Decluttering Sentimental Items

What to Do with Sentimental Items when Decluttering

Organizing and decluttering possessions is a great way to reduce stress and improve the look of your home, along with many other benefits. But some things are more difficult to remove, such as the box of memorabilia tucked into a closet. Our professional organizers know that sentimental items can be the hardest to part with. We also understand that you don’t have to say goodbye to all of it. Here are suggestions for dealing with sentimental items while decluttering at home.

Why Sentimental Objects are Hard to Part With

A common fear among our clients is that tossing something that stirs up memories will somehow erase those recollections and the attached legacy. But those memories will not disappear when you let go of items that hold sentimental value. You will still remember the past, and those people, even without the memorabilia sitting in that box in the closet.

We’ve also heard people say that keeping their mementos is harmless. And that’s true if it were only one or two. Often, though, there are many small things, and when put together, they take up a lot of space. Your home becomes a storage space and holding onto numerous sentimental items can detract from their specialness.

You Don’t Have to Throw Everything Away

Let’s make that very clear. We are certainly not saying to toss all the memorabilia. Instead, we suggest:

Choose One Item per Event. Let’s say that you have five items from your college graduation in a box. We suggest choosing the one that means the most to you to symbolize the event, rather than keeping all five. This process pairs down the belongings while keeping a sentimental item per event.

Use the Item. Yes! You might be waiting for a special event to use the crystal wine glasses you received years ago from your grandmother. But what better way to honour her and her memory than by using those glasses often?

Donate to Help Others. For those keepsakes that you don’t use, think about whether it might mean more for someone else to use them rather than having them collect dust in your closet. If another person can love something the way you once did, or the way the person who gave it to you did, that can be comforting and special.

Take Photos. Consider taking photos of mementos and printing them to put into a keepsake book. Then, give away the physical objects. This way, you can look at them any time you want to reminisce, and the book takes up considerably less room than all the items.

storing sentimental items

Letting Go is Empowering

When you let go of excess items, you embrace a minimalist lifestyle. It can feel like a weight is lifted when an excessive number of items no longer surround you at home. Last of all, we want you to remember that the memories associated with the sentimental objects still exist in your heart.

If you’re not ready to give up something, we suggest putting it aside for a year. Then look at the item again and see if you’re ready to let it go at that point.

Our organizers offer support and suggestions for decluttering but never pressure you. If you are finding it difficult to organize the home, reach out to us today for a free consultation.

decluttering

You’ve Tackled Your Clutter, Now What?

Eliminating household clutter can improve the look and functionality of the home, and help you think clearer too as an abundance of stuff no longer surrounds you. Now that you’ve put in all that hard work, though, how do you keep your home organized? Find the answer below from our professional organizers.

Take 15 Minutes a Day

Rather than putting aside a full day every few months to stay on top of any clutter, spend about 15 minutes a day on this task. Breaking up the activity into bite-sized chunks makes it much more manageable.

Plus, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment by the time you go to bed as you look back on the day. Be sure to take stock of what you’ve accomplished at the end of each week to motivate you to keep organizing the rooms.

Involve Everyone in the Household

If you have a partner, kids, or others living in the home, they’re also part of the cleanup solution. Get them involved in organizing the place and hold them accountable for any clutter they’ve accumulated.

For example, kids can clean their bedrooms or help you do so, depending on their age. Or ask them to unpack the dishwasher when they’re done school for the day. It’s impressive how much more can get done when everyone chips in with maintaining a tidy household.

Hire a Professional

Another way to stay on top of clutter is to outsource the task to one of our organizing professionals. We provide maintenance support services that are personalized to you, depending on your needs.

For example, it could be switching over your wardrobe as the new season comes or archiving files and papers to prepare for tax time. If you don’t have the energy or time to stay organized in your home or office, the continued support of the ClutterBGone team can provide the solution. Plus, you’ll have more time to spend with your loved ones.

decluttering

Leave Room for Future Items

One more way to maintain an organized home is to ensure that when you decluttered originally, you left room for growth. The reality is that you will accumulate more items after decluttering the house. That’s normal.

What’s important here is to make sure you have the room to expand, at least a bit. For example, only partially fill the storage containers that you used when decluttering around the house. That way, you can easily add items to the bins in the future, rather than stressing about where to put them.

Keep It Simple

Keeping a space looking great also involves avoiding overly complex organizing rules. If no one in your home understands how things are arranged, how are they going to be able to stay organized? Also, if the process of putting things away takes a lot of time, you’re less likely to do it and it’s more challenging to stay on top of things.

Keeping your home clean and tidy after decluttering is easier with the tips above. Staying on track and keeping it that way IS possible!

decluttering during a pandemic

5 Decluttering Lessons from the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about caring for our mental health, and the incredible resilience of human beings in a crisis. Some lessons apply specifically to the home, which likely won’t come as a surprise given the amount of time most people spent there during this time. Whether you started a decluttering project during the lockdown or plan to do so soon, here are five takeaways to help organize and simplify life.

1.      Be More Intentional

The pandemic has shed light on how quickly things can change and the importance of making the most of today. This mindset can apply to your decisions about what to buy and bring home, from decor to clothes.

