Here’s the Talk, Ladies. Organizing for Health, Habits, De-Cluttering a Room and The Closet Party!

Organizing for Health.

January: the Bedroom month


You’ve heard them. Other peoples resolutions.

Some of us want to lose weight. Some vow to save money.  Some want to be more organized or make their business grow in 2012, some just need to live healthier.

Some want all of the above!

Maybe secretly, you do too.

If this is in fact so, pick one goal or resolution, and focus on it for 30 days. Just one, please!

It takes about 30 days to create a new a habit.

Set your intention to take your new action each day for the next 30 days. Put up reminders around your home.

Choose just one new habit to install at a time.

It’s a challenge to focus on more than one. In fact trying to make a whole lot of changes at once is a great way to sabotage yourself. One a month means a whole lot of change by the end of the year.

When you are creating a new habit, you will feel discomfort. This is because you are going through the process of change.

Stephen Covey’s book, ‘The 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE’, teaches habits of personal change.

Habit 1 Be Proactive see problems as a challenge for growth and change.

Habit 2 Begin with the end in mind

Habit 3 Put first things first

Habit 4 Think Win/Win

Habit 5 Seek first to Understand, then to be Understood

Habit 6 Synergize

Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw

Let’s say we start with organizing for several reasons:

Organizing can improve so many aspects of your life, including helping you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Two, two, goals in one!

Being organized reduces stress

The biggest cause of stress, when it gets right down to it, is RESISTING CHANGE. Change is inevitable, as we know, and require us to make decisions in our lives. My definition of hell on earth is having a big decision to make and not having made it yet.

Clutter represents postponed decisions!

BP’s taken before and after a person bets on a horse race at the track, showed significant increase before, then normalizing after the bet was placed. And the race hasn’t started yet! Think about it. Decision’s postponed.

One of the reasons I respect my shopping time, is that, not only are you walking on, perhaps, not the best shoes for a work-out, but everything you pick up has decisions attached to it. Do I like it? Would it make my life better? Can I justify the CPU? (cost per use). Is it worth trying on? Does it come in my size?  (Now you’re looking for something again).

Being organized gives you time to eat right.

You will have the time you need (and you don’t need hours) to eat well-balanced, home-cooked, homemade, healthy meals. You’ll shop with healthy foods in mind. You’ll make the time to pack them up in snack sized quantities for on the go eating. You will grocery shop with a weekly menu in mind.

Being organized gives you time to exercise

The first three things to go when a person is too busy, or just managing their time poorly are friends, exercise and paperwork.

You can easily build exercise into your daily routine–no matter how busy you are. You’re going to make an appointment with yourself for that.

Being organized reduces accidents

Trippage, falls, fires from paper files, candles, computer, etc. Spillage,  and also clobberage from above. I’m an ER nurse. I know how accidents happen.

Being organized allows you to breathe better

It’s very difficult to clean when there’s clutter strewn about. When you’re organized, you can quickly and easily dust and vacuum, without obstacles. Otherwise those dust mites are there, causing allergy symptoms to you and those you live with. Some of you have maybe seen the show called ‘Hoarders’. Mould, mice and worse hide underneath the clutter.

Being organized can make you and others happier

Perhaps you are late for things, your family has to look for things, you cause your daughter to always be late for practice, dance, hockey etc. Your boss might be angry that you can’t find something or get things done on deadline. Being organized will create less stress and less conflict with family members.

Let’s look at your business. What if you had only 2 hours a day to be productive? What would you choose to do? When you book the appointment…2 hours a day, you will use it productively.

What do you want?

How bad do you want it?

What would you do to get it?

What are you doing instead? Look long and hard at how you spend your time. Log it if you have to. Find the gaps. Read between the lines of your daytimer. What are you doing during the commercials when you’re watching TV?

 Tell others about the actions you intend to take – the more people you tell, the more committed you’ll be and the more you’ll be accountable.

Okay, now, let’s get right down to it!

De-Cluttering a Room:


De-cluttering and organizing your home is not about getting rid of everything. It’s about surrounding yourself with the things that speak to you, make you feel happy, and reflect the person that you are.

There’s a difference between an organized person and a clutterbug.

Someone can be both. If I asked you to find something, anything, and you can find it within a minute, I would call you organized, even if your space was full of clutter.

The average adult can easily spend up to an hour a day, looking for things. Don’t believe it? Add the computer, your purse, and the fridge.  Ahh, the 1st world problems of today!

The first step to de-cluttering any space is the most important.

Make the appointment and keep it!

Respect yourself enough to show up. Respect yourself enough to keep the appt like you would respect your friend, co-worker, business associate, or your Dr, Hair dresser, child’s teacher, etc. Why not? You are just as important as they are to your life.

Gather equipment. A donate box, and/or clear plastic bag, a dump bag and/or box, and a delegate bin. This is for those things that are going to another room or place like a garage or storage space.

Turn on some music.

Set the timer for 20 minutes.

Listen to the ticking to focus on the task.

