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Getting rid of clutter is not as hard as it seems, although it does require a plan of attack; a set of guidelines for editing what stays or goes, and a logical way of storing everything that’s left. That sounds great, but how do you do that and where do you start? I am here to help!
Plan of attack
Start with the area that causes you the greatest discomfort. Is the condition of your garage or your laundry room enough to make you want to move to a motel? If you have more than one problem area, then make a list of all them in order of priority and add a deadline for completion.
Time to organize will never miraculously appear in your life. You must set aside time to work on it — even 15 minutes at a time can make a difference.
Recognize your clutter excuses
Excuse: It was expensive, and I can’t stand to see it go to waste. Reality: If you don’t use it, it’s being wasted, even if you keep it.
Excuse: I might need it someday. Reality: If you haven’t used it in a year, will you use it in the next?
Excuse: It was a gift. Reality: Once you receive a gift, it’s yours to do with as you see fit – even if that means letting it go.
Set up several cardboard boxes to help sort:
- Keep – for items you know you love and use. Within this category, sort by rooms.
- Let Go – for items you know you don’t use and don’t want.
- Trash – for items that can’t be repaired or used by others.
- Sell – for items to consign, put in a yard sale, or sell online.
- Not sure – for items that you’re not sure if you want or not. Tape up this box, label with the date and contents, and put it in a storage location for a designated period of time. If you haven’t needed anything in the box in that time, get rid of it.
- Repair – for items that require some work before they can be used.
Create a designated home for everything you own. Store like items together according to purpose: sporting goods, luggage, etc., and don’t forget to include accessories and related items like travel alarms, A/C adapter and toiletry bag with luggage.
You want to store items where you use them and items you use most often in the most accessible spaces. Leaving 15 percent of your space free for future additions. This will be your saving grace when trying to maintain your hard work!
One important thing to remember about your organizing efforts: if you organize an area and it doesn’t stay that way, then the system probably wasn’t a good fit for you or your family. When you try several different systems and still struggle, it might be time to bring in a professional. The system is the problem, not you!
Try to enjoy the process and enjoy the results!