Yes, finding a better storage solution for all of your stuff can help you stay organized. But to truly get at the problem, or to start your focus on organization, you should make decluttering a habit.
When you let things build up in your closet, such as old clothes that you’ll never wear (because they’re stained, too small or older and a lower quality than what you currently wear), shoes that are out of style or accessories you haven’t worn in years, it adds time to your routine. The same goes for searching for an important tax document in a pile of unfiled papers, or rooting through your disorganized pantry until you find the dried basil only to discover it’s three years of out date.
When you declutter on a regular basis, you’ll begin to figure out what you’ve been hanging on to for no reason and what’s really worth keeping. For example, cleaning out your home office might make you realize you likely won’t use those old National Geographic magazines—even though you’re somewhat nostalgic for them.
The same goes for old concert t-shirts you’ve been hanging on to. After passing over them through several rounds of decluttering, you might finally decide it’s time to just let them go.
It’s so easy to tie a physical item to a memory, such as ticket stubs or even items you’ve inherited from a family member. But if these things aren’t being put to use and you merely comb over them every time you declutter, it might be time to let go. You’ll find that just because you give up something you used to hold dear doesn’t mean the memory disappears, too.
If you really want to preserve a memory of an item before donating or giving it away, take a picture. It’ll help you remember exactly what that old sweater looked like that you once loved.
On a more practical note, routinely going through your stuff to declutter and donate what you no longer use can help you identify the source of your clutter. If you find yourself donating boxes and boxes of toys each year (and what parent doesn’t), implement the “two out, one in” rule, where you remove two old toys for every one new one.
The same goes for free stuff: If you find yourself throwing away free makeup samples that arrive along with your cosmetics order, uncheck that box during online checkout and stop it at the source.
Seeing the results of your hard work—either more space to see the clothes in your closet, more organized tax documents and financial statements, or more room to see everything so you don’t buy a third container of baking powder—can be incredibly satisfying. Freeing up space will save time and make it easier to find items when you need them, which can help you find the motivation to keep up the practice.
If you’ve put off decluttering for a few months (or even a year or two!) we know the task can feel daunting. Overcome this by breaking up the task into manageable bits the first time. Then, set your schedule. The next time you declutter your closet, you’ll have fewer things to review and an easier time figuring out what stays and what goes.
If you’ve made decluttering a routine but you still want to improve your home organization, we can help. Reach out to us to schedule a free, in-home consultation to review your closets, home office, garage, pantry or laundry room. We’ll look at the space and your stuff, and create a custom organization solution for you. Learn more.
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