Tag Archives: neat & tidy

Closets – Yes You Can

This is a not just a post on clutter clearing.  It’s about why we have busy, cluttered, “I can’t find anything” closets in our bedrooms.  The reasons I hear most often are:

  • “I will wear this someday.”
  • “It was given to me and I want to wear it the next time that person comes over.”
  • “It does not fit now, but it will someday soon.”
  • “It’s going to come back in fashion.”
  • “I am saving it to give to…?”
  • “It costs a lot of $$$ and I can’t throw it out.”

I will wear it someday…the truth is you probably will not.  We only use 20% of what we own and that goes for clothing as well as stuff.  Ask yourself, “Do I really love this and will I love wearing it?”  You may find that in answering this question, the truth is no.

It was given to me and I want to wear it the next time they come over…the truth is most of the time the giver would not even recognize it if we did wear it to show them how much we appreciated the gift.   Some will, most will not.  Don’t hold on to a shirt that you do not like just because “they will appreciate seeing me wear it.” We appreciate each other, the gifts are secondary.

It does not fit now, but it will someday soon…this is a tough one, but really, styles change so much and by the time you lose or gain the weight to wear it again, you will probably not feel the same way about it.  You’ve changed, your perspective has changed, and more than likely your style has changed.

It’s going to come back in fashion…the type of style perhaps, but anything that is a distinct style may not. How long has it been in your closet taking up space? If you are not willing to wear it now, you will probably not wear it when it comes back in fashion.

I am saving it to gift to…? this is the case of something being stored in the wrong place.  If you want to give it away, put it in the car, mailer, box.  Get it on its way.

It costs a lot of $$$ and I can’t throw it out…the truth is:  every time you look at it and think “it was so expensive, I can’t possibly throw it out or give it away”.  I am here to tell you:  YES YOU CAN!  You can sell it at your local consignment store and make some $$$ back on that pricey item.

When organizing your closet, the first step is always to remove those items that are creating the most clutter because they get pushed and thrown, stuffed and placed for years in our closets.  Take notice of those items that are relatively new that get moved around the closet a lot.  Do you really want to keep them?

Starting At The Bottom

Clearing out the basement. A dreaded job, really.  Many basements have a neat row of boxes stored on shelves on one wall; the other wall often has a big area of clutter with tons of stuff piled high. No shelves, boxes, no sense of order.  In short, chaos. We are all guilty of leaving things in our basements for years, untouched and unused.

To tackle this kind of job requires lots of lighting, strong arms and gentle care.  The basement is often treated like a “free for all” clutter area.  We bring into the basement a mix of valuable and not so valuable items.  It’s good to be careful as you sort through these items, there may be fragile items in the pile that are improperly wrapped up and unprotected.

If there is no rhyme or reason to the storage then everything is susceptible to damage, mold, or deterioration and more importantly, lack of use.  If you live in a humid area, there is always a chance that something could get moldy.  It’s helpful to put a de-humidifier in the basement.

Let’s start:

Good lighting is imperative. Open the access doors to the outside and bring in some light.  Set up lamps if there is not enough light in the basement.

Set up three areas:

  1. Keep
  2. Give Away
  3. Trash

Keep in mind your current needs: Do these items fit in to what those needs are?  It is always my desire to help people get rid of things they do not need or want or use.  The basement is an excellent place to start learning these techniques.  Partly because we have stuff stored there for a long time and are not currently using those items.  Also, we are often trying to make sense of the basement as a possible good storage space or a great place to set up a work area.

Whatever your needs or desire for the basement, keeping it clear of excess stuff and unused items will give you a good foundation for the rest of your home.

Setting Up Proper Storage in the Basement

If there is no system set up to keep everything in order, devise a plan.

Here’s a list of common basement storage categories:

  • Gardening
  • Tools
  • Household items
  • Storage for someone else
  • Snow Removal

Whatever you need to store, here’s how I recommend it be stored:

  • Keep heavy and frequently used items near the door for handy access
  • Store occasionally used items together in the same area
  • Keep like items together, i.e. garden hose with gardening tools
  • Clear storage boxes make it easier to see what is stored
  • Label each area

Clutter Clearing in the Bedroom

Was helping a client de-clutter her bedroom today.    As an extremely busy woman with a husband and two children, she was overwhelmed by the task and just could not get started with it.    It’s hard to find the time to work on clearing the clutter and getting rid of it as well.  I asked her, “when, how and why did this stuff get on the floor of your bedroom?”  She replied. “it’s been here since Christmas”.  In addition, there were cluttered surfaces making it difficult to find things or to clearly see what was there?

Essential Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Are you blocking energy from flowing through your bedroom?
  • Is your clutter issue affecting others?
  • Do you share your bedroom with someone else thus sharing your clutter with him or her?

That’s a significant factor in organizing.  When does it go over the “little bit messy” to the “out of control messy?”

Here’s What We Did:

  • cleared the bureau top of all unnecessary items
  • cleared the floor of toys
  • moved mirror from in front of balcony door to the end of the walk-in closet, thus serving its purpose
  • recycled clothing no longer in use
  • opened up new space in closet
  • brought currently used clothing into walk-in closet that was being stored elsewhere
  • organized shoes all in the same area
  • got rid of items that had negative emotions attached to them
  • created a bedroom sanctuary

All of this done in 2.5 hours.  Next time, we will empty her bureau and get all the clothing into the walk-in closet, remove the bureau and place a comfy chair or love seat in its place.  More sanctuary, less clutter and stuff.