by Melinda Massie | Featured Contributor
I hope you’re not hungry because today I’m combining two of my fave pleasures – food and organizing.
Imagine a lasagna fresh out of the oven. Perhaps, like me, you are impatient and cut into it too soon. That beautiful, smooth layer of cheese on top gives way to layers desperate to fall apart. As we persist on getting the lasagna on our plate, it just splays out into a rich, hot mess.
Many people’s homes are like this, too.
Upon first entrance, it seems lovely. Beautiful. You might even go so far as to think they’re organized.
Then you dig in.
Drawers explode upon opening. The drawers may not open at all from being over-stuffed with things. Open a closet too quickly, and the contents may fall into a hot mess on top of you. Cabinets seem to have been arranged by a group of evil circus clowns on a drunken bender.
We won’t even mention the “spare room of doom.”
Behind every smooth surface lurks a hot mess.
If the inner spaces of your home are like the under-layers of that delish lasagna, you will feel the same stress, frustration, and overwhelm that your cohorts with more visible clutter feel. Since it’s all easily hidden, it may even seem like it’s not that big of a deal. However, ALL clutter robs you of time, energy, and mental clarity. The hidden clutter can sometimes even be worse because it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal – until you spend 15 minutes looking for something simple in a stuffed drawer. At that point, your home is just smacking you upside the head and trying to beat you into frustrated submission.
Don’t let your home smack you upside the head. You pay the rent/mortgage. You’re the boss here.
When you take control of these hidden spaces you’ll feel the same freedom and lift as if you were letting go of more obvious clutter. The following tips will help the process run a little smoother.
Take it one room at a time.
The urge is to try to do everything at once. Or at least think of the entire house at once. This is precisely how we become overwhelmed. Focus on only one room at a time. Do not veer focus from that room until it is completely finished. When you come across things that live in a different room, place them in that other room. If the item doesn’t have a “home” in there yet then don’t try to find it one. Just leave it in there and deal with the item when it’s that room’s turn. (Of course, if the item does have a spot where it lives, then by all means, stick it there!) Maintaining this one-room-at-a-time focus will be a challenge, but I PROMISE you that you’ll see quicker progress this way. Quicker progress means sustained motivation.
Take it one drawer, cabinet, and closet at a time.
When working through clutter and getting organized, it’s best to chose specific, finite spaces to focus on. This sets clear and attainable goals – all fabulous and motivating things when faced with the frustration and overpowering nature of clutter. The best part about clutter in the hidden spaces is that these specific and finite areas are already defined for you. After you’ve chosen which room you’ll start in, choose one drawer, cabinet, or closet to work on. When that one is finished, hit the one immediately adjacent to it. Then the next one. And the next one.
Do NOT buy anything until it is truly needed.
Savvy marketing has convinced us that the right bin, basket, or some-such container will solve all of your organizing woes. That and three martinis will get you drunk and surrounded by a bunch of crap you don’t need. I love The Container Store as much as the next girl, but if you don’t deal with the things first, you’re just adding to the clutter. Let go of what doesn’t serve you. Think about how you want to function in your space. What is the best placement of your things to create and support that? Then look around. Perhaps you already have everything you need to make that happen. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to work for you. However, if there are items you need to purchase, then go forth and do so with the confidence that you’re not creating more clutter. Pro tip – do total measurements for the areas you’re purchasing for. Buying the seemingly perfect container only to get home and see it’s a centimeter off SUCKS.
The gooey, messy underside of lasagna is fabulous. In your home? Not so much. Take some time every single day to work through it – drawer by drawer, cabinet by cabinet, closet by closet, and room by room until these hidden spaces are just as beautiful as the visible ones.
What happens when you open your drawers and cabinets?
Professional Organizer – Melinda Massie of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous – Ft. Worth, TX
Often called a healer, therapist of stuff and the organizing ninja, Melinda Massie is the owner of Organizing with a Side of Fabulous in Fort Worth, TX. If your home is a hot mess then she’ll help you take control over the clutter so you can make your home fabulous. Combining her sensible, no-fuss organizing philosophies with a vivacious personality and healthy dose of “redhead,” she makes getting organized suck less. As a former professional ballroom dancer and event planner, she also brings in some sparkle and entertainment to the process.
Melinda was named Best Personal Organizer 2011 by Fort Worth, Texas Magazine and Most Glamorous Home-Based Business in the 2011 StartupNation Home-Based 100. Her tips have been seen in Woman’s Day, SHAPE and many other local and national publications.
In her free time, Melinda enjoys yoga, cooking and eating indulgent food and believes that champagne is meant for the everyday.
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