I get a lot out of Emilie Barnes’ ideas for taking care of clutter and organizing your life and your home. Here are a few tidbits for you to take to heart and incorporate into your hectic schedule….to make it less hectic! 🙂

101 Way to Clean Out the Clutter – Emilie Barnes

IMG_0507Unfinished Business

Do you ever feel like you’re running in circles? Do you put off new pursuits because you are spending your precious time juggling projects that are never completed?

Make a list of five projects you would love to finish. Tackle these one at a time. You’ll find that as you clear away the unfinished business, you’ll be free to reach for new pursuits.

Don’t delay your goals and aspirations. Which terminal projects are eating up the most time? Give yourself an absolute deadline to complete each one or consider letting go of the project altogether.

Which projects are the most overwhelming and which have the highest priority? If you take care of a couple that are time sensitive, you’ll give yourself breathing room and a sense of accomplishment.

Consider the ones that absolutely must get done because others are counting on them or because they have a deadline. There’s your starting place!

Practical Expectations

It’s nice to want things done right, but not if you’re crippled by the pressure. High expectations can lead to inactivity when you’re overwhelmed. By all means do the best job you can do in a reasonable amount of time. However, don’t get bogged down by perfectionism.

You may know the difference in the finished product, but your friends and guests probably won’t know or care if it’s not perfectly done.

If you’re preparing for guests, determine the cleaning that must be done versus the cleaning you want to get done. You’ll find that if you clean the areas your guests will be visiting and just tidy other areas, you’ll have a very welcoming environment.

Always keep in mind that you want your home to be inviting, not sterile and immaculate. Aim for inviting rather than ideal, and you’ll enjoy the time before and during your guests’ visits. You’ll be a much more sane hostess.

Break It Up

To accomplish a big task, break it into a few smaller parts—these become “instant tasks” that you can easily handle. It’s the big items that throw us and leave us in a panic.

Think of one project that you have put off because it seemed too big to take on after a busy day or in the middle of a hectic one.

For example, let’s choose cleaning out the refrigerator as your dreaded project. Can you give it 15 minutes? Even the craziest of days usually have a few breaks in them that could be put to good use.

Set a timer and work like mad for those 15 minutes evaluating leftovers, checking expiration dates, and wiping off shelves.

Tomorrow, set the timer and toss out old vegetables, refresh the ice trays, and rinse the meat and produce bins. In a day or two you’ll have invested two or three 15-minute sessions and completed the larger task of cleaning your refrigerator.


When Are You Most Productive?

Each of us operates efficiently at different times of the day. Pay attention to when you feel the most energetic and alert. Take a few days to observe which time periods and what parts of each day are best for you when it comes to cleaning, working, juggling multiple tasks, focusing on one, and being creative.

It might help to write out what you observe—it could be surprising. Maybe you always linger over breakfast and dishes to draw out the morning when it’s actually your most energetic time and should tackle a couple work projects.

Don’t use this awareness as an excuse to not perform well during your off period of the day. Instead, use it to be good to yourself and to enhance your life, productivity, sense of balance, and enjoyment.

Schedule taxing chores for the hours when your mind is sharpest. Do the physical chores when you have the most energy. File papers or sweep the floor when you need a task that doesn’t require too much thought and evaluation. This principle is good for work as well as at home.

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“Regularity in meals is another thing the wise housekeeper will insist upon in her abode. Regularity and punctuality, how delightful they are, and how they ease the roll of the domestic wheels! A punctual and tidy woman makes a punctual and tidy home.” -Annie S. Swan, Courtship and Marriage And the Gentle Art of Home-Making, 1894

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Home management expert and bestselling author Emilie Barnes comes to the aid of every clutter keeper with 101 simple ideas to rid rooms of piles, stacks, and disarray…

The good news is that a beautiful home doesn’t require too much money, too much energy, or too much time. Bestselling author and home-management expert Emilie Barnes shows readers how they can easily weave beauty and happiness into the fabric of their daily lives…

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