If you are inclined to spend time clearing the clutter, I would first suggest introducing brightness into dark, cramped spaces. And, if you are working in a garage or a closet, play some lively music to make it fun. Believe it or not, I encourage all my Southern California Clients tune into K-EARTH 101. Dress comfortably. Have plenty of water on-hand. Don’t work on an empty stomach, but do it with a positive frame of mind. Work in short periods of time and always reward yourself for your accomplishments.
People need to understand that the cleaner the décor, the more graphic elements stand out. You spend all this money and time to decorate your place, but when it’s cluttered up, you don’t see your beloved treasures.
Pick one very small area to start in. Declare what that space is to be used for. By choosing a small space, ie; a bookshelf, drawer or coat closet, you can generally finish within a few short hours and of course feel a great sense of accomplishment (more so than if you tried to tackle the entire garage at one time, for instance.) Set up a series of boxes labeling them charity, give-way (to friends), purge, mystery, keep, relocate (to a more appropriate location) and repair.
Approach the area asking yourself: "When was the last time I used this item?" If it has been more than a year, give serious thought to purging the item (the Professional Organizer’s kinder, gentler term for trash.
If an item is used and you want to keep it, make sure the item is in an appropriate, accessible place. If you don’t use it very often, could you borrow, rent, improvise or replace the item for the few times you do use it?
Is it out of date? Toss old food or things out of style. Flush expired medications down the toilet (more on this in future posts.) Do I value this item? Put the item where you’ll use it, display the piece, or create a memorabilia box.
Was this a gift and you know you’ll never use it even though you feel guilty for throwing it out? Re-gifting is an acceptable practice.
Decide what that room, drawer, closet or bookcase is to be used for and stick to it. A drawer, bookshelf, or coat closet work best. You can get a lot of bang for your buck, and you can generally finish in a few hours.
Or, of course, you can contact OrganizingLA and we'll tackle all the details.