Organizing Ideas
April 5, 2022

What NOT to do When Decluttering the Clutter - 5 Great Tips!

What NOT to do When Decluttering the Clutter - 5 Great Tips!

For many of us, it seems to happen at least a few times throughout the  year- we get bitten by the organizing bug! Whether you crave a deep  spring clean or a full-on minimalist get-rid-of-everything-purge, today,  we have some tips on what NOT to do when that bug bite itches.

DON'T BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW.  

Do not set aside an entire day to organize your whole house. Very few  people have the energy or stamina to spend 8 straight hours organizing.  You'll likely become frustrated and less efficient as the day  progresses, and it's much better to spend a few hours — 2 or 3 — on one  project or space. In the end, you'll feel motivated to do more, not  burned out or overwhelmed by the process.

DON'T PROLONG THE INEVITABLE.

There are no shortage of gimmicky 'get organized one bag at a time' tricks  floating around the internet - the 40 bag challenge (committing to  getting rid of a single bag of 'stuff' every day for 40 days), the  12x12x12 challenge (locating 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate,  and 12 items to be returned to their proper home), the 365 Less things  challenge (giving away 1 item every day for an entire year)...

Although these challenges sounds simple and even a little fun in theory,  the reality is they draw out a process that is best handled quickly. No  one wants to be thinking about organizing or dealing with their clutter  for an entire year, and seeing the amazing transformation of an entire  room over the span of a few hours is much more impactful (and thus, more  motivating) than watching items slowly disappear 1 at a time. So do the  hard work and commit to powering through - the end result will be much  more enjoyable.


DON'T BUY STORAGE CONTAINERS BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY ORGANIZE.  

We get it. Buying cute storage baskets and containers to house your  things is definitely the most exciting part of organizing, but  containerizing is one of the LAST step on your organizing journey.

The Room to Breathe team organizes using the Julie Morgensten's SPACE method:

Sort || Going through everything and grouping like with like according to categories that make sense to you.

Purge || Get rid of items that are broken, useless,  superseded or otherwise irrelevant. Morgenstern and RTB are a firm  advocates of the notion "if you haven't used recently, ditch it!"

Assign || Assign a permanent home. Think outside the box (or  room you are in) and pick a location that makes use of your own  preferences and existing habits. Doing this ensures you always know  exactly where everything is at any given moment, and saves you from  searching endlessly for items you tucked away somewhere.

Containerize || Now (and only now) is the time to evaluate  whether you need to bring in any containers- whether that's a new  bookshelf or a little box to keep toiletries in, evaluate what you  already have and can repurpose, and what might be most useful to keep  your belongings neatly secured in their new home.

Equalize || The final key step is dedicating time every day  (or every week for less frequently used rooms) to equalize: returning  every item to its proper home. If you've been diligent with the previous  steps, this shouldn't be time consuming.

Ultimately, you can't buy storage containers without knowing what and  where you are storing things, so resist the urge to shop for pretty  containers and only purchase items after you have sorted, purged, and  assigned a home to your belongings.

DON'T LEAVE THE JOB UNFINISHED.

This  is the most important part: Once you have decided to part with  something, take it there! Never keep bags for donation or boxes for  friends in your home to deliver later, or you will absolutely start to  second guess your decisions. Finish the process- take the bags and boxes  out immediately. You've done so much work getting to this point, seal the deal!

DON'T DO IT ALONE IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU NEED HELP.

We all have different strengths in life, and for some us, organizing may  not one of them. So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, burdened,  or nervous about tackling a project on your own, give Room to Breathe a shout. We will guide you through the process step by step, teaching you along  the way, and leaving you with an individualized organizational system  that actually works! And in less time than you probably thought.

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