Wow, we're nearly 75% of the way through the Cure (yay, you!). I'm guessing that it feels good to have a cleaner, more organized home and I know you want to is keep it that way with as little fuss as possible. Well, today's assignment is a small thing that helps to set you up for long term success; a little time spent this evening will make the rest of your year easier. Sound good? Here's how to do it....
Being conscious of what comes into your home is a big step in keeping it under control. It's a pretty straightforward formula - the less dirt, clutter, useless paper and items that come in, the less time you need to spend cleaning and organizing. It's easy to allow a lot of stuff to make it in under the radar that we don't really think about it until its a full-on project to clean or clear it. We all need a simple way to filter out the bad while letting in the good, and this part of the Cure helps you to do just that AND make it part of your everyday routine. Start now, and by the end of the month, it will be second nature.
Create a Landing Strip and Start Using it
The first two parts of the "healthy home filter", the door mat and hooks (or proper, usable space in a coat closet) are self-explanatory. The landing strip, is also fairly straightforward, but very important to maintaining your "Cure" organization in the future.
It doesn't need to be a large area, nor does it need to be fancy. What it does need to be is functional. Set up a spot or hook for your keys, a bowl or container for change and your wallet on a surface (like a small side table) to sort the mail and other items (newspapers, books, magazines, purchases) as they come in. Two other super helpful and nice components to add to your landing strip area are a small wastebasket/recycling bin to hold your discarded incoming stuff to be recycled and a mirror for last minute checkups on your lovely smile and fashionable attire. :)
Your goal here is to create a space that you'll want to really use each time you come in to your home to sort through the stuff you're carrying in your bags, pockets and hands upon arrival, so you stay ahead of the mail, bills and items coming in to your home and also, have smoother sailing on your way out.
Once you've set up your landing strip, use it every time you come home. Here is a sample walk through of the process, which just takes a few minutes but reduces both stress and clutter exponentially, as it becomes a habit:
As you arrive home, hang your coat, put your keys and wallet in their spots and take off your shoes. Empty the things out of your bags that you won't need to take with you when leaving next time and hang your bags.
At the landing strip area, sort through your mail and immediately toss or recycle what you do not need. Here is a sample classification of what needs attention and how to manage it:
Once the mail, reading material and items from delivered packages are sorted, put away anything else you've brought home: groceries, purchases, empty lunch containers, dry cleaning, etc.
This will just take a few minutes when you arrive home. As you finish each time, take a moment to focus on the fact that now you can relax and fully enjoy your organized home, knowing that nothing that needs attention is piling up and that everything you need for your next trip out into the world is right where you need it, easily found and ready to go!