Ask the Organizer – Part 1 – “How do I get rid of clutter?”

Clutter is a common problem for everyone – even Professional Organizers! Life happens so clutter happens. The key is staying ahead of the clutter game.

There are several reasons clutter occurs. We don’t purge often enough. We keep duplicates of some items. We don’t keep things where they belong. We hold onto items for sentimental reasons. We save it “just in case” or to “fix it someday” if it is broken. Clutter also often becomes overwhelming and we procrastinate dealing with it.

Luckily there are simple tips and tricks that will get you and keep you clutter free!

• JUST START – and start small. Pick a closet or a drawer. Empty it and get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. Enjoy the clutter free area and use that feeling to motivate you as you tackle the next area.

• BE HONEST. When deciding to keep something ask yourself these questions:

 Do you love it?

 Would you buy it again?

 Is it broken?

 Is it worth cleaning and storing?

 Can someone else use it?

• GO BY THE 60 SECOND RULE. If it takes you more than 60 seconds to decide to keep it you probably don’t need it.

• DECLUTTER FOR A WORTHY CAUSE. Always keep a “Donations” box in a closet. Let everyone in the family know where it is and how to use it. When you come across something you no longer want or need, put it in the box. When the box gets full donate the contents to someone who will use it!

• ONE STEP AT A TIME. Every week pick an area – such as toys, utensils, cosmetics, junk drawer, desktop – and declutter it.

• DO 5 IN 5. Spend 5 minutes a day picking up 5 things and putting them where they belong. Or every evening take a basket from room to room for items you pick up as you declutter before bed.

• STOP REPEATS. Get rid of duplicate items – you probably always use the same hair brush or spatula and wear the same tee shirts and jeans. Keep only your best things – use them and wear them.

• A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE. Shoes go in the shoe bin by the door, mail goes in the mail sorter, holidays decorations get stored in the basement or attic.

• DECIDE IF YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT IT. Put it in a box and store it. After 6-12 months, if you haven’t gotten into the box to get it out you probably don’t need it.

• LET GO. If it has sentimental value – find a place for it or take a picture so you have the memory forever – but not the item.

• ACT LIKE YOU ARE MOVING. Would you box it up, transport it, unpack it and store it again?

• STAY FOCUSED. Finish one area before starting another.

• DIVIDE & CONQUER. Store like with like. This goes for toiletries, medications, books, electronics, etc.

• BUDDY UP. Ask a friend to help – and do the same for them.

• USE YOUR RESOURCES. The internet is a wealth of information – just ask ANY Pinterest user! Search for organizing ideas, get creative and have fun! Professional Organizers can also help every step of the way and customize a system to keep you clutter free!


 If you get it out – put it away.

 If you open it – shut it.

 If you try it on – hang it up.

 If you get it dirty – wash it.

 If you don’t use it – get rid of it.

 If it doesn’t fit – donate it.

 If it is expired – throw it out.

 If it is junk – trash it.

 If it is a bill – pay it.

 If you schedule it – Write it down.

Happy De-Cluttering!

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Looking for specific organizing ideas? Check out Silver Lining Organizers on Pinterest.

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