There are a few new beginnings in your life that may cause the space in your house to be cluttered. Examples may include remodeling a room, moving into a new house or making room for a newborn. A new beginning for your space can be both stressful and exciting.

Liz Jenkins, a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of a fresh space has been helping clients in the Nashville area get organized, and have fun doing it, since 2006. Liz is a National Association of Professional Organizers Golden Circle Member and 2013-14 President of NAPO Nashville. She is a truly organizing geek and gets excited over gadgets like label makers and scanners. Liz took some time to share with us her recommendations for easing the stress around major life events and new beginnings in your home.

Tips for Decluttering in Preparation for a New Beginning

Decluttering Before a Remodel

So you’ve decided you want to remodel a room in your house. You’ve made all of the necessary arrangements and it’s time to start the process.

To make the process less stressful, gather and sort paperwork in a designated area, including:

  • Idea sheets
  • Contractor info
  • Designs
  • Receipts

While designing the plan of your remodel, consider consulting design services for storage and solution ideas. Liz advises designing shelving around what you need in that room rather than the reverse. If you’re remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, it can often become a nuisance because those are the most used rooms in a house. So, restructure the existing space by paring down to the basics and packing storage of items for new space.

Decluttering Before Moving

Moving can be a dreadful process. You lose sight on the new adventure you are embarking on because you’re distracted by the stress the process entails. Moving is the perfect time to cut the clutter. Going through room by room will force you to sort through your things and help you realize what items you truly need and want.


“Ask yourself if you are keeping items because they are useful or because they were a gift or from your family. Are they a good memory or are they stressful clutter?”


Moving is also a great time to try new ways to organize. “Consider stacking your washer and dryer if possible, then add a freestanding or built in shelving unit next to it to hold laundry supplies,” explains Liz. Once you’re all finished moving you must find places for the miscellaneous things. Liz advises using basements and garages for sturdy shelving. The more you can get off the ground into labeled bins, the better the space will function.

Decluttering Before an Elderly Parent Moves In

There may come a time when your elderly parent has to move in with you and your family. It can be a bit overwhelming but being prepared before the move-in can help with the stress. You may find yourself managing their financial affairs. Be sure to keep their financial paperwork in a safe spot and separate from yours. It will save you time and worries. After you find an organized spot for the paperwork it’s time to prepare for the living arrangements.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Are there any minor or major changes that need to be made to accommodate any disabilities or mobility problems your parent may have?
  • Am I taking into account all privacy issues?
  • Have I reviewed the house for potential problems and safety traps?

After considering these questions, it’s smart to make yourself a check-list of all of the basic adjustments. Things like replacing doorknobs with levers, installing grab bars in the bathroom and checking railings to make sure they’re sturdy. Most importantly, you have to make a space that will turn into their bedroom. If you have an existing room that is full of miscellaneous junk, this is a great time to declutter and get rid of things you don’t necessarily need. Store items in a labeled box and place them in a designated spot that’s not cluttering up another space.

Decluttering Before a New Arrival

The arrival of a baby is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Being prepared and organized can help you with a smooth transition to parenthood. When you are setting up the nursery, consider splitting it into zones. One for feeding, diapering, playing and sleeping. No need to be scurrying around in the middle of the night looking for diaper ointment.  “When you’re organizing items consider using rectangular or square storage canisters. They are more efficient than the round ones,” says Liz.


By removing clutter, and making space, you can drastically reduce the stress and anxiety that often come with a major change in the daily routines of your household. If you live in the Nashville area, be sure to contact Liz to help you create a plan for your remodel, move, newborn or house guest.