Organize + Energize: 4 Spaces to Declutter in October
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalWorcester Organizing Expert
Here we are again in a new month. I have 12 spaces left to give you to declutter for this year. How are you doing? Remember to schedule these on your calendar for this month, break the process down and take it one step at a time.
Here are your 4 spaces to declutter this month:
Clothes. You should be doing this twice a year. Go through your clothes in the spring in fall. Touch every piece of clothing, declutter and re-organize. When was the last time you took the time to declutter all of your clothes. How much are you wearing? What’s shoved in the back of the closet? Do you find you’re wearing the same clothes over and over again and never touching half of your closet? How many items do you have to move out of the way to find what you need? Ask yourself these questions as you declutter and get organized.
Basement. It’s the black hole of the house. You don’t know what to do with something, so it ends up in the basement. It’s a great time of year to tackle the basement because the weather is perfect for it! Be honest with yourself when decluttering. How much are you actually using? Store holiday items and memorabilia in seal tight bins on shelves. Try to get most of your items off of the floor and onto these shelves. How long has this area been on your to-do list?
Fall decorations. As you bring out your fall decorations, this is a great time to declutter and see what you actually have. Keep fall decorations contained to their own bin and labeled. It’s a quick and easy project to tackle!
Drawer at work. Choose one drawer, any drawer. Empty the entire drawer and figure out what needs to get tossed, what needs to get stored in another area of the office and what you can keep in this drawer. Are there drawer organizers in this drawer? Think about containing and categorizing items in this drawer for easy access. Did you get energized tackling this one drawer? If so, move on to another!
How do these spaces make you feel? It’s time to tackle these projects and release them from hanging over your head, especially the basement. Once completed, you’ll feel energized and ready to move onto more projects. What are your excuses for not moving forward?
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.