminated, cleaned, replaced or repaired.

 

Step 2.  Create categories.  Break your room-by-room lists of tasks into three groups:

  • Decluttering:  note items to swap out, store, donate, or sell.
  • Housework:   jot down what needs cleaning
  • Repairs:  list things to fix or replace.

Use this checklist for ideas.

DECLUTTER:

o  Declutter the closets by donating clothes you no longer need or wear

o  Eliminate unneeded small appliances, cookware and dishware that are cluttering the kitchen.

o  Eliminate extra books you’ll never read again

o  Go through your craft supplies and recycle abandoned projects

o  Clear out the hall closet and store the winter coats, hats and gloves

CLEAN:

o  Have drapes and carpeting professionally cleaned

o  Wash the windows inside and out and clean the blinds

o  Clean the refrigerator, oven and stove

o  Polish vinyl and wood floors

o  Clear out the cobwebs

RENEW:

o  Replace the welcome mat and throw rugs

o Swap out bedspreads and replace pillows

o  Replace the shower head, shower liners and curtain, and guest towels.

o  Replace the kitchen curtains

o  Replace burned out bulbs in ceiling fixtures or lamps

REPAIR:

o  Fix dripping faucets or running toilets

o  Repair holes in walls or broken tiles

o  Touch up wall paint

o  Repair broken windows or torn screens

 

Step 3.  Dedicate time.  Set aside specific blocks of time in your calendar for these tasks.  Having a time line and schedule will better ensure your success.  Make an appointment with yourself to get these jobs completed and keep that appointment.

 

Step 4.  Get help.  For the bigger jobs, decide whether to do-it-yourself or hire a professional.  You can also enlist the help of family members or friends.  A Certified Professional Organizer® can assist you with the decluttering process as well as keep you motivated and on task.

 

Spring brings new potential to all aspects of our lives.   A thorough spring cleaning is a great way to revitalize and rejuvenate your home and yourself.  Now is the time to clear out and clean up!

Maintaining an organized and efficient home or office doesn’t have to be daunting. You can do it in 5 to 15-minute chunks.  Keep this list of small tasks in a notebook or post it on a wall or bulletin board. Whenever you find a few spare minutes during the day, choose one or two tasks and make good use of the time.

IN THE OFFICE:

  • Clear the clutter from your desktop.
  • Return supplies and file folders to their proper homes.
  • Revise and rewrite your daily to-do list.
  • Start a box for things to take home.
  • Go through and organize a small pile of paper.
  • Pick anything up from the floor that doesn’t belong there.
  • Scan your email in-box for items to delete.
  • Read a short newsletter or article.
  • Update your voice mail message.
  • Make a list of phone calls you need to place or return.
  • Jot down a few ideas for your next business meeting.
  • Open, read and sort the day’s mail.
  • Organize receipts.
  • Go over and update your Outlook task list.
  • Pull out one or two overstuffed file folders and check for possible discards.
  • Review a project checklist.
  • Water the plants.
  • Organize a desk drawer.
  • Stretch your muscles.
  • Take a quick walk around the building.
  • Make an overdue phone call.
  • Transfer contact information from business cards to your computer.
  • Check over your calendar or appointment schedule.
  • Write a thank you note.
  • Practice deep breathing.
  • Create a mission statement.
  • Enjoy a healthy beverage or snack.
  • Take stuff to the building’s recycling center.
  • Organize your briefcase.
  • Relax and think beautiful thoughts.

 

IN THE HOME

  • Shake out all your throw rugs.
  • Clean out a kitchen drawer.
  • Wash the mirrors and glass on framed artwork.
  • Organize potting supplies in the garage.
  • Sweep out the garage.
  • Go through your hanging clothes and pull out six things for charity.
  • Put a load in the washer and start it up.
  • Clear off the front of the refrigerator or the bulletin board.
  • Check the pantry or refrigerator for expired foodstuff.
  • Organize your purse or briefcase.
  • Wash the dishes.
  • Clear off the seats and floor of the car.
  • Make the beds.
  • Fill a bucket with water and vinegar and wipe off the window sills.
  • Get out the vacuum and sweep the blinds.
  • Sort through catalogs and recycle.
  • Pull articles you want to keep from magazines.
  • Check coupons and gift cards for expiration dates.
  • Wash the fronts of all your cupboards.
  • Return CDs and DVDs to their cases.
  • Pull off the couch cushions and vacuum inside the couch.
  • Check the medicine cabinet for expiration dates.
  • Check all your battery run clocks to make sure they are still running.
  • Put scattered books, magazines, catalogs into a basket or bin.
  • Wash the bathroom, kitchen and entryway rugs.
  • Wash off the refrigerator shelves.
  • Clear out everything under the beds and vacuum.
  • Sort through kid’s school papers and artwork.  Put keepers in a folder.
  • Make a shopping or grocery list.
  • Take a walk, a shower or a nap.

