The new year always seems to bring out the desire to change or re-invent ourselves, our homes, our spouse or partner, our wardrobe , our weight, you name it. It must be hard-wired into our brains that, in the cold, dark days of January in Ottawa, seeing as we’re already miserable because of the weather, we may as well find fault with something else.
Sometimes a little change is enough to distract you, and the next thing you know it’s February. If you’re feeling restless in these post-celebration weeks, and you’re not about to head south, you can make some small changes to your home that won’t break the bank or over-tax your exhausted brain. Let’s try a little exercise to flex your organizing muscles a little bit:
Pick a room in your home that you’re not in love with at the moment, and take as much out of it as you can without a helper.
Let’s say it’s the kitchen. Remove everything from the counter tops, the table top, the cook top, things stacked against the cabinets, things on top of and stuck to the refrigerator, the little stacks of mail, coupons, grocery lists, reminders, the vitamin supplements, etc. Isn’t it stunning how much there is?
Now look at each item. Ask yourself three questions:
Do I use this item frequently?
Do I love this item?
Is this item making my life work better for me?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, put the item in the ‘safe‘ pile.
If you answer ‘no’ to ‘Do I love this item?’, is it possible to replace this indispensible item with a reasonably priced version that is in a colour you love, or that doesn’t make as much noise, or works faster? What has to happen for you to love this thing? Or is it something you only need temporarily? So use it and get it out of your way! Or put it where it would make more sense in your home, like the tool box or your son’s bedroom or the recycling bin. Just get it out of your way. If it’s not making your life work better for you, you have the right to get it out of your way.
This easy organizing process of asking 3 little questions can be applied all over your home. Even if you end up keeping 3/4 of the things because you have to be practical and you need them, think of that 1/4 you gave the boot! What a great feeling. You should feel proud of yourself.
And in the cold, dark days of January in Ottawa, that little change in your surroundings that makes you remember that you are in control, that you can make a difference, may be all you need to get you through to February, which is, thank goodness, a short month.