Zone in on one area at a time. You’re keeping only the items that have a home and deserve that prime real estate. If it doesn’t have a home, it can’t live there! Honour the item if it does.


Use it or lose it. Use your good things now. It’s not the end of the world if you have to replace a piece or two.


Donate, Delegate, Dump   Remove to containers. Don’t think long about each item.

Designate a permanent donate container. This is especially useful in the closet.


Sort like with like.  You will eventually designate zones for items that are alike. This makes things easier to find. I know if something is a paper, it’s in my office zone.

Acknowledge your progress – even if you don’t do it perfectly. Focus on what you ARE doing.

Reward yourself: You choose! When the timer goes off, decide if you’re on a roll, and keep up the momentum, or reward yourself with a break, even if it’s just a stop for a cup of tea with your feet up. But time the break also, if you plan on doing more. When I’m involved with a task, it seems that I work beyond the 20 minutes because the momentum is there.

Book another appointment.

How do you keep up the maintenance?

Fake it til you make it.

Live with it as if.

As if you were that minimalist, organized person.

(Organized people don’t see dusty boxes as treasures, they see junk shackling them to the past, blocking them from new experiences and generally overtaking their lives)

As if you were house sitting.

As if you were selling.

As if you were temporarily there. This helps you learn what’s really important in your life. Try not to purge to the point of guilt, because that would be more detrimental than productive, no? There’s a show on TV called Consumed, in which the participants get most of their stuff removed and have to go through a month without it, then decide what to do with the heaps of it in a huge storage unit. But for you? Try a few boxes. Label them and store them.

This could be worth renting a storage space. It could save you in the long run, because consider that this is the price to pay now for saving later in shopping binges, collecting that you’re accustomed to. Oh the 1st world problems we have!

Make a date to go back to the ‘stuff’ in 30 days.


January is the bedroom month. We are indoors more than any other time of the year. We are nesting after the chaos of the holidays. We are preparing for the renewal that the spring equinox has to offer.

So let’s focus on the closet first. I like to look at closet organizing as if I were having a party in a small space.

The Closet: Have a Party!

Who are you going to invite to the small space?

Ask yourself if each item is a:

Friend, Acquaintance, or a Stranger

Create an invite list.

Be vigilant on what things you allow to enter your life. This includes your friends doesn’t it?


The invitation list has to come within certain parameters when you have a small space:

1.     Size Matters.  Too big or too small a size, or waiting until you are that size again? Dress for now, if it doesn’t fit, it needs to disappear. If you lose weight and a few sizes, you DESERVE new clothes

2.     They have to fit in. Only invite clothes. The most common things found on closet floors are free weights and fans. Certain items of clothing you would wear if they didn’t pucker, or make your tummy or behind look ‘this-way’ ‘or that-way’.  These need to go. You only want clothes that make you feel and look good.

3.     They can’t be outdated. Haven’t worn them in a year? How do you know for sure? Peter Walsh’s tip is my favourite because it’s easy. Turn all your hangers backward. After you wear something, replace it on the rack forward. Now look at your hangers in 6 months when you’re changing over seasons. Purge them. If and when those styles come into fashion again, be assured that new colours and textures will be used by current designers.

4.     They have to be a good influence. Remember your mother telling you that ‘you are who your friends are’. Every time you put it on you get asked if you feel tired. Truth is, you are tired of the item. Then it just sits in your closet

5.     They should be seasoned. Decide, depending upon space, if you need a place to keep out of season clothes. A plastic container, or an unused suitcase can work well for these. Winter clothes get of the way as soon as it’s May! I keep a bulky sweater in white or cream handy for those cool summer nights.

6.     They are allowed their cliques:  Sort like colours together: This will help you see what colors you have in your closet. Is it all black? Black, being a minimizing color, is what every woman needs, but you might consider looking into other colors to accessorize your wardrobe that work for YOU.

7.     Treat your guest list well. No wire hangers for your clothes that have earned their place on your list! Give them the honour they deserve. They made the list after all!

8.     Get a co-host: Choose a buddy. Pick someone that you respect and trust. Someone, perhaps that has the same problem as you and you can swap parties. Pssst! Drop off the clothes at the thrift store on the way!

9.     Reward yourself! This is especially easy if you have a buddy and can go out for a coffee and dessert afterward or between parties.


Keep a permanent donate bin or bag in your closet so you can toss immediately when you have the whim to do so.

Your closet will love you and you will save time, energy, and yes, money!


The principle, or master bedroom should be your sanctuary. The décor is best minimalist yet cozy. You can do this easily with a monochromatic colour scheme. The important thing with using one colour though is to vary your textures to add warmth. You should feel an internal “Aaaahh!” factor when you walk into the room. This is where you start your day with clarity and calm, naturally and balanced, and end your day with peace and gratitude. Enjoy!

See online resources

Helen Buttigeig

Peter Walsh

Clutter Diet-lots of great videos

Get Organized Now

Sign up for Google Alert ‘Organizing’

Apartment Therapy