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Organize + Energize: 6 Things to do During Lent

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


For those of you who observe Lent, you know Lent began on February 14 and will end on March 29. Lent is a time of self-examination and reflection. During this time of self-discipline, instead of choosing to abstain from the popular choices of chocolate, wine, refraining from curse words or watching your favorite TV show, I’m going to give you some other options that will also help with self-care.

Here are 6 things you can work on during this time:

Stop making impulse purchases. How many of you walk into a supermarket or specialty store with a list and walk out with 5 items that weren’t on the list? I’m guilty of it as I’m sure many of you are. You’re not even sure why you purchased them.  During Lent, focus on not purchasing impulse items. Don’t purchase anything you don’t need.

Focus on one room that stresses you out. Every time you walk into your spare bedroom, you run in and out as fast as you can and shut the door behind you. Take this time to create a vision for this room, put a plan into motion and focus on creating a serene space.

Donate 40 items to a charitable organization. Whether you call a company that takes donations or you donate them to your local church. Get rid of items that you’re no longer using. It will feel good to donate them to a place where you know your donation will be appreciated.

Maintain your organization. Focus on being mindful of when you take something out that you put it back where you found it. Don’t let your clothes pile up on the floor. Decide if they’re dirty or clean and put them in their respective spots.

Be consistent with time management. During this time, be aware of when you say you’re too busy to do something. Are you too busy or do you really not want to do something? Try to focus on not procrastinating because you think something is too much work to tackle. You may find that once you complete a project you’ve been putting off, it really didn’t take that long and it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

Complete a project. How many unfinished projects do you have hanging around the house or office? During Lent, focus on completing at least one of these projects. Make note to how you feel once you’ve completed them.

When Lent ends, reflect back on that time and think about if these tasks were more valuable to you than giving up your nightly glass of wine or your daily dose of chocolate.


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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