Five Reasons You Won’t Let Go of Clutter

As an organizer, I try to reassure clients that they are not alone. I can say it with confidence because I often hear the same reasons people can’t get rid of items. Most people have good intentions when it comes to tackling clutter but when emotions get in the way it can be very difficult. Do any of these keep you from clearing the clutter in your own home?

Guilt is the number one reason people hold onto items they no longer need, use or want. The feeling of guilt is often misguided when it comes to clutter. Your home should be a place to come home to at the end of the day that is peaceful and free of clutter. If guilt prevents you from letting go of something think about how that affects you and your environment. Guilt is not a reason to keep something, if you don’t love it, use it or need it, let it go!

Regret and “what if” go hand in hand. What if I need this later? What if I find the missing part? Do you say to yourself I may need that but in reality you never do? Regret in any area of your life is not healthy but especially when it comes to clutter. Once you simplify you will be amazed how little regret you have to worry about in your home.

Paying a lot of money for something is not a reason to keep it. If you own expensive shoes but they hurt your feet every time you wear them consign them and say goodbye. Your home should only have items you need, use and love, even if you paid a lot of money for it!

Gifts Received
Gifts people receive but don’t use, like or want is another big reason for clutter in the home. Holding onto an item because you might hurt someone’s feelings, you fear what someone will think or out of guilt as we discussed earlier can prevent you from living a simple clutter-free life. Just because someone gives you a gift does not mean you need to keep it. If you don’t use it, like it or need it, let it go.

Is your home becoming a storage unit with the hope someone will want something one day? Many people hold onto items with the thought their adult children or grandchildren may want it even if they do not have space to store it. I can tell you from my experience that is a rare occurrence. The latest generation of twenty and thirty-somethings are living different lives with fewer things and smaller homes. It never hurts to ask the question“do you want this” but if the answer is no, then its time to let go.

If any of these five things sound like they are keeping you from living in an organized clutter free space its time to make a change and its one you will never REGRET!


Tips To Prepare Your Home To Sell

One aspect of my job as an organizer is working with realtors to help clients purge and prepare their homes for sale. In my opinion, if you want a prospective buyer to envision themselves living in your home the first place to start is to simplify the space. Without a doubt, it will make your home more inviting and can really make a difference in the sale of a home. If you are ready to put your house on the market here are some simple tips to get you started.

START EARLY  If you have time on your side get organized for a move as soon as possible it is the key to avoiding stress and aggravation.

PURGE  When you are selling your home not only is purging a must for resale but it is important that you only bring to your new home the items you need, use, love and have a place to store. You will feel better starting with a clean slate.

SORT  Sort items you are keeping, donating and are junk! If you want to determine what is junk this previous post will help you. Sorting items will make the process faster and easier which is what most sellers are trying to accomplish.

SIMPLIFY  You are probably thinking purging is the same as simplifying but when it comes to selling a home it has a different meaning. Simplifying the space is about minimizing what you have displayed. Personal photos and objects should be kept to a minimum so a potential buyer can imagine themselves living in the home. Less is always more when selling a home.

DONATE  Schedule a donation pick up before you begin the purging process. I like to schedule at least two when preparing clients for a move. If you don’t need it you can cancel it. It’s better to be over prepared when it comes to moving.

MAKE LISTS  Keeping ongoing lists on what needs to be accomplished and checking off what has been completed is the key to an organized move. Your notebook will become invaluable during the moving process.

LABEL ALL CONTAINERS  Labeling your containers and boxes is the key to a smooth move. It not only helps you but if you are hiring movers it makes unpacking easier for you both.

Selling your home doesn’t need to be an emotional roller coaster if you’re organized from the start. Plan ahead, purge unnecessary items and enjoy the transition into your new home.

The Ultimate Checklist to Stay Organized

Now that January is over the real challenge is how to stay organized throughout the year. Old habits can resurface quickly so it’s important to look at some of the clutter triggers and how to avoid them. These are some tips to prevent becoming overwhelmed and living a simple, clutter-free life.

If you don’t need it, use it, love it or have a place to store it, let it go  If you start to understand this concept it will prevent unwanted clutter in your home. It’s basically retraining your thoughts when it comes to the stuff you own.

Keep a calendar  So many people have returned to paper just for the ease of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a digital calendar or paper just make sure it works for you.

Inbox for mail and papers  Do you have papers that need to be signed for school? Bills that have to be paid? Setting up a system for incoming mail and important papers will keep you organized throughout the year.

Keep counters clean  Keeping your countertops free of clutter is a major step to an organized life. Once the piles start forming it can become overwhelming so make a commitment to clutter-free counters.

Keep up with the laundry  Speaking of overwhelming laundry is another area in the home that can quickly become a problem. Make laundry less of a chore by having an organized laundry area and staying on top of the laundry.

Consider the garage part of your home  When you sell your home do you include the garage in the sale? Absolutely! Garages should not become storage units but rather an extension of the home. Purge regularly so you can store items that belong in a garage and have a place to actually park your car.

Paperless receipts  Choosing to have your receipt emailed while shopping will save you from the bottomless pit of receipts that tend to get out of control especially as the year progresses. Set up files on your computer and you will not only be eliminating paper clutter but you will save time when looking for a receipt.

Shred old papers  Owning a shredder is one of the best ways to stay on top of paper clutter. Shred unwanted mail and outdated paperwork on a regular basis.

Desktop File  Keep a desktop file system for important papers you need on a daily basis. It will not only keep you organized but save you time.

Change Your Hangers  If you want to keep the neat an organized closet you achieved in January stay on top of the mismatched hangers from entering your closet. By the way, it’s not too late to make this simple change it is inexpensive and will give you immediate results.

Stay away from Big Box stores  Unless you have a large family big box stores can become a problem for many people who don’t have the place to store what they buy in bulk. Buy what you need and have the room for and you will be surprised how little effort it takes to stay organized.

Label your containers  Containers are a great way to sort and organize items but if they are not labeled people forget what is in them and buy more of what they already own. Purge, sort, contain and label a simple system to stay organized.

Purge kitchen gadgets  Throughout the year take inventory of the small appliances and gadgets you don’t use and free up space in the kitchen for what you love.

Have a place for everything  If there is a place for everything you own it solves the problem of overstuffed drawers, cabinets, and closets. It will also motivate you and your family to keep it that way throughout the year.

If you take it out put it back  The easiest way to stop clutter from forming is to get in the habit of putting back an item after you use it. A small step but makes a big difference in staying organized.

Schedule a regular donation pickup  One way to prevent clutter from forming is scheduling a donation pickup at least once a month. Keep an ongoing bag for items you no longer need or want and when its full consign or donate.

Involve your children  If you want to keep your home organized involve your children in the process. Give incentives to pick up toys and make the storage containers easy for smaller hands.

Do not buy something just because it’s on sale  When I ask clients how they accumulated multiples of items the answer is often because it was on sale. Even if something is on sale if you don’t need it or have room to store it, don’t buy it!

Purge often  I know I already mentioned this but it’s worth repeating. The more you purge on a regular basis the less chance there is for clutter to form.

If you need help getting or staying organized hire a professional  If you feel yourself starting to become overwhelmed reach out to a professional organizer who can help you get back on track. Many clients need a bit of a refresh throughout the year to keep their home running smoothly.

Julie Ryan Photography