Avoid Unpacking Overwhelm!

Setting up a new kitchen or home office can be an overwhelming task. What is the best location for all those different types of things? Just the quantity of things to be organized can shut you down. Recently I helped one of my long-term clients set up both her kitchen and home office following a rennovation. She kept taking deep breaths and saying, “Oh, my!” every time I brought in a new box and unpacked it. She wasn’t alone! I too experienced the gut- clenching feeling of, “Oh my God! What do I do with all this stuff!”

Experience has taught me to push past those feelings and just make the best guess I can for the optimal placement of everything. I’ve learned that aiming for perfection will keep me from unpacking anything or will set me up to feel like a failure when I don’t make the best decisions about placement.

Initially it’s most important to get everything out of boxes and the boxes removed. Then I place things by category. For example, all the food stuffs go together in one location. Within the food stuff category, I clump together snacks, dinner items, baking and dessert items, canned good, drinks, etc. Then I place those categories based on how often my client and her family access each category. Those that they grab most often are located between waist and shoulder level.

Once things are initially put away, I tell clients to use the space for awhile. Doing that will help them fine-tune its organization. If something isn’t in the best location, they’ll feel irritated by the effort it takes to retrieve or put things away. Or, they will feel bothered that they have something they seldom use in their face all the time, taking up prime real estate. That irritation is their cue to make an adjustment in location. I recommend that they bring things they use the most closer to them and move things they seldom or only occasionally use further away from them.

So, the next time you have to unpack a kitchen or an office, cut yourself some slack! Don’t expect to organize it perfectly the first time. Organizing is a process, a process of figuring out what works best over time. Get things unpacked and placed in the most logical location. Remember, it’s likely that you’ll have to move things around a bit once you start using the space. That’s part of the process, not a sign of incompetence or failure!

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in your life. If you’re ready to finally clear the clutter from your life and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.

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