Clutter & Organization: The Plan
After my realization of how I needed to more fully implement D&C 88:119 into my life, I was telling my mother-in-law about it and she asked me if I had the book: The Ultimate Career by Daryl Hoole. I told her, "no" and then she thought she had given it to me for Mother's day when she gave it to my sisters-in-law and then realized I wasn't yet a 'mother' when she gave it to the others that year. So she sent it down to me for Mother's Day. I read it. I loved it. The thing I liked the most about the book was that although it had some really good ideas, they always said, "these are just some ideas" or "this is just a guide" and talked about how there are lots of ways to do things and we just need to find what works best for us.
When we finally put our financial house in order, it took us creating our own Frankenstein 'plan' by combining many financial experts' ideas as well as putting our own spin on them. By creating our own plan together as a husband and wife and 'owning the idea' (since we came up with it) we have been much more successful at actually implementing the plan and being consistent at it. We work at it all the time and as I said in "The History" - we paid off $10,000 dollars in 9 or 10 months so it must be working... because following other people's plans didn't work for us. We kept 'failing' and weren't consistent at making it work.It truly is amazing how consistent you become when it is YOUR IDEA/PLAN because you don't want YOUR IDEA/PLAN to fail.
So with that disclaimer (which you should have interpreted as coming up with a plan that you can 'own' as your own idea) - I'll proceed with the plan that Tips and I have come up with.
We made up the list of everything we have stored. We have some things scattered throughout the house - we have some food, linens and baby clothes too small for Tips Jr. stored in our room. And then we have food, linens and baby items stored in other places throughout the house. We want to centralize items with like items. Ideally we want all of our long-term food to be in one closet somewhere in the house as opposed to being divided up among closets in 4 different rooms (the front closet, our bedroom, the linen closet and Jr.'s room), we want all of our household cleaners in one location, all of our personal hygiene in one location , all of our linens in one location, etc.
We decided that we would inventory EVERYTHING that we have. It really needs to be done as part of the Master Plan as well as we should have a record of it for our insurance agent, currently we have renter's insurance but someday we will have homeowner's insurance. Just in case we are ever robbed or lose everything in a fire or something it would be good to have an itemized list completed that is easy to update once a year or after holidays and birthdays.
We also decided that we really needed to do something different about what we are storing some items in. We already make use of Space Bags for pillows and blankets we aren't using but will use someday. I will show you in the next post the amazing difference that small change has made in how much less room we are taking up to store some of our crap.... er, I meant stuff.
I also thought it would be good that once we inventory and centralize like items to see how much we have and then compare it to how much we really need (if it is food or personal hygiene items as opposed to 'how much scrapbook paper do I really need when I am trying to do more digital scrapbooking?). And since we'll have it all together we'll be able to see just how much space that will actually take up. And then we will set limits. For example: the containers we bought for gift wrap and paper crafting items - I decided that the six containers we bought is truly sufficient for our needs and that will be the CAP on the total amount of available space we will have to store paper crafting items in. If I want to buy more, then I will need to use up what I already have (once again: use what you store and store what you use) to make room before I can buy anything else to go in the boxes (if they are full).
One of the other items we are doing is Tips is going to bring home some of the boxes that the work laptop boxes come in. We are then going to divide up all of our momentos and store them in those boxes. The boxes will all have the same dimensions and so they will stack better where ever we decide to store them at. Since the boxes will be smaller than the current boxes we have all of our papers in (paper ream boxes.... also brought home from work) - it should be easier, mentally, to sit down and work on them. 25 papers scanned and thrown in the recycling bin looks like so much more in a shorter box than it does in one of those paper ream boxes .... when you only do a few papers out of one of those boxes it feels like a black hole and that you will never complete the project. Really, it's utlizing the breaking down the BIG goal (of digitizing all of my momentos from growing up so that I can create a in depth lifestory/digital scrapbook to have printed and bound in a book of sme sorts) by creating smaller, more manageable mini-goals - such as 'Scan all papers and photos in early childhood box.'
The other thing we are so lucky to be able to do is to store our long-term storage items in my sister-in-law's unfinished basement. Unlike a storage unit, I know they will be a pretty consistent cool, dry temperature (as oppose to storage units where the temperature fluxuates with the outside temperatures) and safe... and it will cost us much less than it would if we were to pay a storage unit facility to store items there. So in a few weeks we will inventory and centralize all of our long-term storage items and start taking them to the sister's place - which will free up a lot of space in the 'storage' room (the stuff behind the red & white striped curtains I have in Tips Jr's room.... it was in one of my posts last year) that we can use to store other items that have been hanging out in our office for a while.
But again, this is the plan that we have come with that works for us. Your values and ideals will be different than ours and so you need to create your Master Plan around what your long-term goals are and also what your values are.