One principle taught by FlyLady is that when we declutter and clean our homes we clear the way for dreams to be born. The importance of keeping the home is often overlooked in today’s modern culture. Your home, apartment or room that you live in is not only a place of rest it is where many have home businesses. A place of rest should be relaxing, peaceful and reasonably clean and decluttered. While your work environment needs to be organized, functional and aesthetically pleasing.
We need not look for perfection, it is progress that we want to achieve. When your papers are put away you are able to focus on your top priorities. You are clearing the way for success when you tackle tasks that you have previously delayed.
Rather than being consumed with worry about an incomplete to-do list you can spend time each day making progress toward your goal. Consider times you have wanted to work toward your dream yet you kept getting a nagging feeling about that procrastinated task.
I will list a 6 step process that will help you to design your creative work space. It’s important to note that this is “pressure free” and in no way needs to be done “perfectly”. You are developing healthy habits which lead your journey. Set your timer or follow a schedule to allow time for each of the following steps. Ideally this will occur most days of the week. Each step can be scheduled in as a time block or with a timer throughout each week.
Step One: Tidy Up
Your kitchen, living room and dinning room are the first spots to make presentable. They are the rooms you see when entering your living space. Set your timer spending just enough time getting the rooms straightened. Pick up trash and put away stray items. You will de-clutter during another time slot. While I was in high school I would allow my room to become so cluttered that the floor would be completely covered in chaos! If I were expecting a friend I would grab 1-2 laundry baskets and fill it to the brim. Then I would stash this basket in the closet. The room always looked fantastic after this. However, over time I learned how to keep my room looking more company ready.
Step Two: Clean
When I speak of cleaning I mean the most basic of tasks. Scrubbing the bathrooms, sink, sweeping, etc. Deep spring cleaning will follow. You want your home clean enough so you would not be embarrassed if someone were to pop in unexpectedly. Once you have cleaned a space take out the trash and open up the windows. Even if this is your home, you are designing a productive and inviting environment for your home based work studio or office.
Step Three: De-clutter
A desk filled with trinkets, bills and random papers will weight you down. Your attention will be divided between these objects and your task at hand. It may take some time to clear hot spots in your home like these. This is why you may want to unleash your secret weapon. The laundry basket. You can quickly “stash and dash” this clutter for an instant breeze of relief. Now you can enjoy your clear and open space. Throughout the week spend either 15 minutes per day or longer working on your “stash and dash” basket. Place the basket out of site when you are done each time so you can take advantage of your clear open space. In the long term your goal is to avoid having to use such a basket as often. Once your habits are in place such drastic emergency measures will occur less frequently.
Step Four: Tackle Paperwork / Phone Calls ( including possible procrastinated tasks )
I admit it. Paperwork and bill related work is my least favorite domestic task. Yet it must get done. That’s why I try to make the work feel like a game by putting on my concierge / administrative assistant hat. Turn on Pandora or Spotify, and set your timer. By the time your finished you’ll feel fantastic!
Make a weekly or daily habit (6 days per week with one day off) of spending a block of time on your inevitable paperwork. Bills, phones calls and other important paperwork that may not be the most fun must get handled. Bask in the glow of knowing you have rolled up your sleeves. While living in the cold mountainous region of Montana, I noted cowboy hat wearing workers had a saying for completing jobs swiftly: “Get R done”. Meaning… get the job done!
Step Five: Create a Work Space Environment
Have tools available so you will not be discouraged from making progress on your goal. Many people believe the myth that they can’t go forward on a project because they lack the paint brushes, music equipment, sewing materials etc. Though there may be truth to your observation you can often make headway with materials on hand. This will help you to be resourceful as well as frugal.
Step Six: Create
Tidy Up, tackle paperwork, clean lightly, declutter, and set the stage of your work environment so that you may create. Now that you have created your space, your mind is free to work! It is the journey of making a clean and decluttered environment that will enable freedom. Continue these 6 steps to maintain this peaceful and welcoming environment. You do not have to have a perfect home or attitude toward life in order to embark on your journey as a craftsman.