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Organized by Melissa's Start Here Arrow

One of the top things I hear from my clients is that they don't know where to begin. Luckily, I've got a Start Here Arrow that everyone can use to kick off my 3 Phase Process. The 1st Phase, Sort & Purge, is made up only of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. You choose one room to start with and dig in after you've blocked time off on your calendar to do so. You walk to the room & look where do you dig in at?!?

That's where my Start Here Arrow comes in. Sometimes, there are rooms that I organize that we can't walk into at 1st. I can get the door open a little ways & peer in. My client nervously looks at me like "There's no way you'll ever get this started." That was the moment I realized I had my Start Here Arrow. Always, no matter if you're tackling a room where you can't open the door all the way or if it's a room that looks tidy until you open the cabinets or closets, start with the floor at the door. Walk to the doorway that is the main entryway from the interior of the home (if there's only one doorway that's where you start). Stand outside with your toes touching the beginning of the floor of the room you've chosen. Look down & imagine an arrow that says Start Here. Feel the anxiety lessen. Take a deep breath. Look straight ahead, to your right or to your left. Whatever item is closest to your toes reach down and pick up...if you have to walk into the room to do this then go for it. But only choose what's on the floor. Follow a path around the floor until everything on the floor has been sorted & purged. Make it as simple as the children's board game Candyland. Seriously, there's no reason to make life any more complicated than it already is. Candyland Simple. Breath. Look under the couch, under the bed, behind the dresser. But only do the floor. Once the floor is clear look at all that you've accomplished! That's Wow Factor, it's now easier to get to the rest of the furniture, closets & it's safer to walk through without tripping hazards.

Once everything on the floor has been sorted & purged then go back to the door. Whichever direction you went with the floor go that same direction but do the perimeter of the room. That's all the furniture lining the walls of the room, decor on the walls, curtains & blinds (Yup, hate the broken blind hanging there? I take those down with my clients all the time.) If you have a piece with a flat surface or counter sort & purge the counter 1st (it's like the floor), the lower cabinets 2nd & the upper cabinets 3rd. Be systematic & don't skip anything. You're emptying the whole room. It gets worse before it gets better. I compare sorting & purging to Humpty Dumpty (simple analogies during stressful situations help), he gets broken into a bunch of pieces BEFORE he gets put back together again.

Once the perimeter of the room is done do any furniture or units floating in the center last. Remember, you're still only sorting & purging. Don't put anything away. Anything floating in the center would be an island in a kitchen, a desk floating in the center of an office, a trunk at the end of a bed & so on. Once anything in the center is sorted & purged Phase 1 is complete.

To recap, you sort & purge the floor 1st, then the perimeter of the room & then any piece/s of furniture in the center of the room. You're only deciding what to keep & what to get rid of. Give it a try, you'll find that doing it in this systematic, methodical way takes away the guessing game & eleminates anxiety about where to begin. You've got my Start Here Arrow to use, at the floor on the door with every single closet & room in your home. You can do it!

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