Saturday, 31 March 2012

Cutting the Clutter

One of my main goals this year is to do more.  Over the past few months I have realised that a lot of this is to do with productivity – using my time more effectively – so I can fit in the things I want to do and stop wasting time on things that don’t help me to enjoy life more.

I am really pleased so far with what I have achieved and I plan to report on that soon.  For now though, I wanted to share with you a great find.  Idly browsing the magazine shelves in my local WH Smith’s I found a gem of a magazine book.  Called “Organizing” it is part of ‘The best of Martha Stewart Living’ series.  Now, being British, I barely know who Martha Stewart is, and really don’t care either.  However, she appears to be one organised lady.  It took a while to absorb all its loveliness at once but I just couldn’t put it down.  I am someone who does love organising:  people, stuff, I don’t really mind what.  I like things to have a place.  I like tidy rooms and believe that it does influence my state of mind. 

As someone who is trying to work from home, I am finding this truer than ever.  I am not lucky enough to have a study or home office so I have to find a space in the usual living area of the house.  It is difficult to clear my mind and settle down to something when there is clutter everywhere.

I think that’s why this appealed to me when I saw it.  Being back at home with the little one after being in the office is opening my eyes to ways the house doesn’t work as well as it could.   After reading “Organizing” I managed to get the motivation to tackle some specific key areas of the house and I was surprised by how quickly I was able to do it and, more importantly, how much difference it made.

Back in January I persuaded husband to help me reorganise the kitchen and I am really pleased that we did it.  Once I realised how much easier things would be, it was a no-brainer to give up an hour or so to change things around.  However, after reading my Martha Stewart treasure, I have taken it one step further and re-discovered an unused drawer in the kitchen.  Then I made dividers for another drawer from tubs and boxes I already had in the house.  This won’t save much time when cooking, but may save a lot of swearing and scratches on my arm as I wrestle with utensils to find the right measuring spoon. 

I have also organised the hallway spot where all the keys and bits and bobs get left (you have one too, I know you do!).  I have made husband put another shelf up in the lounge, allowing me to put more things away properly.  I then spent 20 minutes making two caddies for the table out of an old box.  This got rid of a box that was lying around ‘in case we needed it’ and now husband and I each have somewhere to put the cr*p we accumulate on the dining table.  At work, this might be called a ‘pending ‘ tray.  Now, when there is too much ‘pending’ we know it’s time to have an empty out and they can be quickly removed to the new shelf when we need space on the table instead of having a wobbly pile.

For the rest of the book, I will just dream about having a house that has so much space to organise. 
Overall, my fiver was well spent as this is a publication I will keep for a long, long time.  I will aim to revisit it every year just to make sure I am doing as much as I can to keep my house in order.

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