The job of an organizer encompasses many different things and many different areas. Sometimes it’s as simple as organizing a linen closet. Other times it’s unpacking and organizing an entire house. It can be organizing a two or three car garage with random items stacked to the ceiling or a storage unit. Other times it might be filing system, or a craft room, an office or a playroom and the list goes on.
I believe I speak for most, if not all, of us (Professional Organizers) when I say that we do our best to find a place for everything. You know the saying “A place for everything and everything in its place”. It truly is a Professional Organizers motto. To take it a step further, while we do our best to find a place for everything, we also try to make sure that “the place” makes sense. That it is functional and accessible.
It doesn’t matter if you have a home that’s 500 square feet or 6,000 square feet. There is only so much room in each house, office, closet, etc. We must work within the confines of that space and make it work. While we can make suggestions and introduce you to some great organizing products or space savers to help you get the most out of your space, we can’t make space where there just isn’t any. We are NOT magicians!
If you have to much “stuff” and there’s no room to put it all away, it is then considered clutter. Even if you love it. Even if it was very expensive. Even if your favorite Aunt left it to you. If it doesn’t have a “home” and we can’t find a place to store it or put it away, it’s clutter.
If you want an organized and functional home, office or other space, and it happens to be so full that’s there’s no more room, the only answer is to let some of it go. You can sell it if you are so inclined, you can donate it to charity and get a write-off or, you can throw it away.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can get started.
1. Get rid of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is no longer serving your purpose and hasn’t for a while.
2. If you have VHS tapes of family reunions, vacations or other special events, have them transferred to a smaller updated format, i.e., DVD or hard-drive (especially if you no longer own a VCR player).
3. If you have tons of t-shirts or sweatshirts from your college days, instead of storing them in a large bin which is taking up a lot of room, consider having a quilt made of them.
4. Donate books that you started to read but just couldn’t get through or are no longer interested in.
5. Toss magazines that are older than 3 months. After that the information is pretty much obsolete and you can probably find what you need on the internet. If there is a particular article that you want to keep, rip it out and put it in a file (digital or physical) and throw the magazine away. FYI, hospitals, senior centers and doctor’s offices would be happy to take old magazines if they are in good condition.
6. Old shoes that are worn out, that no longer fit or are missing the match.
7. Clothes that don’t fit, are no longer your style or that you bought but never really liked when you put them on.
8. Anything that is expired including, but not limited to, food, spices and medications
9. Things that you intended to fix or mend one day but haven’t gotten around to for more than a few months. It’s okay to let it go. It’s broken!
10. Something that your favorite cousin or best friend gave you, but you never really liked. They gave it to you to enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t keep it. They love you and wouldn’t want you to keep something that is keeping you stuck and surrounded by clutter.
11. Socks that are torn, worn out or missing its match.
12. Lingerie or underwear that are stretched out or not comfortable any longer.
13. Purses that are out of shape or just worn out.
14. Hats that no longer fit or are just dirty/stained from too much wear and are beyond repair.
15. Old computers that have been sitting around for ages. If there’s important info that needs to be retrieved, take it to Best Buy and pay the Geek Squad or your IT guy to get it for you. If there’s nothing on there that you need, then take it to a place that recycles e-waste. Again, think Best Buy.
16. Going back to clothes… since this is usually a tough decision (especially for women). If you’re no longer working in the corporate world and haven’t for quite some time, start scaling down the business attire. Maybe keep one or two suits but you don’t need your entire wardrobe from that time in your life.
17. Furniture that is no longer serving a purpose. A lamp that doesn’t give off enough light. The couch that you can no longer sit in because you sink into it and can’t get up out of it. The broken rocking chair that’s been in the garage and you just haven’t had a minute to get it to the curb. The baby seats that have been in the garage since your kids were small and now they’re in their 20’s. (FYI, if you’re saving them for your grandkids, please don’t! Your kids will have newer/better models that your grandkids can use).
Bottom line is you gotta start somewhere. If you keep everything for “someday” or for that “just in case” scenario, you will always find yourself in this constant state of clutter. Getting rid of anything will give you more room than you had and free up some space.
If your space feels like it’s busting at the seams and you want or need some assistance, give us a call. We’d love to help!