My home isn’t pristine. As I type this I still have holiday odds and ends to store away for next years festivities. There are outerwear accessories piled on my bistro table from a week’s worth of frigid weather and dishes are still in the sink. To be organized does not mean your home is impeccable 24/7! IMO that’s an exhausting way to live. Also, not everyone is a hoarder. Media has sensationalized the hoarder and that has taken away from the people who are true collectors of items they love. As we’ve learned from these shows hoarding is oftentimes a disabling mental health challenge for people to work through and most people are not hoarders.
In my years of helping friends and family coordinating their homes, I’ve learned that organizing is a process that we invest increments of time in until you have a system that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Here are a few of my favorite tips for organizing your living space.
- STOP SHOPPING! Don’t purchase one more thing! The beginning of organization is not to bring anything else into the clutter. Repeat: “I have all I need” This mantra helps me save money and focus on making sure I actually use what I already have.
- THROW AWAY TRASH I’ve learned that people think they are throwing away trash but when I dig deeper I’ve learned that trash goes deeper than kitchen scraps. We tend to hold onto bottles of product that have nothing left in them, or underwear with period stains and holes. Even when you’re menstruating you deserve fresh clean underclothes! Throw away ill-fitting bras and mismatched socks. Here’s the big one, toss away the just in case stuff. That’s the things we keep “just in case” you need it. You’ve carried that item from HS and you haven’t used it yet! Re-defining what trash really is, will go a long way.
- IT MUST SERVE A PURPOSE As you’re sorting ask yourself what purpose does this item serve me? If it’s useful when was the last time you used it? If you keep it give it a place to live. All things must have a place and a purpose in your home.
- RECYCLE, REPURPOSE, RE-GIFT Taking your unused clothes to shelters and thrift stores helps the planet. Did you know that when you donate clothing to charities, it’s not uncommon for the clothing to be sold overseas? Americans have too many clothes even when we recycle! Repurpose things that you can use immediately. Like taking a small flower pot and using it as a pen and pencil holder is a way to help save the planet! Also, that secret Santa gift you hate? Give it away or regift it!
- DISPLAY COLLECTIBLES & PRECIOUS ITEMS This is my favorite part! When I help friends and family I love hearing the story behind their precious items. Jewelry passed down, awards won in college, amateur sketches, and old family photos are things that should be displayed and shown off!
Organizing takes time and dedication. It’s a process that isn’t done in one day or even a week. It’s something you do with the commitment to give honor to the things you cherish the most!