 

Many people entertain the idea of getting more organized. It’s well known that organization
is the key to growing business, creating more balance in our personal lives, using time to
the greatest advantage and managing resources for optimal benefit and return. Yet for
many, making time for getting organized hasn’t become a priority. Now is not only the
perfect time, but a necessary step to help move through the current economic downturn
and set the stage for the next chapter of life. Economic down times offer the perfect
opportunity to assess your current financial and business situation, make new plans and
cultivate gratitude.

In fact, right now, you can’t afford NOT to be organized. Not only has the time and
opportunity come, but the necessity for organization is greater than ever. In these times, it
is essential to make sure everything counts – money, time and personnel at the
business/financial level, and energy, attitude and action on the personal level. Unless you
are organized, you risk wasting precious resources, and may allow situations to dictate your
state of mind and keep you stuck in old patterns that are no longer working.
Here are five tips to be better organized as you navigate this economy.

 

1. Conserve & Manage Resources
Get a thorough idea of what you currently have – money, contacts, supplies, opportunities.
Take one sheet of paper for each category and make a list. Once you have a clear picture,
ask yourself where or how you can use what you have more economically or create new
opportunities. Use information for planning and take action. Redesign your spending plan,
reconnect with contacts, organize your supplies so that you no longer duplicate purchases,
and move forward on potential business.

 

2. Plug up & Prevent Leaks
Ask yourself where you are wasting money or time and plug up the leak. If a daily
cappuccino is busting your budget, start making coffee at home. If you are spending too
much at the video store, check out the DVD selection at the library. Prevent future leaks by
canceling subscriptions, catalogs, and stop using shopping as entertainment. Check out
opportunities for volunteerism and use your spare time for the greater good.

 

3. Become More Conscientious
Create a new mindset that says you will pay better attention to every action you take every
minute of the day. Pay attention to what you think, say and do. Watch yourself as you
spend money and time. Check yourself as you experience emotions, especially fear,
irritability, worry and anger. When you notice you are overspending or caught up in a
negative emotion, take out your journal and write a few sentences about it. This will help
you keep better control of your finances and attitudes and keep you on a more even keel.
Staying balanced is equivalent to staying organized.

 

4. Gain New Appreciation for What You Have
It’s easy to look at what you’ve lost, can’t do, aren’t getting, and want, but don’t have.
Focus on what you do have and use those assets to your advantage. You may have worries
and concerns, but you also have trusted and helpful people in your life to help you
brainstorm solutions to current challenges. Things may feel tough, but when you remember
that you have your health, your family and loved ones, friends and colleagues, hope is
www.organizer-coach.comrenewed and the future seems brighter. Look at the big picture. You know what’s truly
important and what’s not.

 

5. Utilize Down Time to Strategize
Use down time to review and refine your contact list. Write letters or emails to reconnect
with prior clients or colleagues. Update your website, rewrite your resume, and redesign
your marketing materials. Clean out your files, desk drawer, storage cabinet, closets,
garage, basement or attic. How many times in life do we get extra time to return to
projects, revisit a craft or go back to a sport? What about that book you were writing, the
business you thought about starting, the friends or family you’ve thought about visiting, the
topic you’ve wanted to research, the skill you would love to hone? While you are engaged in
new activity, that new prospect is emerging, new ideas are cooking and strategies are being
created. Let go of the old patterns, the and the disorganization, and you may just walk right
into a new world of opportunity.
Disorganization sends the message that you are unprepared, disheartened and befuddled –
you can’t afford that. Getting organized now will not only pave the way for greater income
and opportunity, but when new prospects start to emerge you’ll be more prepared than ever
to greet them.