As you make headway through the clutter, try to figure out what behavior led you to this point. Ask yourself, “Why are these papers here instead of in the office?” and “Why aren't these clothes in the closet or laundry basket where they belong?” Bad habits are tough to break, but realize you can just as easily get yourself into good habits, too. Start by focusing on the productive outcomes that are the consequences of positive behavior. What does all that mean? Put another way, it means concentrate on the actions that reap rewards.
Tackling the Clothes Pile
When it comes to bedroom disorganization, one of the most prevalent self-sabotaging practices is changing clothes and leaving the old ones on the floor, on the bed, or draped over the footboard. Are you nodding your head in agreement? As soon as you throw that shirt down, that little mound is almost guaranteed to grow. There's something about seeing that first item that encourages us to keep piling on, like adding to the ante of a poker game. Do the math. You come home from work and change into casual attire. That's two outfits a day, seven days a week. Figure in the “contributions” of your spouse or significant other, and it's no wonder you're knee-deep in a quagmire of cotton and wool.
The organization Vietnam Veterans of America (www.vva.org; 800-775-8387) will pick up items right from your front door. The group accepts clothing, small appliances, bric-a-brac, small furniture, televisions, lamps, bedding, and more as long as it's in good, workable condition.
Paint a giant circle-and-slash across the whole messy heap. It takes hardly a moment's more time to drop your clothes in the laundry basket, hang them in the closet, or put them back in the drawers where they belong. Any garments that need special attention, such as mending or ironing immediately, should go to a designated spot. Just remind yourself that the fraction of time it takes to hang things up will prevent a huge buildup at the end of the week, when you'd rather be doing something else a lot more fun than straightening up.
A Call to Order
Consumer mistake numero uno: Buying storage containers first and figuring out how to use them after the fact. If you think you can't get started toward your organizational goals without them, you're putting the cart before the horse. Too many people buy bins, boxes, and stowaways thinking they'll surely be able to use them somehow, some way. As the Gershwin brothers might have put it, “It ain't necessarily so.” Purchasing unnecessary storage units is not only a waste of money; ironically, it adds to the clutter. Before you run out to a department store or specialty shop with credit card in hand, evaluate what your bedroom really needs to get organized.