Thursday, March 28, 2013

Figuring Out Where to Start

There's a common phenomenon that takes place in our homes. We stop seeing our surroundings. Much like I lived with an unpainted door for more than a year without actually noticing the unpainted door, people live with all kinds of unfinished projects. They simply become part of the surroundings and disappear. So, too, does the pile in the corner, the clutter on the desk, the collection of coats hanging from every possible hook, "stuff" that you don't see on a daily basis. It magically disappears. Unfortunately, it's only invisible to us, the owners of the stuff, and it's often the first thing that visitors will see. When I work with clients they often seem surprised when I want to tackle the piles in the corners (Where did that come from?!) ... and almost everyone has piles in the corners. If you don't, chances are good you're not looking for advice here. 

It can feel overwhelming to know where to start organizing and improving your space. You know you need to start small, but how do you figure out where to start? The good news is that it doesn't take a professional to figure out what needs to be tackled first. Take a picture of your space right now. Take a quick look at that picture, preferably on the computer screen, where it's bigger. What's the first thing that grabs your attention? That should be the first thing you tackle. If your eye is drawn to something in the room, others will be drawn to the same thing. Then take a good long look at that picture. Does the room look balanced? Does it look like there is too much of something? Or not enough? Try to look at your space objectively and think about what would make you like it more. Then take action. It's that easy. Maybe it will lead to asking for help from a professional organizer, handyman, or decorator, but not necessarily. Many projects are much simpler than that.

Taking a picture of an area gives you a better perspective on what needs to be addressed. It allows you to "see" your room more clearly. Just like a candid photo can sometimes shock you into action (I can't possibly look like that! That's it...back to the gym!), your room's candid photo may also inspire you to take on mini-improvement projects. It often goes beyond organizing and into decorating, but it's really all about improving your space. Just take it one step at a time.

The best part? Taking your own "after" picture and giving yourself a pat on the back. Success!

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