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Lessons learned while staying home

Let's Get Organized

Stop and think. What have you learned about yourself regarding organizing and decluttering during these times? Hopefully, we all have learned things about ourselves. I certainly learned much about my life as an organizer.

First and foremost, someone sent me this early on, “After years of wanting to thoroughly clean my house but lacking the time, this week I discovered that wasn’t the reason.” That hit so close to home it was scary, but then I realized others must feel the same way I do. I have always thought I should houseclean every room — washing the walls, scrubbing the floors, moving all the furniture, washing the curtains, and everything else spring cleaners do. Now, I realize my version is just cleaning things when they look like they need it. Now I officially say, “Who needs to spring clean?”

Having more time than usual at home, I learned it is way too easy to procrastinate. My thought process was that there was no reason I can’t do it tomorrow because I knew I’d be home the next day and the next. This was not a productive way of thinking but it was how I felt. I talked with many people who said they felt the opposite. They got right to work cleaning out closets and spaces when they had all the extra time. This proves true when you talk to donation centers where they had huge amounts of donations when they opened back up.

Another lesson learned was that one does not need to spend an entire day organizing and decluttering. For those who find it painful, just a short time every day can get jobs done. Committing to even one drawer a day or one section of a closet is a great way to start. This is how I ended up working. I’d see something that hadn’t been done for a while and take a short time to take it all out and go through everything that was in the space. It sometimes amazed me that when you think everything is as it should be, taking it out reveals things you haven’t used in years. Time to let those things go.

I learned that I really, really miss my job decluttering and organizing with people. I have even “tutored” over the phone to set people up on the way to starting their decluttering process. I miss making a difference in the lives of those I work with so they do not have to live cluttered lives. I miss the fun we have working together to make changes.

Since the middle of March, three of our four grown sons have spent at least a month or more here. They were all working online so it worked well. Our son that teaches in Indonesia was teaching from his bedroom here in the middle of the night. We set up computer desks in four spaces upstairs for privacy. I learned from this that family is much more important than having everything in place. It was very unconventional, but we had so much fun when we spent time after a work day. The extra “clutter” in the house didn’t matter, especially knowing it was temporary. Today, they are scattered from Florida to Arizona to Texas to Indonesia.

Some of the lessons I am learning about myself surprise me. Others are quite unexpected. But whatever we learn, they can make us into better people. Take time to think about positive life lessons you are learning.

Doris Puls, of D & O Decluttering and Organizing, is a professional organizer whose mission is to make a difference in the lives of the people she works with in homes and businesses. Reach her at organizealpena@gmail.com or at 989-356-9545.

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