Monday, August 16, 2021

When the Room is Complete Chaos (a step-by-step guide)

When the room looks like this ... 

... this is your tool kit!

Not directly boat-related, but the same approach that moved us from 3,000 square feet on land to a 33-foot sailboat I've found are helpful in other aspects of life. A couple of my land-based friends have been inundated/devastated/overwhelmed by a chaotic disaster of a room, and asked for help. 

 Not sure how to start? Here’s one approach designed to break down the "overwhelm." When you get right down to it, there are only 5 categories of things in a chaotic mess like the room above -- trash, dishes, laundry, things that belong somewhere else, things that have no home. 

So, pick up a big tote bag and a trash bag, and make 5 passes through the room. Each pass will require a bit more brain power, but by the time you get to the tougher ones your "decluttering" mental muscles will have been thoroughly flexed and ready for the challenge. 

The first step is the simplest. For #1, trash, just walk through the room picking up trash and putting it in the bag. Don't worry about anything else. No tough decisionmaking required. When you've gotten all the trash, put it out in the bin (or wherever trash goes where you are). 

Then, do #2, dishes. Walk through the room a second time. This time, pick up every dish or cup, bring it to the sink or dishwasher. Leave it there for now, you'll get back to it in a bit. We don't want to slow your momentum. 

Pass #3 is laundry. Go through the room a third time. Pick up the laundry, put it in the laundry bag/basket. Bring it to the washing machine if you have one in your house, or put it in the hall closet on it's way to the laundromat. The room by now is getting a bit better, yes? 

Time for #4, items that are out of place. Get your tote bag, walk through the room picking up the out of place items. Put them in the tote. Now, walk around the house emptying the tote and putting things in their proper places. 

Go back to the room for the last, and hardest, pass, #5, homeless things. Have you noticed that the first 3 steps were no-brainers? Then #4 needed a bit more thought? For this last step, we're going to seriously level up the decisionmaking. Take all the things that have no designated home, and put them in the tote. With them out of the way, the room should look somewhat orderly now. Congratulations! Pour yourself a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, we won't judge.) Now walk around the room with the tote bag full of homeless items in one hand and your cup in the other, define homes for the things you want to keep (whether in this room or elsewhere in the house), and put the rest by the door to donate at the next opportunity.

Congrats! You're done!

You earned this!

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