Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Organizing Your Home: Clearing the Clutter

I am so excited about today's post! One of my favorite things about getting organized is clearing out the clutter, there is something very freeing about getting rid of old stuff. I think its knowing that soon I will have a space that is much simpler that makes me smile. I hope your here because you read yesterdays post and you are intrigued to begin the task of getting organized, but maybe you just ran into this post and are thinking "hummm..." If that is the case click here for yesterdays intro into what will be the next few days of topics!

Clearing the Clutter!
 You may be looking around your house thinking it will never be clean and clear of clutter, or maybe you just need some help organizing, either way this is the spot! Clutter is overwhelming and is a great cause for anxiety and I know I personally don't need any more anxiety in my life! But what do you do about it? How do you make it go away? The task seems so great...the easiest thing is to break it down into rooms. In order to keep a successful pace you will need some instant gratification. So for the first room, chose one that you can get through in a day. Yes you read right 1 DAY. So this means if your living room is in utter chaos you should NOT start there as tempting as it is. Start in your bathroom or kitchen, or even a closet.
Once you have the area decided, you want to make sure you have boxes or bags (just like in Clean House) one box for keep, one for trash and one for donate. Donate what you can I promise ones trash is anothers treasure! Go through everything and I mean EVERYTHING! If you are clearing out your kitchen go through your cabinets, your drawers, all of it! Just because it has a home doesn't mean you still need to house it! This will take time and can be hard to do, so here are some questions you can and should ask your self as you are weeding out your stuff. 
1. Do I need this thing? If yes, when was the last time I used it/wore it?
If it's an article of clothing the general rule I live by is if you haven't worn it in 6 months get rid of it.
2. Do I love this thing? Does it make me happy when I use/ wear it?
Again, if this is clothing, if you don't love it don't keep it. It is so much easier to dress in the morning when you are choosing from this you only love!
3. Is there a legal or financial reason I am keeping this?
Don't keep something just because it was expensive! If you don't use it get rid of it.
4. Do I have more than one of this item? If yes, do I need them both?
Things like blenders or toasters, NO house needs more than 1!

The goal here to to keep things you truly need, love, and use on a regular basis. If it doesn't make you happy why keep it?! Letting go of unwanted things gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation and this is what you will need to keep going!

But what if you still have clutter after asking your self those above questions...what then? Here are some more questions you can ask that can help to cut your stuff back even more.
5. Is this in good condition or is it broken, stained or damaged in some way?
If it is not in good condition and you don't want to fix it then get rid of it. Don't keep it thinking I will fix it someday....someday is a very dangerous word! I often think when I am at stores "oh I can make that craft myself and save money..."but I never do. It's the same thing.
6. Am I keeping this thing because someone gave it to me?
Even Nate Berkus agrees, just because it was a gift doesn't mean you have to keep it. When my mom and dad passed away I kept everything, seriously empty Bath and Body works bottles that my mom bought me, old sweaters....but you know didn't bring them back! They are still gone. Gifts are nice and items from deceased family members are nice to have but you DON'T HAVE TO KEEP THEM IF YOU DON'T WANT TO!
7. Am I keeping this because I may use it SOMEDAY? If I did need it again, could I buy it at that time?
Obviously your not going to get rid of your $500 bread maker because you only use it at Christmas, but there are things that are pointless to keep and cheap to replace if ever used again.
8. MOST IMPORTANT! Is this thing worth the space, time and effort it takes ME to store it and keep it clean?
If no, then you know the answer!

After you have cleared the clutter, take your donate box to the charity of your choice IMMEDIATELY! If you keep this stuff in your house you have done NO good. Put the trash box by the curb and get ready to organize your keep stuff!

I hope you found these tips and self questions helpful and be sure to come back tomorrow for the first part of Developing Systems. This will be broken down into several different posts, there are so many systems you can implement in different spaces!!!
And please keep me posted on your success, I want to hear from you! If you have anything you would like to add or share with me and others please leave a comment!!!


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