by Jamie Novak
When is the last time you experienced ODS (Organizing Distraction Syndrome?) Here are some of the symptoms, starting an organizing project but not completing it, oh wait that’s basically the only symptom.
It goes something like this:
You start a project. Let’s say you set out to clear your bedside table. It seems like a simple enough organizing task that’ll just take a few minutes. You start with the overflowing stack of magazines and while sorting them into recycle and to-read piles, you flip one open and see an article about a website on how to stop junk mail. Well you don’t want to forget that, so you better do it now. After all, it will only take a minute. So you hop on the computer and look up the site, and since you’re on the computer anyway, you just take an extra minute to check your email. While reading a joke of the day, the phone rings. It’s your neighbor asking you to pet sit. You can’t think of a good reason not to fast enough, so now you are on the hook. You get up to put the dates on your calendar, and while in the kitchen, you start a load of dishes and grab a snack. Now it’s time for dinner, and you stare into the fridge wondering what in the world you’ll make. By now you’ve been in every room of the house, but the bedside table still looks the same. A clear case of ODS.
So what’s a Mom to do? Try this: Before you set out on your organizing task set a timer for exactly 18 minutes, the rule is you can’t leave that area or start another task until the buzzer goes off. If something off topic comes to mind write it down and keep going.
The good news is organizing does not have to cost a dime! Here are some ideas of what you can do with an item from your recycling bin during your 18 minutes:
1. In the medicine cabinet. Adhere a magnet to the inside of the medicine cabinet door or under one of the shelves. Then you can stick tweezers or clippers to the magnet so they are within reach.
2. For necklaces. Keep your necklaces tangle free by placing them in a CD case prior to traveling. Not only will they be protected, they’ll lay flat and will not be tangle into those disorganized knots.
3. For socks. Do you have a pile of unmatched socks? Most of us do. Instead of trying to match socks after they’re laundered keep them together through laundering process by clipping matches together as soon as you take them off using a clothespin.
4. As a drawer organizer. In a desk, makeup or junk drawer egg cartons make great organizers. They are shallow enough to fit in a slim drawer, you can leave the lid open to hold larger items or cut the lid off and just use the “cups.” You can even customize the size by trimming down the number of cups to suit your needs.
5. For cords. Bend the extension cord back and forth then insert into the tube. Don’t forget to label the tube so you know what’s inside.
And if all else fails, when company is at your front door and you still have clutter on every horizontal surface don’t panic. Simply scoop the clutter into a springtime basket (or two) and quickly cover with the faux grass and a stuffed bunny or some candy- no one will catch onto your clever clutter disguise.
Have a clutter-free day, Jamie.
Enter MommaSaid’s Housewife Award contest by March 15, 2010, for your chance to win a copy of Jamie’s new book, “Stop Throwing Money Away.”