Declutter and Organize the Playroom

The holiday season is moving in and when Belinda was little, it used to mean a time to declutter and purge her toys.  When she was little, she had the toy box my dad made for me when I was little.  It had a “secret compartment”.  Actually, it had a board halfway down to make it easier to reach things.  So, the toys which were on the bottom of the toy box were placed under the board.  As time went on, those toys were forgotten about so it was easy to move them out.

Here are some tips which might help you get the kids ready for a declutter and purge project with the focus on cleaning out and not getting new stuff!

1. START THE CONVERSATION

Start by watching what the kids are playing with and what they aren’t.  You will notice some things have not moved off the shelves or out of the coset for awhile.  Once you have an idea of what those toys are, start casually mentioning it might be time to let those go.  As a social worker, Belinda loved to help me at work by giving things to other kids who may not have things so it was always a great way to get her to clean out the toys.

Was I always right on which ones should go? NO!  There were times when I thought something should go and she had a totally different opinion.  As a result, her level of attachment to something made a difference too on whether it went out the door.

2. GO IT ALONE FIRST

There were days when I would start to declutter on my own in her room.  I got rid of things which really needed to go (think: broken toys, unsafe things or worn out, trash, etc.).   I didn’t get rid of things she was really attached to but more things I knew she would never miss.  Remember the toys under the “secret compartment” or at the bottom of a toy box.

3. ADD THE KIDS

On a set morning of cleaning, or as Belinda would say “not attached, don’t have a purpose – mom is tossing” – I would ask for her help.  She knew, most of the time, what’s missing pieces, or hasn’t worked for a while, or what she is not using anymore, etc.  As much as she hated cleaning, she did like an organized room since it wasn’t very big.

Depending on the age of your kids, this process can be different.  If your kids are really small, you may want to go through things yourself and only ask them when something is borderline whether to keep or toss. As they get older, they might help for a little bit and them move on to playing or something since attention spans vary.  Be ready to be flexible with your kids since each one will process things differently.

4. DONATE AND/OR SELL!

This was always the fun part.  Belinda liked to share her things with other kids who may not have as much or better yet, sell them at a local yard sale for some pocket money.  Times have changed and now things are sold on Craiglist or in Facebook yard sales or maybe even the occasional garage sale.  I will admit, my favorite is donating to the local church rummage sale or homeless shelter.  Check out the various options in your area and let the kids help especially if you are donation them to a local mission or organization.

5. TIME TO ORGANIZE

This was when we had the most fun.  It usually meant new paint for Belinda’s room and as she got older, she got to pick the colors.  Then it was all about making things easily accessible – to get things out and to put them away.  All this while making the very best of a small space.  We did closet organizers, and a loft bed which left lots of floor space to work with.

I really wish I had know about Thirty One back then.  From Your Way Cubes to baskets to totes and more.  A great way to organize things with practical, fashionable and durable products.

Here are some ideas:

    

Your Way Cube: Each Cube comes with side handles for ease of transport and either a clear PVC window or chalkboard panel on the side so you’ll always know what’s inside. Add a Your Way Cube Lid to allow for space-saving stacking and to protect items inside. Cubes are all collapsible when not in use. Holds up to 35 lbs.

Hang-It Pocket Organizer: This is a convenient catch-all for all the loose odds and ends. Use it to hold pencils, pens, staplers, paper clips, file folders and calculators in the office; note pads, mail, coupons, keys, batteries and flashlights in the kitchen; or gloves, hats, pet products, ice scrapers, shoe horns and more in the mud room.

Stand Tall Bin:  With 2 exterior handles and a sturdy frame, it’s easy to carry anywhere and capable of holding up to 50 lbs. Put one in each of your kids’ rooms for laundry or to store toys, games, play clothes or sports equipment, or place it in your guestroom to store extra towels, bedding, blankets and other useful items.

What is your favorite organizational tool works for you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Let’s Organize Your Messy Desk

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It is time to spring-clean and declutter your desk.  If you are like me, this is where you spend LOTS of time – whether you have your own home based business or manage your family budget or maybe you bring work home or maybe it is just your way to escape the craziness of the rest of the house.  Whatever your reason for heading to your desk, wouldn’t it be better if it was organized and neat.

I always have “I know where everything is” piles.  But often, those piles tend to grow and spread across the entire desk top and before long, they are calling my name.  Yup, a major distraction.  When my desk is messy, I can’t work.  So I spend hours trying to figure out what I am supposed to be doing and never actually get anything done!

Here are some easy tips from organization guru Tidy Tova on how to get things straightened up so you regain your focus.  No more squirreling because of a messy deck.

Trash your trash.  

Seems like a no-brainer right?  Be honest, do you have a trash can overflowing?  Toss out those empty soda/water bottles, snack wrappers, and old tissues.

Eliminate some books.

Do you have books on your desk – just in case you need them?  If they are reference books that you only use once in a while, move them to a shelf that is relatively close.  This will make it easy to find them when you need them.  If you leave any books on your desk, make sure they serve a purpose.  I have only 2 books on my desk – my “party binder” so my monthly specials & a catalog are in easy reach AND the binder for my latest coaching class.  Do have books that you have read and haven’t touched in ages?  Donate them.  If they are business books, pass them on to your team or other colleagues who might be interested.

Prioritize your papers.

This is where it gets a little dicey… how many piles of papers do you have on your desk?  How many of those same papers do you have in digital format in your computer?  Do you really need the paper version?  It’s time to part ways. As for those papers you really do need to hang on to, come up with a filing system that keeps them organized and out of your way.  One of my favorite strategies from my non-profit days was “touch a piece of paper only once”.  Don’t just shuffle it from pile to pile, do something with it.

