Have you ever noticed that although we tend to complain about Mondays and how much we dislike them, we always start something new on a Monday? New diet? I’ll start it on Monday. When should I start organizing my house? Monday. I would like to help you see Mondays in a new light. Yes, we’re going to start something new on Mondays, but I’m hoping that you will see Monday as a fresh start and that you’ll be excited for it because I have so many opportunities for you to obtain old resolutions or start new ones.
I love to read and research. I’ve decided that every Monday I’m going to feature some aspect of a book that I really like or one that I am reading at the time. I won’t discuss everything in the book, but I’ll focus on one aspect of it that might help you make some small change for the week that has begun. I might return to books as the weeks go on. Let’s get started!
The first book I want to focus on is Simple Steps: 10 Weeks to Getting Control of Your Life by Lisa Lelas, Linda McClintock, and Beverly Zingarella. These ladies are not doctors. They are everyday women like some of you who want positive changes in their lives. One of the reasons that I love this book so much is because it really lives up to its name. The steps are simple and easy for anyone to do. Because they are so simple, the program is easy to follow and stick with. They also set it up week by week so that you have time to accomplish the steps during each week without feeling overwhelmed. These ladies do a great job of explaining the step, why the step is important to your health, and how to work each step into your lifestyle.
I want to take a look at Week 1, Step 3: Drawers, Cabinets, and Closets. We all know that having clutter around the house adds stress to our lives. When we’re in a hurry, we can’t find the items that we thereby wasting precious time looking for them. When we want to relax, we are thinking about what we feel we should be doing instead of taking time to recharge our minds and bodies. The ladies suggest that we should clean out one drawer, cabinet, OR closet a week–not one of all three. Follow these simple steps:
1. Take everything out of your drawer, cabinet, or closet.
2. Clean it out with a towel, rag, or vacuum.
3. Apply the Simple Steps golden rule of RECYCLE, RELOCATE, and DISCARD by finding two bins and a paper bag or trash can. Recycled items will go into the first bin and place back into your drawer, cabinet, or closet after it is completely cleaned. Misplaced items will go into the relocate bin to be put in their rightful places. Finally, discard items will be placed in the paper bag or trash can.
4. Organize your drawer, cabinet, or closet with clear, plastic storage bins if you have room. Make sure you label them even though the bins are clear. Lisa Lelas also suggests that you make sure you have a system of organization that allows you to access your frequently used items easily.
5. Marvel at a job well done.
The Global Healing Center discusses the potential negative threats of clutter on our lives. Because of our clutter, our energy might be drained causing us to feel tired. It can even affect our bodies with weight gain or make us feel too ashamed to have people over because of our perceived messiness. Elizabeth Scott’s article “The Cost of Clutter” explains how clutter can steal away our time and money and add stress to our lives. She even goes on to explain the realistic level of clutter and mentions that sometimes our standards for what a home should look like might be a little too demanding.
Earlier this summer, my goal was to de-clutter my living room which contains three drawers and three end table cabinets within three days. I become so happy with the results as I did it that I ended up doing the entire house within those three days. There was not one drawer, cabinet, or closet that remained untouched with the exception of my step-son’s room. My house is tiny and just a cup on the coffee table can make it look messy. Because of it’s small size, my house has to be organized or it will look atrocious. I found that I had so much more energy after cleaning it that I actually wanted to be home to enjoy it. I no longer looked at areas of the house with loathing because it might embarrass me if I had unexpected company.
As you read this post, think about the areas of your life that could use this makeover. Or think about the area at home or work that causes you the most stress when you see it. This area is a good place to begin. Give yourself a time limit. Simple Steps suggests thirty minutes although you can certainly decide for yourself what works best for you. The goal is to avoid dreading the job. If you set your timer and don’t finish, don’t worry. Set the timer again tomorrow and continue to follow this trend until the job is done. I think we can all agree that one drawer, cabinet, or closet a week is an attainable goal. Good luck this week with your mini-makeover. I’ll be cheering for you.