Thursday, June 19, 2008

get it together

This book got me motivated to tackle the large project of organizing my basement. Eliminate Chaos is written by professional organizer Laura Leist. Leist breaks down the overwhelming task of sorting and discarding the junk from our lives into 10 doable steps.
Here is how she suggests you approach each organizing task, large or small, in your home:
1. Dedicate the time...make a date with yourself or your helper and stick to it.
2. Gather supplies:garage cans or bags, boxes, a shredder, and a marking pen.
3. Establish an area in which you can place items as you sort.
4. Sort: items to keep, sell, donate, or trash.(Get the "toss" items out ASAP!)
5. Purge items that are no longer valuable or useful to you.
6. Group like items as you sort and purge.
7. Examine the empty space and make a plan before returning items into it.
8. Shop for the organizational components you will need for your new plan.
9. Install your new purchases, put the items you've kept in their new homes.
10.Maintain your new orderly space. Consistently evaluate to see that the new systems are working for you. If not, adjust them so that they will.

I used this process with my basement, and got through the sorting step, but unfortunately never actually got the items to be donated or given away out of the house. Now they take up valuable storage space down there, and since clutter begets more clutter, my great organizing job is quickly coming undone. I will pretty much have to start over! I really should have followed the 10 steps a little more closely!

Eliminate Chaos has locations around the Puget Sound, and Laura frequently appears at our Renton, WA IKEA to speak on common organizing topics. On July 19th, from 9:00-10:00am, listen to her tips on getting the kids organized for back to school. Most likely there will be information at this event that can also be applied to other areas of your life. If you are a busy mom though, get yourself in gear for the school year early, and be rewarded with a smooth transition that will impact you all year long.

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