With apologies to Cole Porter’s song DeLovely, (sung here for your listening pleasure by the amazing Ella Fitzgerald) De-Cluttering can be therapeutic and the results can be completely life changing. Raise your hand if you have a junk drawer? Raise both hands if you have an entire junk room? If you’re like many people, staying on top of clutter is a challenge. The junk drawer fills up, bigger items come in that don’t fit into a drawer and soon, you’re surrounded by stuff.
Imagine not having to search for your keys because they’re always in the same cute little holder by the door. How much easier would cooking be if you never had to search your cabinet for paprika because your spices were organized and labeled?
Wish you could easily find your favorite black sweater in your very messy closet?
Or are you preparing to put your house on the market, and wanting to downsize but not quite knowing how to go about it?
These tips will help you declutter, get organized, and/or downsize:
Professional organization has become a booming business and there are dozens of approaches to decluttering. Here are a few easy ideas to get you started from Becoming Minimalist’s Creative Ways to DeClutter. What’s the biggest enemy of productivity in decluttering and pretty much everything else in life? Feeling overwhelmed. The best way to combat that is to break overwhelming tasks into more manageable and smaller action items. Here’s an example: take one trash bag, walk around your living space and fill it with things you can part with. Magazines, newspapers, junk mail, put them into a trash bag and out they go. Take a second trash bag and fill it with household items you don’t use that you can donate to Goodwill. Another idea is to set a timer for 5 minutes, and promise yourself you will spend 5 minutes on a problem area in your home. When the 5 minutes are up, you can be done OR you can be inspired to keep going!
Fashionistas: this closet cleaning tip is for you. If your closet is a big mess, it’s probably also a big source of stress. It’s said that people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. A few years ago on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah featured professional organizer, Peter Walsh who shared his favorite closet cleaning tip. The Hangar Trick. Put all your clothes on hangers facing the wrong way. As you wear an item, return it to the hangar the correct way. This is a great way to see what you actually wear and what clothing items you can donate.
If the idea of decluttering is totally overwhelming, hiring a professional might be the best way to go. Turning to a pro might seem unnecessary but it’s well worth the cost. Organizers have experience in working with an individual’s unique organizing style and they can help you create a system that will work for by coming to your home and guiding you through what might seem like an intimidating process. Local pros charge $20-$40 per hour and there are many professional organizers to choose from. Milwaukee-area professionals include Kathi Miller, The Clutter Coach, Milwaukee Home Organizer, Action Organizing Services LLC, A Gift of Time, LLC, and Mighty Organized.
For those downsizing in order to make a move, Eastcastle Place will refer you to Moving Station. Their Moving Made Easy program provides various services to seniors preparing to move to a retirement community, including assistance with downsizing.
Once you get organized, you’ll have more time, (and space) to enjoy life!