As a Professional Organizer my job is to improve people’s lives by getting rid of their excess stuff. Having too much stuff is a burden. It weighs you down. Reducing your stuff, and clutter, makes you feel light and calm. It doesn’t matter whether it’s paper, kitchen gadgets, clothes, by eliminating anything that is taking up too much space in your home, your head, and your life, you can improve your well-being.
For some people, the clutter is easy to see, but hard to know how to fix it. For others, the problem isn’t clear, but they know that something is making them feel overwhelmed, and frustrated. The task of decluttering is daunting, and as stuff keeps coming into their lives, it keeps piling up.
To really get on top of the situation try following these 3 golden rules of living clutter-free:
1. Sort and purge!
If you want to have less stuff, you’ll need to get rid of some stuff.
Start small, with a drawer, cupboard, or a closet. Take everything out. Only put back what you need, use, and love. Discard and donate the rest.
Pro tip – Before you purge, try to sort all your stuff “like with like”. If you’re clearing out the garage, for instance, gather all your tools together. Trying to decide what to do with a screwdriver becomes easier if you have all of your screwdrivers together, and then you can pick the best and donate the rest. Likewise, if you’re cleaning out your closet, you want to see all your black pants together so you can decide how many you need and pick your favorites. It’s like shopping in reverse.
2. Assign a home!
Once you’re purged your multiple items, and reduced the rest to only what you love, use, and need, assign a home to everything that’s left.
You want to break the habit of putting things down anywhere, and instead, put them where they belong. It’s also a good idea to containerize stuff in baskets, bins, boxes, and label the containers so it’s clear where things go. For instance, if you have a basket clearly designated for in-coming mail, it won’t pile up on the kitchen counter. A cupboard for batteries and lightbulbs makes more sense than a junk drawer. Magazines should go in a magazine rack instead of piled around the house. You get the idea.
Pro tip – Store your stuff where you’re most likely to use it. Put the magazine rack where you like to read, like beside your favorite chair, your bed, or in the bathroom. Keep utility items in the garage or basement. Stash your favorite go-to snacks in your desk drawer for easy access.
3. Use the one in, one out method.
Next time you bring something into the house, take something out.
Ideally, take a similar item out. If you buy new running shoes, donate an old pair. That’s the only way you can maintain your stuff and not let it pile up again. Hopefully, the act of tossing something will also keep you from acquiring new things you don’t need. Before you buy a kitchen gadget, think ahead to the one you’re going to get rid of. It might remind you that you already have what you need, or that you recently brought something home that you don’t use, need, or love.
Pro tip – Make a donate box. I keep a donate box on the floor of my closet so it’s easy to drop things I’m ready to part with in the box. If I find myself always trying on and taking off the same shirt, it’s time to donate it.
Those are the three golden rules of staying organized.
I don’t mean to make it sound easier than it is. Making decisions, and figuring out how to get stuff you don’t want, is hard work. I can help. I have resources for discarding, donating, and recycling anything you don’t need.
I can coach you on the process of letting go, and help you organize what’s left so that your home (or office) is functional, peaceful, and reflects your vision for a clutter-free lifestyle. That’s The Less More Method!