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©2011 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Did you read this column title as “Spring Cleaning?”   I have lived in places with actual winters, cold weather, ice, wind, and snow.  In those areas, Spring Cleaning was widely understood as an annual ritual.  It took place in many households, when the weather finally became warm enough to open the windows again, after the relative confinement of Winter. As plants began to sprout, leaf out, or bud, so people would take a fresh look around the house and air out, clean out, and toss out unneeded items, dirt, and general clutter.

So, what if your home and office were very clean, all areas were decorated to please you, and you knew where everything was when you wanted to reach for it?  How much time and stress would you save?  How much energy would you have, compared to moving around in your Winter space, with stuffy air and plenty of dust and clutter?  How long does it currently take you to find the office stapler, the correction tape, the blank CDs, or your computer’s portable backup device?  Do you know where all your bills are, and when you last paid what?  Can you quickly put your hands on the tool you need, the extra blanket for company, or the sweater Aunt Pat gave you last year?  How much time do you spend searching?

My friend, author Donna Smallin (Kuper), has written several books that can help you get control of your home and office.  An expert organizer, Donna believes in simple organizing. In her book, Organizing Plain and Simple, Donna even offers a quiz to help you identify your Organizing IQ.  She suggests we each ACT:  Assess the situation, Commit to a plan (in writing), and Take action.  What if your overall need is simply to reduce your clutter?  Might you want to go room by room, reducing your belongings by 20 percent?  Perhaps all you need is to centralize your workspace and equip it to work better for you.  Or, if you can never find your keys, checkbook, purse, or phone, perhaps the main thing you need is a designated landing pad relatively near your front door. This might be a table, shelf, or drawer, where you drop the keys and other items on the way in, and from which you pick them up on the way out.  Pick one small aspect or area of your home or office to start with.  Once organized, the area will be easy to clean.  You’ll be running more efficiently, feeling good about your decluttered space and yourself, and finding your energy springing forth.  Soon you’ll want to tackle organizing a new aspect or area.  And there is no limit to how far you can take this chain reaction of Spring organizing and cleaning, then springing up to new energy levels.

Officially, Spring begins on March 20th.  But what’s holding you back from springing forward with your environment, your stuff, and your life right now?  Start small, and soon the rewards will be great.

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Reach the writer at kebba@kebba.com.

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