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Purge your pens.

Let’s face it, we all collect pens yet when we need one, they are either out of ink or no where to be found, right?  You have your favorite pen, right?  But if you are like me, you have a pen cup on your desk holding a multitude of other pens as well.  If you have more then one pen cup, narrow it down to one. And let’s try to keep it to one of each type of pen too—six yellow highlighters isn’t doing anyone any good.

Narrow down your notes.

Is your wall or computer covered with post its in all sizes, shapes and colors with things that need to be done?  How long have they been there?  If it was important enough to hang within your view all day long then shouldn’t you be working on it?  Use a bulletin board or a wipe board to keep track of those notes.  Schedule the task or add it to your list of goals and create an action plan.

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Make it yours!

You came, you saw, you cleaned. Now for the fun part! Now add some personal but don’t overdue it.  Stop by tomorrow when we talk about how to “get your desk ready for success”.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Purging for the New Year

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As we approach the new year, many people are doing the annual cleaning.  Okay, so most people do it BEFORE Christmas to make room for more stuff.  I, on the other hand, seem to work better doing the annual clean just before the new year.  It clears my head and gets me focused on my goals for the upcoming year.

Cleaning out (or purging) is what getting organized it all about…

And purging isn’t just for stuff, although that’s a big piece of it. Purging is also about letting go of the past, forgiving yourself, and even discarding thoughts which no longer serve you.

So, here are some things that I never thought about that I hold on to:

Pictures – So many pictures. Do I need them all? Do I want them all? And more positively, which of these pictures brings me JOY? I cleaned a lot of the pictures out when we sold the house in South Jersey but I still have a lot of them. Mostly the ones that do bring me JOY!  Now to just get them in a format that will allow me to look at them and fondly remember those times..

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Clothes – What is the rule? If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it. With the change in seasons, I usually do the “if I haven’t worn it in 2 seasons – get rid of it”. Or what about those “just in case clothes”. You know the ones that are too small or too big – just in case you lose weight or gain back the weight you lost.

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Negative thoughts – This used to be a HUGE problem for me. I have found that with the help of a good life coach, I am practicing extreme gratitude and radical compassion for myself.  I am squashing out those inner gremlins that haunt me.

Saying YES even when I don’t want to.  That is the people pleasing side of me. Come on, be truthful, you do it too, right? What if we were to choose to spend five uncomfortable minutes now saying NO so that we are not regretting our YES for the next several months.

Office supplies. I can say that I used to hoard office supplies.  Having a home office, I found myself shopping on impulse when there is a sale.  Time to donate some while those that are too old will be tossed in the garbage!

office organization

Belinda used to say when I got in “clean mode”, if you aren’t tied down or have a purpose, you get tossed. It is so true. I used to need to do this more when we lived in the bigger house but now in the condo I try to keep things simple.

There really are good feelings that come after the initial hyperventilation of actually beginning the purge, freaking out, and thinking, “I can’t do this!”

Purging is a practice – and a good one when it is done thoughtfully, consciously, and from a mindset of love and abundance (I am enough, I have enough).

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Go ahead, try it. Do it and let me know how it feels when you’re done (or let me know why you started and never finished).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Purge

Most people clean out closets BEFORE Christmas to make room for more stuff or they do the seasonal clean.  I seem to work better when I am doing the annual clean just before the new year.  It clears my head and gets me focused on my goals for the upcoming year.

I have been following Your Organized Guide over the last month and PURGE is their big word.  I love her definition and it is so true:

And purging isn’t just for stuff, although that’s a big piece of it. Purging is also about letting go of the past, forgiving yourself, and even discarding thoughts which no longer serve you.

So, here are some things that I never thought about that I hold on to:

Pictures – So many pictures. Do I need them all? Do I want them all? And more positively, which of these pictures brings me JOY?  I cleaned a lot of the pictures out when we sold the house in South Jersey but I still have a lot of them.  Mostly the ones that do bring me JOY!

Clothes – What is the rule?  If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, get rid of it.  With the change in seasons, I usually do the “if I haven’t worn it in 2 seasons – get rid of it”.  Or what about those “just in case clothes”.  You know the ones that are too small or too big – just in case you lose weight or gain back the weight you lost.

Negative thoughts.  This used to be  HUGE problem for me.  I have found that with the help of a good life coach, I am practicing extreme gratitude and radical compassion for myself.

Saying YES even when I don’t want to.  WOW!  That is the people pleasing side of me.  Come on, be truthful, you do it too, right?  What if we were to choose to spend five uncomfortable minutes now saying NO so that we are not regretting our YES for the next several months.

Office supplies.   I opened a drawer in my office to find WAY more supplies than I really needed.  I tend to shop on impulse especially when there is a sale.  I donated a lot of them before the holidays.  I will also look at how old things are and if they are too old, I will be tossing some into the garbage!

Belinda used to say when I got in “clean mode”, if you aren’t tied down or have a purpose, you get tossed.  It is so true.  I used to be better out when we gathered a lot of stuff in the bigger house but now in the condo I try to keep things simple.

There really are good feelings that come after the initial hyperventilation of actually beginning the purge, freaking out, and thinking, “I can’t do this!”

Purging is a practice – and a good one when it is done thoughtfully, consciously, and from a mindset of love and abundance (I am enough, I have enough).

Go ahead, try it.  Do it and let me know how it feels when you’re done (or let me know why you started and never finished).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!