As we go about our busy lives, clutter finds its way into our homes and offices and we in turn, find creative ways to manage it. In time, clutter can take over our lives and our spaces, causing us to become unproductive and stressed. Many people claim they feel like a weight was lifted and have a new sense of calm, peace, and clear-thinking after removing the clutter and organizing. Try the 6 tips for organizing success below when you are ready to let go of clutter once and for all and find organizing success:
- Create a plan and find a system that works for YOU
There are millions of articles, videos and books we can turn to for organizing ideas but not all organizing solutions will work for you. Knowing how you want your home to flow will help you know what will and will not work. Before you start your next organizing project take the time to think about what you hope to accomplish. What will the end result look like? How will it feel? Think about how you want your spaces to function and how they are currently used. If living in a small apartment or home, do you have the space for everything? Keep in mind that trying to cram too many items into a space can make it look cluttered and disorganized. Is there too much furniture in the space? How much “stuff” do you really need? Decide if you thrive in a space where items are contained or one where items are visible. Many believe that being organized means that everything is lined up perfectly and is labeled, but it is really about removing unnecessary items and being able to find exactly what you need, when you need it. Think about your goals and then get started in one area. Complete the one area before you move on to the next one.
- Don’t rely on staged photos to guide your efforts
Pintrest is a great place to find amazing photos of organized homes and organizing ideas. We pin, we dream, we try, we sometimes have success, and we often wonder why we don’t get the same results. Sound familiar? Or what about the home makeover shows? It’s so quick and easy and amazing! So why can’t we get our homes whipped into shape with a few changes? One reason: it’s staged. Staged spaces are not functional spaces. Take a look through photos of pantry organization for example and you will find the most beautifully arranged space with containers and baskets and coordinated colors. It looks perfect and we want it! But in many of them, if you look closely, they do not contain the usual items an average household would have on hand in their pantry. You may be able to copy some of the elements but it will never look just like the picture. The point is, don’t go for perfection! Make it your own and most importantly make sure it will work for you!
- Purge, purge, and purge again!
Organizing is not a one-day event but an ongoing process of acquiring and letting go. As you evaluate items, ask yourself what the item really means to you and what would happen if you never saw it again. Would you miss it? Sometimes we think something means a lot to us but often, we are just used to having it there or it holds a memory of some kind. Think about why you have kept an item and what it really means to you. If it is a memory item, do you love it enough to display it? If it only sits in a box, is it really that important to you? Have you considered taking a digital photo of the item as a way to keep it?
We all struggle with letting go of items. We think about how we may need the item one day or that we spent a lot of money for the item. With clothing, we argue that the item will fit again after losing weight or that the style will come back around eventually. The best way to evaluate clothing is to ask “Would I buy this in the store today for full price?” If thought or hesitation is required to answer the question, the item should most likely be removed. The clothes that remain should fit great, be the right colors, and be in excellent condition. If you have organized your home and removed all of the unwanted items and it still feels cluttered, you may need to do more purging. A good rule of thumb is: three times is a charm! Typically, it will take three times of purging to get down to what is really wanted and/or needed.
- Give items a home and make time for upkeep
Does everything in your house have a home? Every item should have a place where it lives when it is not in use. By following this rule it is simple to return items to their place and maintain organization. In our house, we do a ten-minute clean-up where we gather items and quickly to return them to their homes. Read more about ten-minute clean-ups and hidden clutter here. When we finish, the house looks picked up and comfortable. As items enter your home, decide right away where they will live to avoid clutter build-up. It is also a good idea to create a routine for entering the house with items such as: your purse, jacket, shopping bags, groceries, mail, and so on. Decide where these things should be placed so that they are not creating clutter.
- Think before you buy
A steadfast way to maintain a clutter-free home is to stop clutter at the door! Evaluate your purchases and think about where the item(s) will live. Do you have the space? Will you remove something else? Do you already have something similar? Why are you buying it?
These are hard questions, especially when you really want something. Try to step away from your emotions to answer the questions honestly. Think of the money you will save over time! Do this with all purchases and learn to shop with purpose by keeping a list of items you need to buy and then stick to the list.
6. Get inspired! Now is the time to get organized! Good luck!
Visit Harmony Organizing Services at www.HarmonyOrganizing.com