Clear out the old to cultivate your 2024 goals. If you are anything like me, you are busy seeking to accomplish your resolutions and on a mission to live a life you love. This is why my approach to organizing creates functional, chic and intuitive solutions that transform not only your space but also your life.
Let’s start with clutter. As I see it, clutter is anything that takes up physical or mental space prohibiting you from living a life you love. To eliminate clutter we need to (you guessed it), declutter! Decluttering is the first step to creating an organized space.
Everyone always wants to skip this step because it is where most of the work happens - the physical and emotional work. Yet it is essential to complete because in doing so, you learn what it is that you need to create space for so you can get organized. Here are my best decluttering tips to help you feel re-inspired on your organizing journey!
- Stop delaying and just start! The longer you put it off, the more overwhelming and daunting it becomes. Start small and remember that done is better than perfect. There is no perfect way to be organized. The whole point of getting organized is so you know what you have and can find exactly what you need when you need it. Perfect is defined by what’s important to you and how you live your life.
- Pick one space to begin with. If you are a newbie, start with something easy, such as clothing which people usually have a lot of and tends to be easier to go through. Alternatively, if you are feeling more confident, you can start in a space that feels most cumbersome to you like your entry area where you keep your coats, mail and keys or your kitchen junk drawer (yes we said it)!
PRO TIP: Avoid starting with memorabilia-type items as they are emotional and often more difficult to declutter. Build up your organizing muscle with easier decisions first and set yourself up for easy wins which equals success!
- Start with pulling everything out of the space you have designated to declutter. We like to suggest having a clear space to stage these items so it’s easier to work through and remind our clients that it always gets messier before it gets better! To avoid feeling overwhelmed and fatigued, work in small sections. For example, if your closet feels terrifying to tackle, try decluttering your skirts one day and jeans the next, and so on until you complete the space. If you break your project into bite-size nuggets, you will be more likely to accomplish the decluttering project at hand.
- Be consistent. Doing a little bit is great and can produce major results if you are consistent! Figure out what works best for you, play around with it and be patient with yourself. Is ten minutes a day, twenty minutes three days/week, or a few hours on the weekend optimal for how you like to work and realistic with your lifestyle?
- Make it fun. It’s always more fun to go through things with someone else. Phone a friend or ask your partner and the process instantly becomes easier and more enjoyable. Here are a few more ideas to increase the odds of setting yourself up for success: light a candle or diffuse oils, play music, have your favorite beverage handy, and do whatever will make the project feel more inviting!
- After you’ve pulled the items out, group like items together (all skirts together, all mail together, all kitchen utensils together, etc.). If you have any items you are unsure about, put them aside and revisit them at the end so you don’t disrupt your decluttering momentum!
- Review and edit your items. Keep what you love or use and purge what you have outgrown and no longer use or love. If you get stuck, ask yourself how the item makes you feel and be honest with yourself. It’s ok if your mother-in-law gave it to you and it’s not your style or those jeans you spent $300 on just don’t fit you anymore (or maybe never really did)! If you don’t love it or it’s not functionally necessary (like your kid's backpack) recycle, sell/consign or donate it. Let go of things that no longer serve your current lifestyle to create space for the organized life you are cultivating right now. Once you shift your mindset to filter questions this way, we promise it will be so much easier to go through and declutter your items.
PRO TIP: Be careful about creating an unrealistic sell pile. It takes time to list things and it’s often not worth it. Think about donating the item to a good second home instead and you will feel so much better. If you do choose to sell items, set boundaries so that you don’t end up with a sell pile in your home a year later!
- Get those items out of your home! So often we find clients who did the decluttering and then got stuck on where to donate the items! If that’s true, check out this article about Where To Donate in NYC.
Like most things, what you put in is what you get out of it. If you only worked out occasionally would you accomplish your fitness goals? Use these tips to steer you through overcoming your organizational challenges. If you feel stuck at any point, remember that you are in control of how you want to feel in your home and life. Good luck clearing to make space for the new. You can do this and we are cheering you on!