You just got a call that your brother & his wife are going to drop by in 10 minutes and your living room is a mess! You and your family spring into action like a well trained MASH unit: “I don’t know what to do with it but they’re going to be here any minute, so move move move, let’s go, throw it all into our bedroom for now”.
Or you’ve decided to throw a birthday party for your 1 year old and the night before, you look around and realize the kitchen is a disaster with clutter everywhere. With Ninja-like stealth you quickly dump all the clutter into the spare room and promise yourself that you’ll clean it up once they’re gone.
Sound familiar? I’ve coined these the “Dump-It Rooms”, and an
alarmingly large number of my clients have them. So what’s the
story….how have these monsters started creeping into homes all
across the country?
For starters, the one common denominator is we simply have Too Much Stuff. Waaaaaay too much stuff. We are a society of excess….more is better, bigger is better, Walmart/ Costco/BJ’s superstores, jumbo value packs, if 1 is good then 4 has to be great. You almost need warehouse sized space to store that great deal you got on an 18-pack of paper towels! Do you know that the United States has only 3.1% of the world’s children, yet we purchase almost 41% of the world’s toys? It’s out of control.
So, how can you avoid falling into the trap of having a monster “Dump-It Room”? Here are a few tips to help:
1) Adopt the mindset that I will buy for what I need NOW, and don’t fall victim the the bigger/more marketing ploys.
Ex: We never finish that value pack of 30 assorted granola bars anyhow, so I’ll buy an 8 pack of the flavor they like and call it a day.
2) Create a dedicated place (destination/zone) for everything in your home so you will always know where to put something instead of dumping it.
Ex: All bedding/linens go into linen closet. All batteries/flashlights/small tools go into utility bin in on top shelf of coat closet. All unused bags/totes/luggage go into attic along front left wall.
3) Downsize. Schedule 5 hours to lock yourself in that room and do not come out until you have made a decision on every item. If it’s not serving a purpose today, donate it. If it’s broken/torn/not working, toss it. You have to get out from under the massive pile of unused, unnecessary, redundant, outdated, ineffective STUFF.
4) Re-purpose the room. Once the room is free to serve the purpose it was intended for (guest room, home office, kid’s playroom…) you are less likely to view it as a catch-all space. Honor this room and use it so that it functions for you.
5) Use the 5/10/20 Method to avoid things becoming huge overwhelming projects in the future. Every time you’re about to drop something, stop for *5* seconds and put it in the proper zone/ destination.
As a family, at the end or start of every day, take *10* minutes to do a quick sweep of the home and put away things that are out of place, just “tidy up”.
If you do 5 and 10 regularly, all you will need on the weekend is *20* minutes to make sure everything is in it’s proper place and you won’t encounter a huge monster project by letting things go for months.
Here’s what that same dump-it room looked like once we decluttered & reclaimed it! Wishing you similar success with your project!
For more information on Simplify with Eileen and how I can simplify your life, please check out www.simplifywitheileen.com or call 781.589.5444 today!