Taking Control of Your Clutter
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CLUTTER: FOUR QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
When you’re expecting company for dinner, your natural inclination may be to declutter by tossing misplaced items into whatever closet or cabinet is handy. When you are ready to take control of your storage spaces once and for all and call in the big guns, otherwise known as professional closet organizers, however, hiding your possessions in your cluttered closets is not going to work; in that case, it’s time to actually go through and organize your belongings. While it might seem counterintuitive to declutter for the professionals, it’s not; not only will you make it easier for them to evaluate your actual storage needs, but you’ll make it easier on yourself by pruning out what you don’t need and making tough decisions about what items you really do need to keep.
First, take everything off of one shelf or out of one drawer in the closet, and bring it to an open area to go through. Do not take every single item out of the closet; this will result in mass mayhem, and will leave you wishing that you’d never even started. Remember the adage about eating an elephant one bite at a time, and declutter in bite-sized chunks instead of all at once.Here are some questions to ask yourself as you go through your stash:
- Do need it? If the item in question is something that you require for health, safety or other important reasons, then the answer is clear; you will need to find a place to store it!
- Do I use it? Decide on a reasonable frequency to use the item, and ask yourself if you use it that often. A cocktail dress, for example, you might only wear once or twice per year, but a pair of jeans should be worn more often; use your discretion.
- Do I have more than one of these? If you have two (or more!) identical or near-identical items, ask yourself if you actually need multiples; if not, put the extra(s) in the “to go” pile.
- Do I love it? Sometimes, you’re going to run into an item that, while it’s not practical, necessary or used very often, you simply love it. As long as it’s not every other item, it’s perfectly acceptable to decide to keep a few whimsical, sentimental or serendipitous belongings.
Now that you have a (hopefully) smaller pile of “to keep” items than you started with, place them neatly back on the shelf, if they belong in that closet to begin with. If they don’t, put them in a laundry basket or other container for the moment, until you have time to find them a permanent home. The leftover items, which are the ones you’re willing to get rid of, will fall into two, or possibly three, categories: things to sell, things to give away and things to throw away. Those in the last category should go directly into the garbage. The belongings that you’d like to give away need to go in a box or bag labeled with the name of a local thrift shop or charity; put this bag in your car right away to avoid losing it to the depth of another closet. If you’re planning a garage sale, you can place the “for sale” items in the garage; otherwise, consider just donating them. The last thing you need is a pile of belongings residing in another storage area!
Go through your entire closet, one shelf at a time, in this manner. Before you know it, you will have a well-organized, decluttered storage space; now it will be all set for your Unique Storage & Organizers home organization system, which will allow you to maintain your belongings and avoid clutter build-up in the future.
Michelle Kulas writes about Taking control of your clutter, for Unique Storage and Organizers. Unique Storage and Organizers is an affordable and reliable Company for Custom Closet Vancover BC.