Where’s your cluttered spot?

In an out-of-the-way corner of our house, I have a very pleasant, secluded office.
The office is decorated with 25 years’ worth of awards from my career as a mental health writer, and has an outside door with an attached shaded deck.
From the deck, I can’t see any houses or cars passing by–only trees. It’s the perfect place to sit and think.
If you want seclusion, this is it.
But after a few years of working in that office, it became too private! I wanted more action, so I took over what originally was the dinette end of the kitchen.
With a huge desk made by my son and the original cupboards and drawers, I have a perfect office overlooking the backyard.
And best of all, I’m in the flow of things.
Every time a family member enters the back door, including the family dog, Amber, there I am. When my husband has his friends in to discuss theology, I can greet them.
When FedEx delivers packages, it’s just a few steps from the porch to my office.
It’s almost perfect. But there is one serious downside. I’ve always worked with a messy desk.
Piles of books, folders, loose papers, assorted bracelets, candy bars, yellow stickies, Kleenex, and unopened mail clutter my desk and my shelves.
That was OK when my office was secluded. Now, however, every person who enters our house has a clear view of my cluttered desk.
So last Saturday, I decided to do something with my desk and my very visible office.
With the help of a book entitled “Go Organize,” I spent 15 minutes organizing. And, amazingly, when my son came to pick us up for church, he noticed the difference!
The book was written by Marilyn Bohn, a professional organizer. The complete title is “Go Organize: Conquer Clutter in 3 Simple Steps.”
Bohn is a proponent of the “Lights on Organizing System,” a powerful, electrifying three-step process to lighten your environment.
The three steps are 1). Searchlight 2). Spotlight and 3). Green Light.
Searchlight is the process of assessing what needs de-cluttering in your home. That was easy for me–my office!
In the back of the book, Bohn provides a very helpful Spotlight Worksheet.
One room at a time, Bohn suggests identifying all the problems in that room and setting goals to fix them.
Using her worksheet, I began.
PROBLEM: A cluttered desk.
GOAL: Put junk away–put file folders in upright file holder. Keep nothing on desk but what I’m working on.
Green Light, Bohn’s final step, is “where the rubber meets the road” and you do something about the problem–like de-cluttering your desk.
“There is no right or wrong way to be organized,” says Bohn. “What counts is that it works for you.”
Organizing is a long-term project that should be done in small blocks of time–one drawer at a time or one surface at a time.
That way, you won’t get discouraged and still will have a sense of satisfaction.
Whether downsizing or just trying to get ahead of everything that comes into your house, her system works.
Why not try it today?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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