I have one week of my Happiness Project under wraps, and I have already learned quite a few lessons.
Just as a reminder, my first month’s focus is Energy. You can read about this theme here.
Cleaning and de-cluttering is the first part of my theme I attacked full force. I started my organizing spree in an unlikely location: the electronic devices (aka computer and laptop).
I cleaned my emails and organized my files and pictures. Despite the fact that this was a small step, it nonetheless, felt great. A small step is a great way to start because you get positive feedback right away (even if the input is your own.) Positive feedback usually makes you want to keep going.
For the curious, yes, I did say emails: I have one email for private communications and one which I use anytime I do anything online (such as purchases or subscriptions). It is a brilliant idea. I receive almost no spam on my private email, the junk goes to my “junk-email.” I also used a program called unroll.me in order to keep my inbox more manageable.
Master Bedroom and Bathroom
My room is MY turf, which means the messes are my own (or hubs) not the kids.
I started with my closet. I won’t touch my husband’s closet because I respect his space. However, he has agreed to go through it with me at a later time.
My clothes were my starting point. Although I do not possess many articles of clothing, I still had some I never wore or, which were so pathetic (torn or misshapen) they should be thrown away.
In order to rearrange the closet, I removed everything and before putting anything back, I asked myself these four questions:
I then proceeded to organize my small desk and nightstand.
Essential oils are a staple around here and I keep my (many) extra bottles under my bed in cases. All my bottle in both valises were reorganized by color for no other reasons that it was pleasing to my eyes.
In the past, I have tried to classify them in alphabetical order which did not work for me because I add and retrieve bottles on a regular basis. To maintain a semblance of order, I would have to reorganize the bottles every time I took one out—or added one—and honestly, I am not willing to do that. This cumbersome process was too time-consuming.
In order to know my inventory, I maintain a spreadsheet which I review at least once per year on my computer.
As of right now, I am very pleased with my color-coded arrangement.
I then proceeded to the master bathroom and concentrated in the areas which accumulate the “stuff”, namely under the sink and in the drawers. Once again, I organized, threw away, and cleaned.
This organizing binge was feeling pretty awesome at this point.
The Living Room
Next, I re-organized our extensive library with the same method I used to organize my closet. Truth be known, I am a book hog. Yet, I very very rarely reread fiction (even if I loved the book). Additionally, very few of the many non-fiction books I own have been cracked open again since I first read them.
Although it is always hard for me to get rid of my beloved books, I was nonetheless willing to declutter. For this step, it was very effective to ask myself: “if we were to move, would I pack this book?” If the answer was “no” it was added to the giveaway pile.
On a side note, I would love to start a free library, however, this is a subject for another time.
I went through all of the closets and storage areas except for the pantry.
In the past, my system has been to reuse old cardboard boxes in order to organize the items in my closets. I decided this method was not effective for me. The boxes are different sizes and do not stack well, and this bothers me.
I went to Wal-Mart and purchased some plastic containers with a locking lid. I proceeded to print some labels which I then taped to each box with some transparent packing tape. This proved to be a much better system than the one I had before.
I have been “stuck” in the den since finishing the closets. The den/office is where EVERYTHING gets piled up. I have mounds of paper I will file “later” which usually means I will scramble to do it either when I cannot stuff another piece of paper into the basket or when it is tax time, and I HAVE to do it. Basically, I do it twice a year if that much. Not a very time efficient system especially if you account for the massive mess on my desk.
I filed everything.
Yes, every piece of paper or memorabilia. I also remembered commandment number 4: do it now! I have decided that if an action takes me a minute or so, I will perform it right away. Case in point, my September bank statement came in the mail. I reconciled my account right on the spot AND filed the statement right away. No mess!
No mess as well as no task I am putting off until “tomorrow”!
I also decided to go through my filing cabinet and while I have started this process I am not done with this step.
This leads me to the next aspect of my energy theme: time.
Go to Part II.