Monday, June 10, 2013

Organization: Clear the Clutter

This is probably the hardest but at the same time easiest thing to do in order to begin your organization journey-deciding what stays and what goes.

I have repeatedly stated that when deciding whether something should go or stay in our home I will ask myself:

If we were moving today, would I pack this and take it with us?

If the answer is no, then it gets tossed or passed on to someone who could really use it now. If the answer is yes, then I have to make a space for it because a place for everything and everything in its place right?

This is actually some materials I wasn't using anymore, so I decided to pass them on to my niece.

Once this is the mentality, decluttering should be easier. 

Side note: If I require a little boost, I like to look at magazines for inspiration. Not that I am going to flip my house upside down, but make it look better yes!

To start:

1. Start in one area and stick to it
Start small. Maybe a drawer in the kitchen that you know has some junk or a bookshelf containing books you know your children don't read anymore. These are emotionless tosses. Nothing too hard. Don't move on until you finish that task. Once you finish, you can move on to another area or you might even want to call it quits after that one task.  And that's fine.  Baby steps:) 

2. Don't go at it alone
You can be overwhelmed and become discouraged, so enlist some help. You can make it a game with your children or have someone else come and help you. Believe it or not decluttering is so much easier when my husband is around because he is no nonsense when it comes to purging. Since he brings with him a fresh perspective on things, I like having him around. I have also been known to go through a purge-fest when I visit my sister and we always have fun going through her things. 

3. Set up a system
Now that the kitchen drawer is emptied or the bookshelf cleared, what are you going to designate to put back? Or better put, what will its new function be? That once cluttered kitchen drawer could become a charging station, gift wrap station, or coupon center. Don't just throw stuff in because in a short while you will have the same messy drawer to declutter again. So set up up a system and work the system. Non-related items can not be thrown into the mix.

4. Maintenance 
My husband has taught me this one. Things require maintenance plain and simple. That new charging station or coupon center will require maintenance such as:
  • Not putting non-related items into your new space
  • Routine checkups. You want to make sure you are regularly looking at these areas so that they are not becoming cluttered. That new coupon center will have expiring coupons so make sure you stay on top of it by scheduling purging dates. 
  • Saying no. More likely than not you don't need it, so don't buy it. Sure the Target dollar section has gone 70% off but you won't be able to fit all those savings into your new gift wrap station so just pass this one by. There will be another sale. 

Hopefully, this helps you and I to get to work on decluttering and setting up functional spaces in our homes. If you have any suggestions, please let me know as well.

1 comment:

  1. I will have to bookmark this post. I am trying to get my living room looking the way I want it to look but have come to the realization that some things HAVE to GO!

    I have the if I throw it out "I may need it later" mentality. I have to get over that one:)

    I cleared out my kitchen junk drawers about two months ago and they have stayed clutter free:) Baby steps right?


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14