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Blog: An Organization Diet -- Lose the clutter and drop the weight
Putting out the Clutter Hot Spot fires!

  If you've been participating in my Organization Diet ® program, you are now about to begin week #3! You should already be feeling lighter…in the space around you as well as your body image! I have come to find and many studies have now proven that there is a direct link between cluttered home space, cluttered schedules and virtual clutter (overflowing computer in-box) to extra pounds on our bodies! So, if you've got some weight to lose, chances are, the help you need to lose it might be in the cluttered lifestyle you are currently leading!
    Okay, last week (week 2) I told you to go through your home and simply clear off countertops and tabletops!  The idea behind that is to give you a quick snapshot of clear space at a glance. It's okay if your closets and cabinet/drawer spaces still need to be cleared out…we'll get there…It just makes it easier to begin organizational projects in any room with a visually clear starting point! Bathroom cabinets are easier to accomplish when your vanity is clean, kitchen cabinets are easier to organize when your kitchen counters are free of clutter, you will actually sleep better if your nightstand tabletop is clean and clutter free and so on! And I hope you made the time to go through some of your household drawers to exterminate our clutter critter of the week: old non-working pens and pencils that cram our spaces! I don't know about you, but I threw out a big zip lock bag full of them and put extras in a small bin on my office bookshelf, labeled 'extra pens & pencils'. I've made a vow to myself that if I don't ever have the need to go into that bin to pull out pens and pencils within 6 months, that bin will go bye bye too!
   Please email me to let me know how you're doing and if you are struggling with any part of the program so that I can offer you assistance. My email address is: . I was delighted to hear from so many of you that are starting on the program and many who emailed to tell me they are jumping on board week 2. I would also love to know where you are emailing from. Please let me know what state you reside, as I would love to include stats of which part of the country seems to be most responsive to this kind of diet program in the new book I am writing. When SIMPLE STEPS: 10 Weeks To Getting Control Of Your Life first hit the market in 2003, it was interesting to hear from the publisher that the book hit the 'bestseller list for southern states' within six weeks on the market! Most interesting because my co-authors and I live in the Northeast! Perhaps we first identified with southern women because they were more apt to follow a relaxing, simplified lifestyle (us northern multi-taskers should take note!).
    I also hope you are all weighing in on the start day of each week (Tuesdays when new blogs are posted at about 1 PM). Please let me know if you've already started to see pounds leave your body as clutter leaves your home! I don't know about you, but I'm down 4 pounds already…without even making any severe dietary changes! That's why this program works so well. Clearing your clutter will ease the pounds off of you! I've been making a commitment to clear my schedule more (which is my big clutter problem!). I've learned to say 'no' and now realize that every PTO, church, Organizing Association and any other volunteer group project does NOT absolutely need me to get it done. There is a time to step back and a time to pass the torch. I have also decided to cut back on my out of home organizing jobs to spend more time writing and just playing with my kids (things that seemed to be on the backburner in the past). 
   Okay…WEEK 3 on THE ORGANIZATION DIET®. Don't forget to weigh in today and record your weight so you can witness any progress. In this diet journal, you can also record the organizational progress you are achieving in your home! There are a couple of participants that emailed to tell me they are even taking before and after pictures of their home space each week! If anyone can share photos with me to possibly include in the book, I'd appreciate that. Please note: I will never use your last name unless you say it's okay.  
    Every week, continue using your 15 base cards (8 water cards, 3 vegetable cards, 2 fruit cards, daily toss ten card, and your daily exercise card). Remember to pull them out every morning and place them on your kitchen counter or desk with the aim to get them tucked back into your index card file box as soon as they are accomplished, one by one. This visual reminder is what really helps us keep on track!
    This week you will be adding 3 cards: Your Organizational task which I call your weekly 'Pitstop Project', your clutter critter card (the clutter you should try to exterminate from your home this week) and a new dietary card, which will be added to your 15 base cards to use every week hereafter. Okay, pull out 3 more blank index cards and get them ready for use starting today:
1.      Pitstop Project for this week: Remove CLUTTER HOT SPOTS in your home. Clutter hot spots is what I refer to as all those "piles" of clutter gathered in various corners of your home (maybe the pile of paperwork on your desk, the stack of books to put away or donate, crammed toy boxes, etc), or the overflowing bins filled with stuff, or even piles of junk removed from previous organizing projects that you never dealt with. Walk through your home and make note of anything you would consider to be a clutter hot spot in a room and deal with it this week: clear these piles of 'stuff', purge them, donate them or find proper 'homes' for these things, if needed. Again, we are still working on the visual conception of your home space. I think working from the outside in is a good technique in preparation for clearing out the 'guts' of your home in the coming weeks (closets, cabinets and drawer space).
2.      Clutter Critter for this week: SOCKS! Old socks, holey socks and stray socks! Let's dump them this week and clear our sock drawers….and while you're at it, help your spouse with his and work on your kid's sock drawers too! When you finish this task during the week, watch how your mood will change and your energy level will spike a bit, the day after when you open the drawer to retrieve a pair of socks and everything is clear and organized. For some of you…if your socks are in bad shape, a trip to the store might be needed. Treat yourself to new socks. For this, I recommend visiting a warehouse club store (BJ's, Costco, Sams Club) where you can get bulk socks for a great price!
3.      Add one more diet card this week: a MEAL PLANNING Card! The sooner you plan your dinner menu for that day (which might mean taking out meat to defrost, setting the crock pot or even preparing dinner right after breakfast and throwing it into the refrigerator if you'll be out all day) …the sooner you can get this meal planning card off your kitchen counter and tucked back into your index card file box! Organizing your meals ahead of time, you will find, is a huge diet help…allowing time to think about what you and your family will be eating.
Good luck everyone! Let's hope we all see more pounds shed by next Tuesday! Don't forget to email me directly and let me know how you are doing! Happy Organizing! Lisa

posted on: 1/22/2008 12:30:00 PM by Lisa Lelas
category: Special Populations

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An Organization Diet -- Lose the clutter and drop the weight

by Lisa Lelas

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About Lisa:

Lisa Lelas is an author, life coach, professional organizer and speaker on the subject of simplifying, enhancing and organizing one's life. The owner of Life Styling, in Guilford, on the Connecticut Shoreline, Lisa has been featured on Oprah Winfrey, the Today Show, NBC news, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal and more. She is the creator/host of the country's first daily talk radio feature "The Organizing Minute" and has come to be known in New England as "the organizing lady" from her many regular segments on local TV network affiliates, radio & the press. Lisa is the author of the bestselling 'Simple Steps: 10 Weeks to Getting Control of Your Life', 'Simple Steps for Every Holiday', Simple Steps Audio-book (6 CD set), an all new Simple Steps wall calendar 2008, and creator of a retail line of floral hand painted and collaged organizing bins called 'Blooming Bins'. Lisa lives in Guilford, CT with her husband, John, two daughters, Lindsay 10 and Lexy 8 and her very spoiled, very cute maltese dog, Daisy!

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