The Christmas tree is at the curb all ready to be picked up.
The decorations are packed away for another year.
And the gifts, now open, are in daily use.
As Prince Edward Islanders return to their regular routines in January, often a feeling of dullness settles in.
Maybe it’s the post Christmas blues. Maybe it’s the anxiety of an incoming credit card bill.
Call it what you want, but unless there is a southern vacation planned, there’s often no relief in sight.
But never fear.
Margie Villard, a professional organizer, has some ideas for lifting spirits and getting people (and their homes) back on track for the new year.
“After everything has been put away you have this empty space that the tree and the decorations took up. So it’s great time to look at your space and refresh your focus,” says Villard, who runs Fresh Perspective: Professional Organizing in P.E.I.
The first thing is getting a vision for the room.
“A picture is worth a thousand words. When you walk in the front door, take your phone, which most people use as their camera these days, and take a picture. Even if that’s what you do the first day, you’re making a start.”
Then, ponder the photo.
“It shows you quickly and easily the things you can get rid of.”
Next, take things out of the room that don’t belong there.
“This simple exercise can lighten your space. It’s the idea of feng shui, that air needs places to flow. Doing this also gives you an incentive to think, ‘what else can we change?’ ”
Then, when everything has been cleared out, she recommends looking at the photo again and asking, “what feelings do you want the room to have? Do you want it to be fresher or brighter? Because once you have your vision in mind, it’s easier to work toward your goal.”
When the living room has been refreshened and the furniture rearranged, the feeling of accomplishment often propels her clients to try another room.
“We get so used to living in our surroundings that we don’t see them.”
So, try the same approach in the bedroom – take out all the things that don’t belong there.
“It’s the last place you see at night and the first place you see in the morning. So if you can wake up and feel good about the space, your day will be totally different. Also, if the rest of your house is overwhelming, you can go to your bedroom for five minutes and breathe.”
It’s common for people to feel overwhelmed while making changes to their home. For this, Villard recommends asking a friend or a professional to help.
“If you are calling a friend, make sure they are non-judgmental and objective. You want someone to give you help who won’t shame you or make you feel worse than you already do.
“Then you start where we are and work towards where you want to be.”
In refreshing each room, keep the kitchen until the last.
“Kitchens are one of the longest rooms to organize. There are so many things to consider. If you’re taking everything out of your pantry, you need an empty space to put it on and then you start organizing like with like, putting all your soups together and creating systems, like a baking section or a breakfast section.”
By taking time to create systems or refresh the various rooms in an apartment or house, the winter will go better, she says.
“Once you change your space, it will increase your energy. You’re going to feel calmer. You’re going to feel more focused. And once you change one space you’ll look at the next space and say, ‘now that wasn’t so bad.’ ”
Making a fresh start:
-Be mindful of the things you bring into your space.
- Systems only work with proper maintenance.
- Think vertically. For example, small bookshelves can be put on top of each other or side by side.
- When considering storage products, buy multi-purpose products. They are great for keeping everything neat and tidy.
- Reduce your storage.
Source: Margie Villard, www.joyoforganizing.ca.