WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?
Some things serve a functional purpose, like a spoon, while others serve an emotional purpose, like photographs. To us, if something isn’t serving a definite purpose, it’s clutter.
Even if an item is completely functional, it may be useless to you. For example, we all know what a soccer ball is used for, but if you don’t play soccer, a perfectly functioning soccer ball is useless to you.
WHEN DID YOU LAST USE IT?
We use the things we need, and like. If you haven’t used something in 6-12 months, you likely don’t need it, or don’t like it, and it’s cluttering your home and life.
WHEN I NEED THIS THING, IS THIS THE ONE I CHOSE?
When you get dressed, do you always chose the same, best fitting 3 pairs of jeans? Or, when you’re scrambling eggs, do you always chose the same, 2 pans? When you have multiple of something, identify how many of this thing you need, determine which are your favorites, and get rid the ones that are never used.
It’s true that we use 20% of what we own, 80% of the time. Ditch the 80% you rarely use— you’ll clear clutter and make more storage space for the 20% you do use.
toys the average 10 year old owns, but in an average day, plays with just
When sorting through your things, do some simple math to help you asses your things without bias. For example, if you live in Seattle, you may wear boots 100 days a year, so if you own 10 pairs, you wear each pair 10 times. If you live in Southern California, you may only wear boots 10 days a year, so if you own 10 pairs, you only wear each pair once a year.
Mount a storage cabinet to free up floor space, or install a wall mounted shoe rack for additional, out of the way, shoe storage.
Hang a key organizer for your keys, wall hooks for everyday coats and backpacks, and a wall organizer to sort, and store, paperwork and mail.
To organize your paperwork, replace your standing, filing system, with a wall, paperwork organizer, or install a small, floating wall shelf to hold your internet modem, rather than setting it on your office desk.
To declutter your counters, swap out a tabletop clock for a wall clock, or hang picture frames in a gallery on your wall, rather than setting individual picture frames on your tabletop.
Relocate your cluttered spices to a simple, wall, spice rack, or on a shelf hung above your stove. Also, try installing decorative hooks to organize aprons, oven mitts, pot holders, and tea towels.
Install a wall-mounted jewelry organizer, or a series of small hooks to organize jewelry, or hang a valet hook for your bathrobe, handbag, or tomorrow’s outfit.
HOW CAN I BETTER ORGANIZE THE GADGETS CLUTTERING MY SMALL KITCHEN?
Sort your gadgets by type (baking, appliances, everyday cooking, specialty cooking) and then decide where each category should go, based on use. Relocate items rarely used to a storage closet and keep often used things in a kitchen cabinet.
ANY TIPS ON DECLUTTERING MY OUT OF CONTROL, EMAIL INBOX?
First, stop the influx of emails by unsubscribing from all unwanted emails. Second, create categoryspecific folders to store answered emails, and make the effort to move all emails from your inbox to these folders, once they’ve been answered. Third, try to maintain your inbox so that it only contains your most current, most important emails.
HOW CAN I ORGANIZE THE CLUTTER THAT ACCUMULATES ON MY BATHROOM COUNTER?
Pull the bathroom products you use daily and separate them into categories such as makeup, face products, and hair products. Then, contain these everyday products in, drawer organizers, and move anything rarely used to a storage closet. A tip to maximizing your drawer space is to purchase drawer organizers that when placed together, fill your entire drawer, without gaps of space.
MY FRIDGE AND PANTRY ARE ALWAYS A MESS— ANY TIPS TO DECLUTTERING, AND THEN, MAINTAINING THESE AREAS?
First, catch up by sorting through the contents of both, and getting rid of anything expired, and anything you likely won’t use. Second, shift things around so things are grouped by category, and so that the things you use most are front and center. Finally, based on placement, optimize your space by moving your shelves, or purchasing any organizing products that will help contain things, or optimize the space.
NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I ASK, MY KID’S DUMP THEIR SHOES, COATS, AND BACKPACKS IN THE MUDROOM— ANY TIPS?
Start by giving each child a specific, personalized space for their things. Within each person’s designated area, include an obvious, easy to use place for each thing, and label each place with their name. For example, go to the extreme of labeling ‘Tom’s Shoe Bin’ ‘Tom’s Backpack Hook’, so that there is no question where things live.
HOW DO I PREVENT THE DAILY CLUTTER DUMP ONTO OUR KITCHEN TABLE?
Start by assessing what is getting dumped here, and determine if you’ve designated places where this stuff is supposed to go. If you have not, find a new spot for these categories of things, and make sure to introduce everyone to the new spot. For example, if your kids are dumping their returned homework on your kitchen table, designate a nearby basket, or wall organizer, for such papers.
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“Alex was responsive, professional, worked incredibly hard and made a difficult process fun. My house looks great!”
“She did a good job explaining the process, asking us a few questions then setting to work.”
“It was a very healing experience.”
“After Alex was done, I LOVED coming home again. That nagging and dreadful feeling that there's still ‘work’ to be done after going home was gone, and everything just sparkled and smelled nice, and of course, everything was organized!”