Stratego

Photo by tanakawho

Dedication. Determination. Discipline.

No. I am not referring to the fortitude necessary to complete a game of Settlers of Catan–though having played the game many times, I can vouch that all three are necessary, (as is a bag of candy four pounds in weight). I am referring to the characteristics necessary to remain committed to our homes.
This week we have spent time reviewing specific clutter busting techniques. Each of my daily e-mails has been filled with suggestions for getting the “stuff” under control. But we haven’t really discussed strategy–the anchor that holds all of the tactics. As is the case in much of life, the how is often more important than the what. Or at least it is sometimes most important to the what.

Consider the following 5 important strategies for clutter busting your actual home management techniques:

1. Determine one solid goal before beginning each task. (Having as a goal “to get rid of things,” for instance, is much different than a goal, “to put things out of sight.” Different goals yield different results. If you are currently unhappy with your results, stop and review your goal.)

2. Consolidate everything onto one calendar. (Previously, I kept calendars for events, projects, work responsibilities, etc., but after realizing that I never had the right calendar at the right time, I consolidated. It’s made a remarkable difference!)

3. Set the timer. (If you don’t have enough time to get things done, chances are great that you’re spending too much time on too few tasks. Get out the ol’ egg timer or set the timer on the microwave. You may be amazed how much you can squeeze into any time you determine.)

4. Write to-do lists. (I believe in them. I write them every morning, first thing. Without them, I’d sit on my couch and eat Bon Bons every day…until I eventually lost my couch in a fire sale.)

5. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. (Not only can we not do everything 100 percent of the time, but we aren’t teaching others–namely our children–the benefits of organization or the practice of home management, when we insist on doing everything ourselves. Besides, why not spread the fun?)

Another week is coming to an end. How wonderful to know we’ve made a difference!

P.S. The photo above is my answer to anyone who asks what “clutter” looks like. Thanks to a recent estate sale, I now have a decent visual aid.

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