To get organized, dump your brain clutter

To get organized, dump your brain clutter

Are you someone who gets super inspired about potential house projects as you scroll through Instagram or watch HGTV? Maybe it’s big overhaul projects where you want an entire new kitchen to entertain, or smaller decorative tweaks to make your home feel cozier or more YOU? Whatever it is, it’s fun to plan and dream… but then you hit a roadblock when you realize what step #1 of starting that project is: get organized. 

Sure, that can mean buying the materials, picking out the paint color, etc. but usually you have to actually physically organize or clear out that space first to make way for the “new & improved” version.

So, you go ahead and add “organize *insert room/space in home here* before starting *insert fun project here* to your mental to do list right next to…

  • Donate old clothes
  • Buy storage tubs for Christmas decorations
  • Clean out pantry
  • Etc.

And now you start to remember all of the other basic home organization things you should probably do first, and start stressing about the ones you probably can’t even remember. And whoosh there goes the wind right out of your sails.

What do you do???

Brain dump your organization to-dos. ALL OF THEM. Get these thoughts out of your head and onto paper, and you will free up your mind to actually start addressing them.

A “brain dump” doesn’t sound so sexy but it’s an effective way to describe a tool that helps me immensely when I want to get all those pesky & ever-increasing to-dos from my mind down on paper. Once it’s down on paper, then I can really organize it. Here's how I do that:

  1. Choose your format: Start with picking a simple place you can jot these down that you have access to all the time. Is it a note in your phone? A small journal that you carry with you in your purse? I personally use a Google doc because I can access it from my phone or computer, one of which I am around 99% of the time.
  2. Brain dump: Write down all of your home organization to-dos, AND your fun home project aspirations in it. Don’t worry about a specific format, or categorizing anything, just get it all down.
  3. Let the list breathe: Don't take any massive action for a few days or weeks, and any time something pops into your head as you go about your day, or your house, drop it into that document. This can be simple stuff like, “replace office chair cushion”; “buy new silverware organizer”; “get old tub of children’s clothing from mom’s to donate”, etc. 
  4. Categorize: Once you’re ready, lump these tasks into categories. This could be by rooms of the house, priorities, or whatever makes sense to you.
  5. Make a plan: Highlight which projects - or even a single project - you want to prioritize this month. You can even go a step further by breaking them down into achievable tasks.
    • I.e. Instead of “clean out closet” (intimidating, right?) you could start with: 1) Sort clothes by category & refold; 2) Remove things that no longer fit or that I haven’t worn in a year; 3) Bag items I want to donate; 4) Bag items I need to trash; 5) Bring bags to car; …you get the picture. This breakdown can make the task all the more manageable when it comes time to do it, because the decision making has already been done - by you!

My mind truly feels at ease knowing I have a running doc of every thought or desire that’s passed through my head regarding my house. It may be overwhelming when you first look at the list, but remember that ALL of those things used to just be floating around in your head. You just created space for it, and can use that space to actually take the steps to doing it!

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