The second part of this blog will be on March 24th.

Organizing hacks for once you’ve decluttered.

Have you ever gone on a massive purging spree and thrown away something you love?  Do you do a little bit in different areas but never seem to finish one complete room? Can you never find anything because you have numerous places to store it? If you have done some decluttering and are ready to organize, we have you covered today.

Stats from a blog post on (now defunct)

  • Average American credit card debt: $15,185; $7,000 unwanted items
  • Estimated $15 billion in unused tech gadgets in junk drawers worldwide! $2,200 per drawer / attic!
  • Average woman: 27 pairs of shoes; man: 12. Both have on average 88 articles of clothing each. 25% unworn.
  • 85%+ couples say they argue about clutter & disorganization;
  • Managing volumes of clutter has been linked to elevated levels of stress.
  • 23% of adults say they pay bills late because they lose them
  • 80% of clutter is disorganization, not lack of space.
  • Almost 40,000 self-storage facilities in the US Demand doubled 1994 to 2004.
  • Crisis purchases could account for 15-20% of household budgets: buying duplicates, last minute shopping trips, etc.
  • US Dept. of Energy: 2 car garage: 25% no car; 32%, one.
  • Montgomery Co. MD: forced cleanout can top $25,000; rarely recouped from hoarder, local agencies foot the bill
Organizing Hacks: Plan before you start

I’m going to talk about the basics of organizing.  This was how I was taught. Most people would credit Julie Morgenstern with the nuts and bolts of how stuff is done and that people learned from. I am not sure if there is anyone else out there. These are based on the principles of Julie Morgenstern. I have read lots of books, taken classes and most of what I will talk about today is probably based on her basic principles and teachings. 

I always encourage you to declutter before organizing. I always tell clients never to force you to throw anything out, but encourage them to always try and declutter. Sometimes people don’t want to declutter and just get organized. That’s okay; wherever you are it’s okay.

This isn’t one of the basic steps, but I am going to encourage you to do some planning.  Try and figure out if you will want this to be a monthly project, weekly task or you are going to try and tackle it in a weekend.

I encourage you to write it down!!! Whether on your to-do list, an app. I say this for everything! If we don’t write it down, it won’t likely get done.  I would be lost without my to-do list. I have been using legal pages for ages and will probably never change that.

Once you figure out the time, block it out on the calendar.  I would also suggest, although this isn’t necessary to do a complete inventory of your space. What areas or rooms need: Completely organized; minor work; and none.

Organizing Hacks: Write it down!

Plan on organizing one room/one project at a time. I am planting this seed now because I have seen many people flit and fleet from one project to the next and never accomplish anything. Nothing wrong with this, but if this is you; you might want to consider hiring someone. A professional can come in and see things that you can’t.

Finally, this is something I suggest my clients do or think about prior to organizing or decluttering:

  • Create a vision for each room and how want to feel!

Take the time to really get excited and keep motivated by visualizing the end of your time decluttering and organizing.

What do you need to organize? What would your stats look like on disorganization? What have you lost because of disorganization?

Start Small? Or Start Big?

If organizing & decluttering is challenging, start with a purse, drawer, and bookshelf.  Don’t get discouraged if you’re starting small. Little steps add up to big changes. Did you know if you spend 10 minutes a day that it’s almost 60 hours in a year? You can do a lot in 60 hours!

How much money have you spent?

Some advantages of starting with a small project:

  • Less overwhelming and being overwhelmed easily happens when people have a lot of clutter and are disorganized.
  • Set yourself up for success with something relatively easy.
  • Usually quickly done. You can most likely organize one shelf in a book case in 15 or so minutes.
  • See immediate results and boost your confidence!

You can also start big by working on an area or space or room.  If you’re ready for this, here are some things to consider when looking at where to start:

  • What’s driving you crazy?
  • Where do you spend most of your time?
  • Anything that needs urgent attention (i.e. office because bills aren’t getting paid, etc.)
  • Impending deadline.  (You’re getting kitchen cabinets redone and the kitchen needs to be organized.)

Before you get started, take time to gather all your supplies. Here are my suggestions:

  • Large strong trash bags or sturdy boxes or containers.  
  • Boxes/bags:  Donate, Return, Repair, Recycle, Sell, Another Location, Trash, Friend, Family
  • Dust buster/vacuum, Dust cloth & cleaner, broom & dustpan. I also have essential oils to make the place smell good when I’m finished.
  • Folders, sharpie, pencil if you’re going to be doing filing work.
  • Paper/index cards/tape/labels to mark piles
  • Notebook or app for notes or anything else you need to remember.
  • Box for files / papers if you’re doing paperwork.
  • Beverages & Snacks
  • Music

More organizing hacks next week!

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