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How do you know what to do?

Customers will often tell me “my house is a disaster zone; I don’t know what to do or where to begin”. Or, “I have so much “stuff” I can’t squeeze one more thing into my closets and drawers”. Others say, “I haven’t found the top of my desk in so long that I don’t remember what it looks like”. Have you ever felt like that? Are there certain areas of your house or office that just seem to collect “stuff”? I mean stacks of “stuff” that just seem to accumulate out of thin air and never go away.

We all seem to have those areas in our homes and offices that become the collecting station for “stuff” we really don’t quite know where to put or what to do with it. So, there it sets. It doesn’t take long for “stuff” to get out of control and eat up counter space in the kitchen, on the bar, end tables and desks or become stacks on the floor. Eventually it may become difficult to even find sitting space on sofas and chairs. Not only is all of this “stuff” taking up much needed counter space or work area and looks awful but it zaps your energy as well.

Every time you look at your overflowing counters it reminds you of all the work you still have left to do. When you sit at your desk to work and it is already full you feel overwhelmed before you begin. If there are stacks of books or magazines by your bed wanting your attention when you are ready to sleep, your subconscious mind continues to dwell upon all of the unfinished projects, books, junk mail, magazines and work you’ve left behind causing you to sleep restlessly.

Just where do you begin and what do you do? In this case, the best place to begin is in the bedroom. It is important for everyone to get a good nights rest in order to regenerate and re-energize our bodies every day. It is hard enough to face piles of “stuff” that need attention when we are well rested but when we are tired to begin with, it becomes an impossible task. Sort all of the piles of “stuff” that have accumulated in your bedroom into two boxes and one basket. Label box one TRASH, box two SOMEDAY and the 2 basket will be current things you will attend to over the next 30 days. Sort through your “stuff” quickly and throw away everything that doesn’t fit the SOMEDAY category or is not current and needs your attention now. It doesn’t matter if this is clothing that needs mending, magazines and catalogues, left over holiday gift wrap or even questionable gifts. Place into the SOMEDAY box those things that you really need or want to keep and will take care of within 90 days. If it isn’t important enough to take care of in the next three months, it probably isn’t that important and you should “get rid of it”. Not only have you taken care of some early spring cleaning in your bedroom but you will rest much better and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Whether your work takes you out of the house or you work from a home office doesn’t matter. This should be the second area to tackle. It takes concentration and focus on your goals and objectives to perform well when working. It is very difficult to concentrate when your desk and office is out of control with stacks, piles and post-its everywhere. Follow a similar procedure to that used in your bedroom. Throw away “everything” that you do not need. Organize and file everything that is not current. Only those things that you are going to work on today should remain on the top of your desk. If you don’t have files, create them. If you don’t have ways to quickly organize use inexpensive baskets. Place all pens, pencils and desk tools in a mug for easy access. Most importantly, be sure there is ample space on your desk to work in addition to that laptop or keyboard. It takes a lot of energy to overcome chaos and clutter on your desk. Energy that is much better spent focused on productivity.

The kitchen ranks a close second for clearing and energizing. Not only does your body need rest so it can concentrate on tasks at hand, it also needs nourishment. It is very difficult to prepare meals when you are faced with mounds of junk mail, jackets, lunch boxes, grocery bags, pet supplies and dirty dishes. Kitchen counters should be kept as empty and clean as possible. If you don’t use an appliance daily or don’t have cupboard space to store it either find space in a closet for it or “get rid of it”. Junk mail should be disposed of immediately. At the same time, bills and letters should be placed in baskets or drawers designated for just that purpose. Find ways that work best for you to deal with 3 dishes, groceries and all of the other things that manage to accumulate on your counters. Baskets will work as well in the kitchen as they do in the bedroom or office.

Knowing what to do about things that zap your energy is less important than tackling the job one piece at a time and eliminating all of the “stuff” standing in your way. A good rule to follow is “organize it or get rid of it”.


© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved

Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork,  call: 561-408-2708.

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