Your Achilles Room

Pop Quiz!

You’ve just walked in the door after a hectic day. It’s five forty nine and you have eleven minutes before your mother-in-law arrives for that friendly catch up you scheduled last week.

Do you:
(a) Take a quick tour of the living room, plucking errant toys from the floor and putting them somewhere, anywhere — as long as they’re out of sight.

(b) Try to tackle that confounding, roving pile of bills, magazines, catalogs, and newspapers that is close to overtaking your kitchen.

(c) Race to close the door to any offending room — you can keep mom to the one room that is neat enough for company.

(d) All of the above!

Whether it’s your living room, kitchen or home office, everybody has a room (or two) in their home that makes them feel less than adequately pulled together. It’s the one you instinctively rush to whip into shape when you have company coming. It’s the one that makes you slightly tense to think about or walk past. It’s the one that seems to attract and spawn clutter. The room differs from household to household and the degree to which messiness is tolerated can be quite varied as well, but…we all have that room. It’s your organizational Achilles heel.

Sarah on ‘The Impact’

‘That stack of ‘stuff’ lurking in the corner, spread out across the table, or even collecting dust in an overstuffed box in the corner takes an emotional toll. Psychological researchers have found that a constant barrage of physical and informational clutter leads to higher levels of cardiovascular stress, impaired judgment and a noticeable drop in civility to others. We’ve heard hundreds of women across American confirm that finding. An out of control room can really make you feel anxious and stressed out.’

Alicia on ‘Awareness is Half the Battle’

‘If clutter causes stress and anxiety and if we each have an ‘Achilles Heel’ room that attracts it, what kind of protective measures can you put in place going forward so your room isn’t so vulnerable to it going forward? Well, the good news is that awareness is more than half the battle. Once you identify your weak spot, you can do some simple things on a regular basis to stay on top of it.’

Three tips for protecting your Achilles Room.

#1: Trash, Return & House
Get three large garbage bags or boxes and label them ‘Trash’, ‘Some Place Else’, and ‘Stays.’ Go through your room item by item and place everything that is in view (e.g. on shelves, counters, sofas, chairs, or on the floor) in one of the three boxes. As soon as you’re done, throw out the one labeled Trash and remove the one labeled ‘Some Place Else’ from the room. Come back to these items once you have finished organizing the ‘Stays’ that actually belong in the room you’re in and return them to their proper homes.

#2: Give Everything a Home
Repeat after us….everything needs a home. It is so simple, but nothing creates more of a mess than objects that do not have a regular place to go. Think about the space vertically as well as horizontally. Put the items you rarely need access to up high and the things you use often at eye level. Don’t forget to have enough trash cans on hand to make it easy to throw out unnecessary items immediately.

#3: Commercially Clean

Once a week when the family is all together watching TV, take the time during commercial breaks to tidy up the problem room. You will be amazed what a few people can accomplish in just two minutes and two seconds. In the course of an hour of Grey’s Anatomy, your Achilles room will be all together and buttoned up.