The Bedroom Versus The Basement?

13 Jan

“Where do I start?”  Whether you’re moving into a new place (like me) or focusing on organization as part of a New Year’s Resolution, this question can’t be escaped.  Many times, the largest projects make the list of “Things To Do” and the main floor rooms are overlooked.

But I suggest going against the grain and NOT beginning with the basement or the attic- or whatever your personal equivalent is- unless these are rooms you spend a fair amount of time in daily.   Instead pick a starting place with these qualities:

1) You can make an impact on within a day. The problem with basements and attics, or “the box room” in my new home, is that it’s a project so big that it’s impossible to see any progress being made.

2) You are currently frustrated by. This weekend I made The Husband disconnect all of the computer cords and reroute them.  Why?  When we were moving in, we set up the desktop computer rather quickly, and all of the cords were running across the front of the desk and its drawers instead of behind the desk, and I was always worried about disconnecting a speaker or external hard drive.  While rerouting all of the cords was a pain, now it is a huge relief to have done, and I’m not immediately frustrated when I sit down at the computer.

I got this idea from The Happiness Project, in which Gretchen notes that, “The second trap [in happiness]  is believing that a small change won’t make a difference, that only radical change can make you happier.” Reducing a daily frustration or crossing a nagging item off your to do list can really make a difference in your home on a day-to-day basis.

3) You use on a regular basis. The main reason that basements/attics/box rooms don’t make the starting point cut is that improvements in these areas won’t make a difference on your day to day life.  But starting with a cabinet in the kitchen or your bedroom closet means you’ll be able to immediately appreciate the results.

4) You can make improvements without leaving the house. If you choose to the start at the room for which you need to run out to Home Depot, Target, and Ikea, then you’re not actually starting: you’re making a to-do list, which can be put off until whenever.  If, however, you focus on cleaning the room, putting items where they belong, or rearranging the artwork, you’ll be more likely to follow through when it does come time to go buy paint, and you’ll actually be ready to use it.

Following these rules, I’m going to start with my bedside table tomorrow, as I have no idea what’s been shoved in the drawers since the move, and then move on to the pile at the foot of my dresser.

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