Advice & Features Articles

Clearing the Clutter

By Jamie Lober

If you are looking for instant gratification, you may not even need to leave your home to find it.  “The new year and spring are always times when people get the bug to organize, make changes, and purge,” said Rebecca Darland, Dallas-based professional organizer.  We have all experienced the frustration of not being able to find something and maybe even having to repurchase the item as a result.  If this sounds familiar and you are ready to declutter, you first need to make it a priority. Then, you can take advantage of cell phone apps and make to-do lists or set reminders for organizing. It should not take hosting a dinner or a get-together to find the motivation to tidy up your spaces.  Darland offers some advice on how getting rid of clutter in your house may just be the key to getting your life in order this spring.

Start Small

• Finish one room at a time, so you are not overwhelmed.

• Celebrate small victories like organizing a junk drawer or bathroom cabinet.

• Little tasks, like making your bed every morning, can go a long way.

Have a Vision

• Know what you want and create it.

• Consider how you want to function in the space, who uses it, and who needs 

   to know what things are housed there.

Prioritize

• Do more than just rearrange things.

• Sort through things and make decisions on whether you need them or use them.

• Make categories, such as things you love and need, things you can donate to charity

   or give a friend, and things you are uncertain about.

• Consider what is useful in your life and let go of things that are not meant for you.

Have a System You Like

• Make organizing fun.

• Get colored, decorative bins.

• Pick out new cabinets.

• Search for a pretty new shelving liner.

• Go digital by scanning documents and then shredding them.

• Find accessories you enjoy using.

• Check out label makers as tools for everyone to know where things are.

• Make the most out of small spaces by organizing upward and vertically instead of 

   horizontally.

• Try hanging hooks on walls or the back of doors.

• Put sliding bins or casters under the bed.

Involve Your Child

• Let your child take ownership of a space and make choices.

• If something is special to him or her, find a way to display it or store it properly.

• If something is not useful, have your child consider who you can give it to.

• Get bins that are not too heavy and are easy for your child to reach.

Stick With It

• Treat organizing as you would soccer practice or dance lessons.

• Pencil organizing on your calendar even if it is just once a week.

• Have a time you designate for papers to be managed.

• Make sure your goals are attainable.

Remember the Benefits of Decluttering

•You will save time.

• Your mental clarity will improve.

• You will save money.

• Sleep can improve.

• Energy will be boosted.

• Stress will be reduced.

• Risk of heart disease will decrease.

• You will be happier.

• Everyone can do it!

If you need a little extra help getting started, do not hesitate to bring a professional to the scene.  According to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing, a professional organizer can help achieve desired outcomes regarding function, order, and clarity in your life.  If you follow this blueprint, you may find that you actually look forward to spring cleaning.  

Resources:

Simplify Your Nest, Rebecca Darland, 214.585.2738

Style By Amy, Amy Levenson Krumholz, 214.232.6601

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