Thursday, September 16, 2010

Open Sky: The Clutter Code Six Step Organizing System™

Clutter—particularly paper clutter—is an ongoing struggle for me. Thus my addiction to Hoarders and Clean House—they make me feel like I have no problem at all.

So I got my hands on a review copy of these four 15-minute programs (each also includes a book and worksheet), which cover kitchen, “mud room” (or entrance foyer), bedroom, and paper. Each program customizes the same basic six-step system;

  • The Dream: Take stock of the problems and decide what you want the area to look like, how should it function.
  • The Plan: Figure out how and when you’ll do the work, who will help, what your priorities are.
  • The Sort: List categories and sort everything.
  • The Purge: Get rid of crap (my word, not theirs).
  • The Re-Org: Set up a system to follow.
  • Maintenance: Figure out how to keep things organized.
These programs focus on families with kids, and Mom bears the burden of trying to get things organized. (So what else is new?) You’re there in the house when likable host Laura Earl Middleton turns up to help Hapless Mom, who has who just spilled a jar of spaghetti sauce on all her paperwork. There’s lots of shtick—the paper program is called Paper Trails and has a cowboy theme. Although a lot of it is just filler, I found it entertaining and pretty funny. (i.e. Your refrigerator “Food goes in and other life forms come out.”) Maybe I'm just easily amused.

Like many people with organizing issues, I read a lot about organizing but do only a fraction of what I’ve learned. Still, I’ve picked up lots of good tips here and there and put them to use, making incremental improvements in my life.

I like the whole paper sorting process provided here, particularly the no-brainer (except I never thought of it) tip of securing sorted piles with rubber bands so that a random event doesn’t put you back to square one. (Especially useful if halfway through the sort you get distracted by a shiny object and wander off, as I tend to do.)

I also appreciate the tip I actually picked up elsewhere and use often: Photograph (or scan) items you’re keeping for just sentimental reasons, and toss the item itself. Here, it’s a suggestion for dealing with kids’ artwork—-that, or send it to the grandparents, which is just kinda passing the buck, if you ask me. (And guess what? Send it to the grandparents and you’ll be dealing with it again someday.)

And I like the idea of keeping all your BBQ necessities together in a plastic bin in the fridge so you can easily pull them out. And it’s going to be a long time before I get the Closet Pokey out of my head. You put the new shirt in, you take the old shirts out, you put them in a basket and donate them all about, you do the Closet Pokey and you keep the clutter out, that’s what it’s all about.

The books that come with the program include other tips-—for example, before you buy that new kitchen gizmo, ask yourself how often you’ll use it once the novelty has worn off.

So, generally a fun program with good tips. Implementing them is another issue, of course. For motivation, I recommend Hoarders and Clean House. You don’t want to be like those people, do you?

The Clutter Code Six Step Organizing System costs $30. Buy Now

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Hello Sophia,
Thanks for the review of our Clutter Code Home Organizing DVD set. Yes we pulled out all the shtick we could with the Closet Hokey Pokey and the very funny clip of our hostess looking for a lift with the crew from the Enterprise. But as you said it was entertaining, funny and you did learn a few things. That was our goal...make it light and share some nuggets of information.
Thanks again,
Elaine Shannon