There will come a time in your life when you will need to do some decluttering in your home. Whether you run out of room in your bathroom or your kitchen, you will realize space in your home is finite and needs to be organized. Sometimes admitting you need to declutter is the easy part, while finding the motivation to do it can be hard.
Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®, is a compassionate, enthusiastic Professional Organizer and Coach. She reminds us, “Clutter gathers because our possessions accumulate, get relegated to piles, corners, closets or drawers and then get ignored. The editing process has not occurred.” It is a rational reminder of how easy it can be to lose control of the stuff in our homes.
With her visual arts expertise, business background, love of helping people, and organizing abilities, Linda Samuels, works as a professional organizer to facilitate change in her clients’ lives. She is the author of The Other Side of Organized – Finding Balance Between Chaos and Perfection and she recently contributed her expert advice to “The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Decluttering Your Home,” a useful read for anyone wondering how to declutter a home . Linda works with people in a supportive, patient and nonjudgmental way, to help them move forward and past the overwhelmed stage when they are ready to organize their lives.
We are excited to share Linda’s wisdom with you so you can start to take small steps towards decluttering your home.
Follow Linda’s Tips for Clutter Solutions
“We often hang on to things long past their usefulness for that ‘someday’ which never comes. When we have emotional attachments to our possessions, letting go can be more challenging. Maybe our things represent treasured relationships or conjure up memories from another time. There can be comfort and freedom in knowing that memories remain long after the stuff is gone.”
Calendar Clutter – Evaluate schedule. The “too busy” syndrome is often a function of saying, “yes” without considering how that affects our stress level. If you’re overwhelmed by overscheduled days, consider these questions: What is on my “yes” list that I can convert to a “no?” What can be delegated? How much downtime do I need or want in a day?
Electronic Clutter – Establish boundaries. With 24/7 potential access and availability, setting limits about how much electronic noise you allow during the day is essential. Protect yourself and your time by turning off beeps, taking “tech-less” hours, and minimizing the sources of digital input.
Someday Clutter – Don’t postpone. Keeping things because you might need them someday are a source of clutter accumulation. When you hear yourself uttering the “someday” phrase, ask these questions: Is it worth the space? Is it worth the mental energy? Is it likely I’ll actually need or use it? Is my focus on “someday” preventing me from fully living and enjoying now?
Tips for Reducing Clutter
Complete Cycle – Develop an awareness of what you’re doing. If you have just entered the house with groceries or purchases in hand, take time to put them away. The few minutes spent routing things minimizes clutter that might otherwise collect in hallways, corners and on floors.
Purchase Consciously – Before you buy, think about not only whether you need it, but also where you will store it. Factoring this aspect into purchasing habits will prevent clutter from entering your home.
At this year’s National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Conference in L.A., keynote presenters The Minimalists pointed out that the three most dangerous words in the English language are: Just. In. Case. Those three little words cause many people to hang on to things they don’t need and are implicit in contributing to lots and lots of clutter. Of course everyone has a different opinion as to what is or isn’t clutter. If you’re having trouble identifying the clutter in your home, Linda’s final piece of advice may help: “The other side of clutter is about making room in your life for what is most important.”