Compliments of Cupcakes take the Cake via Flickr

Compliments of Cupcakes take the Cake via Flickr

Weekend errands can extend into mindless shopping excursions. With time at a premium, precious minutes that could have been spent streamlining our space are sometimes wasted.

Several Saturdays ago I changed my routine. A day comprised of aimless shopping (and a potentially unpleasant, overpriced culinary experience) was substituted for a mini “stay-cation,” in which I transposed summer/winter clothing from upstairs to downstairs, arranged scarves in a cascading hanging arrangement (which involved some preordering to obtain the correct item) and replaced worn out plastic ware with dishwasher/microwave/freezer friendly glass containers.

These activities are tedious and time consuming, ones on which we frequently tend to procrastinate. Remaining in the place of most resistance did however yield some staggering results. Scarves slipped from scattered chaos to a now accessible display of silken treasures. The semi-annual migration of clothing resulted in an unexpected (and much needed) garment bag discovery. Tossing old containers removed clutter from an already cramped area, to make way for sleek, modern looking glass mini-displays, each with its own unique shape and colorful topper.

Scarf display

Scarf display

As a result of this sorting process I feel in greater control of both my physical and metaphorical houses. Another side benefit is that doing so makes your home an enjoyable respite, and you less likely to escape on future frivolous side trips. To get yourself in the habit of taking a serious look at your surroundings, set aside one Saturday per/month to sort three things. With practice, the organizing process will go faster – leaving you more time to savor the day.

Begin early – after breakfast and your morning stretch – by tackling the most onerous task first. Complete this fully, then embark on the next one. The serendipitous outcome is that you’ll find items gone AWOL and you can take stock of furtive housewares.

You will find that “sifting time” is always a valuable use of yours.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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