Monday, June 30, 2008
Transform your house hell into home heaven
My house used to look like yours. Through my Little Moments of Peace practice, I figured out the baby steps I needed to transform my house hell into home heaven. Here's the first step: 1) Choose the one room you spend the most time in. (I know there are many you inhabit daily but you must choose one and only one. This room could be your bedroom where you can sneak away from the rest of the mess to refresh and renew yourself. Or it could be the great room where your whole family congregates.) Once you've chosen the room to declutter, gather 6 boxes or bags and a sharpie™. Label the containers with action verbs as follows: Toss; Recycle; Donate; Sort; Move; Treasure. Now choose just one drawer or shelf or corner. Do not allow yourself to ponder the clutter in any other area of the room. Dump or move the contents into the middle of the space. Every item must be moved out from the mess to another clear space. Dust/wash the once cluttered space. Sit next to the "junk" pile and pick up every single item. Ask yourself: Do I love this item? Is it beautiful and worthy of display? Is it a treasured memento or keepsake that can be labeled and packed away in storage? Is it broken? Should I repair it or not? Have I used it in the last three months? Could someone else use and appreciate it? Is it a piece of paper I can sort later or might I recycle it now? Decide which box/bag the item belongs in and drop it in NOW. If you have to think for more than a few seconds, put the item in the "keep" bag for the time being. You can deal with that box later. Make sure you keep moving and that your energy doesn't thud from indecisiveness. Once all items are sorted through, 1) take the "toss" bag and empty it in the garbage can 2) take the "recycle" bag and empty it in the recycling can 3) put the "donate" bag in your car or a corner of your garage (to be removed later) 4) put the "sort" bag in a closet or a corner of a room where you can later quietly deal withone bag at a time 5) pick up the "move" bag and redeposit each item where it belongs in your house (if you can't easily find a place for each item, consider putting it in one of the bags that's leaving your home.) 6) carefully wrap and box all treasures, place them in a cardboard box or plastic container, label the outside with the word "Treasure," your name, and today's date. If it's full, tape it up and place it in your basement or attic or upper shelf of the hall closet. If there's still room left, continue to add treasures you discover as you purge. Look at the one small space you cleared! It is clean, dust-free, and ready to accept items that truly belong there. Or not! You decide if the space should remain clear or can be put to functional use. You will begin feeling a welling up of energy and will want to keep going. Choose the next logical drawer, corner, shelf and repeat the action steps. Only work while you have energy. You might want to limit this to one hour a day. But by all means keep going while you feel the fire! I look forward to hearing about your process. Feel free to ask me questions as you proceed.