If we were sailors onboard a ship, former procrastinators, we might hear the command, “Clear the decks!” That’s prepare for action by removing anything that might hinder progress. Maybe there’s a suspicious ship on the horizon, maybe rough seas. We’d move any excess gear out of the way so we and the decks would be available for whatever lies ahead. Nothing to trip over, nothing not needed.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are just weeks away. We’re starting plans for hosting, travel or both. Some of you smarties are well into shopping. Let’s look at two areas we can declutter now in order to better use our space and time and set ourselves up for cheerier holidays. These are “onion options” – decluttering in spots as we peel the layers of excess clutter. If you use the Kondo method, you’ll come to these.
Perspective: Kitchen counters are our work space. When covered with papers, jackets, groceries, or excess decoration, the space we need is not available. This creates stress and ill will. Designating kitchen counters for meal prep and clean up means we ourselves, roommates, and family learn to respect that space and keep it free. Remove clutter and designate spaces where papers, sweaters, etc. should go.
Counter Project: Removing décor has helped our counters. One corner has a platter on an easel. The window sill gets a vase for flowers. That’s it. The biggest help has been removing seldom-used appliances. The electric can opener left long ago. The bread maker works just as well in the basement. Remove seldom-used items from your everyday path. For more on this, see Counter Clutter in Your Everyday Path September 25 , 2017.
Perspective: The entry way of our homes greets us and others as we come in. At our house everybody and everything comes in the front door. It’s where we’re inclined to plop stuff as we pass through. Stuff left there is an immediate stressor when I open the door. Again, removing excess and designating places for what’s needed helps solve the problem.
Entryway Project: We said farewell to extra coats, caps, cracked boots, most snow gear, vacuum cleaner parts, fanny packs, leashes. Stuff that must be in this area needs a designated spot that can be easily maintained. Shoes will not stay in a row. Utilize baskets; mount low hooks.
- Unsnap the back of caps and resnap around the long side of a coat hanger. Holds a bunch and you only have to remove the cap you want.
- Mount a shoe organizer to hold keys, gloves, sunglasses, stocking caps, etc. Label low pockets for wee folk, higher ups for taller guys.
Key to maintaining these spaces is respecting them ourselves and reminding others to also. That’s better than anger over a grease-stained jacket or stumbling over shoes.
We can’t create smooth seas, but we can clear the decks and free ourselves to engage in the action to come.
Which deck will you clear? Both?