Organizing Tips For A Clutter-Free 2018!
Organizing one’s home or office is on many people’s list of things to do for 2018. Having a whole new year is like a whole new beginning. You get to decide how you want it to be and how you want to live it. This is where I can help. I do organizing for a living. It’s been said that “a clear space helps keep a clear mind,” so why not resolve to make this year the year to finally let go of clutter and become organized. Although many clients tell me that they were not able to be as successful as they wanted to be on their own, the following tips can help you get off to a great start.
1. Write It All Down
Keep the mundane tasks out of your head and leave space for great thinking. I recommend either getting a planner or setting up your phone to use your calendar. Planning in this way helps you stay on track and see what you need to do on an organized form in front of you.
2. Discard, Organize, Then Buy
Go through your house. Start with one area at a time, and begin by sorting through those things that you are finished with, haven’t used in a year, or are not sure what to do with. Put the items you are not sure of in a bin in an out of the way place and don’t make a decision about them yet. Set yourself a reminder on your calendar to go back to this in one year. If, after that year, you find that you’ve forgotten about those things, then it’s time to let them go. You can donate the items that you are done with, pass them on to friends or family, or sell them on Craigslist, Nextdoor, or eBay. When you get rid of those things that you don’t really want, you start feeling lighter, and every room that you have gone through looks better.
3. Work In 2 To 4 Hour Sessions
You want to make sure that you don’t decide that you will spend the whole day organizing your house, or even one room. I’ve found that even when a client has someone working with them, after about 3 or 4 hours they are done. I break up the organizing sessions in about 2 to 3 sessions of 3 hours each per week with at least a day in between. You don’t want to burn out. In some cases it can take a lot of energy to go through even one closet.
4. Finish The Cycle
When you’re going through things, you will be putting them into categories. Either you will donate, trash, recycle, or put items into deep storage. When you have everything separated, you want to make sure you follow up with donating, trashing, recycling, or storing the sorted items. You don’t want to procrastinate or think you’ll to do later, but see your project through to the end. If you’re giving items to friends or donating, you can put those things in the car, ready to go. I call this finishing the cycle.
5. Allow Empty Spaces
You don’t have to fill up every area in your house. Let there be empty spaces on shelves. Keep the table at the front entrance clear. It’s good to have some place to put things as you come into your house, and you can get a simple piece of furniture that has doors and drawers to store your keys, your sunglasses, your gloves in winter. You could look at having shoe shelves at the bottom of the dresser, and drawers for all the rest of the things you need by the door when you go out. Every house is different. Some people have a mudroom, and others have a piece of furniture by the front door. Whatever works for you, you can make it attractive as well as functional.
6. Maintenance Is The Key
Once you’ve discarded and organized, keep at it. Commit to keeping newly organized things in their places for a month. Doing things consistently will get you and your family into a different behavior pattern that is easier to maintain. Having the whole family on board is not only helpful, but can be fun. When everything is put in its proper place, it feels better and helps create a calm living space. Many of my clients hire me to come back once a month to help with maintaining the organization.
7. Create A Beautiful Yet Functional Home
You won’t find many people having homes that look like what you see in design magazines. You use these spaces, so you want them to be functional as well as beautiful, to reflect that actual people live there. So try not to make your home look staged. Aim for a home that’s set up to work for everyone in the family.
Experiment with some of these organizing tips. And if you find that you need help sorting through what could be years of clutter, I can offer understanding assistance. Oftentimes, it’s much easier to have someone by your side as you go through this process.
Contact me for your free consultation and find out how we can do this together.