Tips to Finally Let Go of Your Storage Unit

Storage units have seen a significant rise in the past decade. Many people own them and pay thousands of dollars a year to keep them even though they don’t know what is in them. They dread going to their unit(s) because they haven’t been there in years and the thought of tackling it is unbearable so they just keep it.

I will start by saying I know that storage units do serve a purpose in some circumstances such as storing items during a renovation, between moves or items that have been inherited. On the other hand, keeping a storage unit for long periods of time is like having a monkey on your back. You always have that nagging feeling that at some point you are going to have to deal with it. You feel guilty because you are paying a lot of money to store items you can’t even remember. You also start to keep it a secret and that is when you know its time to let go! If this all sounds familiar you are not alone. As an organizer, I go to homes to help people purge and organize but many times after we finish I hear “I didn’t tell you about my storage unit or units”. Honestly, it never surprises me because I hear it so often. 

How can you finally break free from your storage unit? Go there! I just heard gasps as I’m writing this. Don’t worry the first visit is to get your ducks in a row and make a game plan. Enlist the help of a local mover or a strong friend so you can see everything including what is in the very back. Take an inventory of what is in the unit by taking photos and making a list of the items you don’t want to keep. Lastly, if you feel you can not tackle this on your own hire a professional organizer to make the process less stressful.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking inside your storage unit.

Do you need an antique dealer to appraise furniture or an art appraiser?

Do you want to sell or consign some of the items? If so where?

Do you need to schedule a donation pickup?

Do you need family members to pick up items?

Do you need a junk removal company?

Do you just need to say goodbye?

The last question is the hardest one of all but once you say goodbye you will never look back. You will feel less stress, save money and only keep the things you need, use and love! Start 2020 with the monkey off your back!

 

How To Simplify and Love Your Home Again

 Many clients use my services not only to clear the clutter but to inspire them to fall in love with their home again. You may ask is that possible and the answer is YES! My goal is not only to purge and organize but to help make the necessary changes to create a new simplified and peaceful space. A refresh can make a big difference without spending a lot of money. Begin your transformation with these simple tips and life-changing results!

1. Make purging and simplifying your surroundings a priority. If you want a great end result a major purge will get you there.  Let go of items you no longer use, need, love or have room to store. Schedule a weekly donation pick up or drop off until your goal is accomplished. Excuses do not create change, it takes time and commitment.

2. Use the vertical space in your home to add storage in a closet, under a sink or on a shelf. Vertical space is often overlooked but can really add the extra storage you may need.

3. Use drawer organizers to help you stay organized and to ensure everything has a home. Purge, sort like items, measure the drawer and purchase an insert to fit the space.

4. Purge artificial plants that have become dust catchers and invest in real plants or treat yourself to fresh flowers. Speaking of dust catchers how many is too many candles? Candles can look and smell beautiful but too many can make a house feel cluttered.

5. Consider the garage part of your home and keep it purged and free of clutter. Remember a garage is not a storage unit it is an extension of your home.

6. A fresh coat of paint can make an area look brand new. Keep colors simple, soothing and cohesive. If you live in a small space it helps to choose one color throughout the home so it appears larger. Splashes of color can be in accessories or art but keep the rest simple.

7. Tackle sentimental clutter and free up storage for items you use, need and love. It can be a difficult task but the amount of space you will gain can make a big difference. If you feel overwhelmed in this area hire a professional it will be worth it!

8. Bookshelves with too much stuff can make an entire room feel cluttered. Simplify with a couple of photos, items you love, favorite books and let the rest go.

9. Replace broken items and make a list of what needs to be repaired. If you are not handy hire a service like Home Advisor or Tackl to complete the job.

10. Rework your space by moving items around and work with what you can’t change. Learning to love your home is about accepting what can and cannot change. Trust me I have learned that through multiple renovations.

12. Another simple change that can make a big difference is updating outdated light fixtures and hardware. Small improvements can really change the way you feel about your home. 

13. Hire a junk removal company to remove larger items that are taking up space but are never used. Ex: old furniture, broken TV’s, never used exercise equipment, tools and old appliances that don’t work. This will give you immediate results and will quickly start your journey to simplifying your space.

I say this all the time but it is never about having enough space it’s about too much stuff. Simplifying and organizing your home alleviates everyday frustrations, saves you time, money and makes your home a peaceful, calm, relaxing place you want to come home to at the end of the day.

 

10 Ways Your Closet is Sabotaging Your Self Esteem

Does how you feel about yourself keep you from clearing the clutter in your closet? As an organizer, I see many closets with clothing that has not been worn in years, undergarments that don’t fit properly, and clothes that are either too small or too big. How you see yourself has a lot to do with why you may be paralyzed to make any changes in your closet. These simple tips will get you motivated to begin transforming you and your closet.

CLOTHING BRANDS FIT DIFFERENTLY

 The size you wear in one brand can be totally different in another brand. Understanding this is huge because so many women think that if they are a size 10 in one brand they should be a 10 in all brands and there is nothing further from the truth. So be kind to yourself and don’t just buy one size across the board because you will end up with clothes that don’t fit and are never worn.

INVEST IN NEW UNDERGARMENTS

I can’t say this enough get fitted properly for new undergarments. It can really change the way your clothes fit and how you feel about yourself. Purge undergarments that are not flattering or have seen better days. Regardless if you are the only one to see your undergarments it will make you feel better about how you look and feel in clothes.

LET GO OF “USED TO” CLOTHES

Don’t keep clothes that make you feel bad about yourself when you see them. I call those “used to” clothes because that is how clients describe them to me. Looking into your closet and seeing items that “used to” fit only reinforces negative thoughts and low self-esteem. Your wardrobe should be about who you are today not yesterday!

REMOVE EVERYTHING TO SEE CHANGE

If you want to see real change when you are cleaning out your closet remove everything. It really is the only way to see what you own and what you want to keep. I like to use a garment rack to make the process a bit easier because it allows you to see what you own. Three simple rules to follow when deciding what to keep I like this and will wear itdoesn’t fit and I don’t like it, maybe but I need to try it on. It’s that easy don’t overthink it.

KEEP A LIST

Make a list of items you need to replace as you let go of the old. It is the easiest way to keep track of what you need without overbuying. 

STICK TO NEUTRALS 

If you want a closet that is easy to work on a daily basis it helps to stick to neutrals. Black, white, cream and splashes of color in your accessories and shoes will make planning what you are wearing so simple. 

STRIPES, FLORALS AND POLKA DOTS

Now, let’s discuss patterns. They are great for some people but for others, it may be the reason you have items in your closet that are never worn. Stripes, florals and polka dots can be fun to wear but do you feel good when you wear them? If the answer is no, let them go. Simplicity is not boring just easy.

ENLIST HELP

If you feel like you cannot tackle your closet without help you are not alone. A professional organizer can help you make decisions you are unable to make. They will give honest opinions by asking questions and motivate you to keep moving forward to attain your goal.

YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD

Age seems to always play a role when purging clothes in a closet. Although you may not wear mini skirts any more wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. Buying “you should” clothes, also known as clothes people think you should wear for your age, can make you feel bad about yourself and take up valuable space in your closet.

SAY GOODBYE TO THE PAST

Even in clothing, it can be hard to leave the past behind. Holding onto clothes that no longer reflect who you are and the stage of life you are in is keeping you and your closet living in the past. Embrace the body you have today and build your wardrobe with the items you love!

Cleaning out your closet can be a challenge when you begin the process. There may be some unexpected emotions that arise but once you purge the old you can move forward and enjoy the new you and who you are today. Try it, the results can be life-changing!

Photo: Julie Ryan Photography