Look around: What tiny project can you do?

14 April 2020


So many of us are at home now. Some are working from home. Others aren’t. But one thing is pretty sure: We’re spending lots of time with our stuff.

When social distancing started, I attacked a few organizing projects around my house because I suddenly had time to do them. But my enthusiasm for them waned pretty quickly. Now, one month in, I’m starting to address some teeny, tiny projects that will remove some irritations without much effort.

Case in point: I do yoga in our guest room. I keep the yoga mat down and it’s easy for me to take my computer in for at-home yoga. When I do twists over my right shoulder I see the full bookshelf in that room. And I’m continually distracted by the thought, “I should get rid of some of those books.” Then my thoughts go to, “Well, I can’t make any donations right now, so what’s the point?” This is in the middle of a yoga practice, which is pretty counterproductive.

So today I spent a total of 15 minutes going through the books. I decided to reserve the bottom two shelves for books I would donate. I shuffled books around so that the bottom two hold donations and the upper shelves are books to keep. I didn’t move any of my husband’s books to the donate shelves and I’m hopeful I can get him to designate some for donation. (That will require a little more rearrangement, but that’s okay.) Once I’m able to donate the books, all I’ll have to do is remove the ones from designated shelves and move some of the books around.

I know it’s hard to tell whether the photo above is a before or an after, but it’s an after. It didn’t make a huge visual difference, but I think it will make a psychic difference. Tomorrow morning when I do yoga again I can’t wait to find out whether the bookshelf is no longer be a distraction because it no longer represents a task I need to do.

I’m wondering if you can do the same. Is there anything bugging you that 15 minutes can take care of? Maybe it’s your water bottles or commuter mugs. (Those are the kitchen-cabinet shelves I notice get most cluttered in clients’ homes.) Or food-storage containers. Perhaps it’s pulling the expired foods from your pantry. Or inventorying the contents of your freezer.

When all this is over and we’re back to our busy lives I think it will feel good to have taken care of these little projects. With 15 minutes of daily effort, we can make a huge difference in our homes!

ETA: When I did yoga the next morning, it was a great relief to have gone through that bookshelf! Having checked off that task gave me mental peace.

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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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