Choosing only to purchase what you need or what brings you happiness can be freeing, and you’ll likely save money by not buying excess material goods. This level of intention can prevent clutter from creeping into the house over time.

2.      Take a Money Mindset

The pandemic left many people without jobs, either permanently or temporarily. This challenging time involved learning how to budget and make do with less.

This attention to finances is one that you can apply while decluttering around the home. As you look around, think about the monetary value of different items. This mindset can help you finally part with items you no longer use but had trouble detaching from. Looking at material things as means to build up your savings or pay down a debt provides great motivation to sell them.

3.      We Can Make Do

During the pandemic, families pared down what they used to spend less. We went out much less, and when we did, the shopping lists were often shorter than pre-pandemic.

The zest for buying unnecessary things fell to the wayside as finances, health, and safety took priority. The lesson here is that we can make do with less and frivolous things can wait. It’s a reminder to think twice before buying something and avoid impulse items that become clutter at home.

Decluttering during a pandemic4.      Create a Satisfying Life

Take the time to craft a life you love. Surrounding yourself with material things that don’t bring you a deeper happiness only keeps you from that goal. So, now is the time to choose what to have in your home environment and let go of clutter.

5.      Make Better Use of Space

With so much time spent indoors, families learned to use every inch of their house for time together and alone. Several households began renovation projects to improve kitchens, closets, and other spaces.

The lesson here was to make the most of our homes and enjoy living in them. That involves keeping rooms and closets organized moving forward and resisting buying items that only add clutter.

We can help you make the most of your living space. ClutterBGone is a team of professional organizers who love providing people with the tools, suggestions, and support to enjoy a more organized, stress-free home environment.

decluttering mindset

A Decluttering Mindset: When Less is More

How can having less give you more? Our professional organizers answer this question today.

Stuff around the House

When it comes to what you own, does it sometimes feel like there’s simply too much? Perhaps the overflow presents itself in piles of paper, a crowded kitchen countertop, or crammed clothes closet.

With so much time spent at home during the pandemic, you might notice the overflow of stuff around you more than before. As clutter can elevate stress and anxiety, now is the time to get sorting to reduce and organize.

Thus, in addition to gaining control over physical belongings, you can also expect to benefit mentally from clearing the clutter. There are other ways that owning less can be beneficial too.

Getting More Freedom and Choice

Owning less is associated with a minimalist lifestyle. It involves having fewer possessions, which leaves room for that which you intentionally want to focus on. It is freedom from feeling tied to material things or thinking that your self-worth is based on what you own.

While more stuff can lead to stress, less of it can be empowering as you choose what to have in your space. You also will notice more room for what’s important in your life, such as happiness, as you are not caught up with material goods.

Not only that but there is also more money in your wallet when you spend less and more time on your calendar when moments aren’t consumed with material items. Finally, minimalists enjoy having more room mentally to focus on what brings them joy rather than physical things.

decluttering mindset

Clearing Space at Home

Regularly decluttering the home is a great way to improve your mood and feel a sense of renewal when you are tired of the chaos. Rather than feeling closed in amidst a cluttered room, you can enjoy feeling lighter in spirit by letting go of excess belongings.

Sorting things can feel almost therapeutic as you put them in order and toss what you no longer use. Seeing an organized room at the end of the process can also bring a sense of order to your mind.

Decluttering can be difficult emotionally for many people who see how much they own that is unused or still has tags on it, explains our professional organizers. But rather than thinking of how much money was spent, start to think how much better life could be clutter-free.

Purging your home of those things you no longer use can improve how you see and experience your home. You can begin to focus on what you deem important, setting you on a life of intention. Plus, more stuff requires more time to maintain it; thus, fewer things mean more free time.

Living with Less

Are you looking to downsize your house? Do you want to feel more comfortable at home? Reach out today for a free consultation! Our professional organizers are here to help you meet goals at a pace that works for you and provide support for a smoother process.

Decluttering During a Renovation

Top Tips for Decluttering during a Renovation

Whether you are taking down walls, expanding, or changing the home in another way, decluttering before and after the reno can simplify the process and help you get more out of it in the end. These tips from our professional organizers will help you get through it with less stress and more confidence.

Only Keep What is Needed

A great way to declutter is to go through each room and pick out the belongings that you no longer use. If you are unsure whether to keep something or not, consider how long it has been since you used it, where it will go in the remodeled home, and how difficult it is to move.

The time you take to make these decisions about what to keep and part with will help you save time later (and money). After the renovation, the last thing you want to do is have a lot of stuff that isn’t needed.

Decluttering Before a Renovation

Maintain Your Focus

If you try to do it all at once, you are likely to become overwhelmed. Instead, choose a room to begin decluttering and then select an area, such as a drawer, to focus on.

Take the drawer, empty it, and pick out only the needed items. Donate, sell, or give to friends and family anything that isn’t necessary. Repeat the process around the room until it is complete.

Before and After the Reno

Clearing away the clutter before the remodel begins makes sense as then you will have less upheaval when the process begins. After the reno, the organizing continues as you unpack and decide where to best place things and what to store where.

To get the most out of your updated home, it often makes sense to add organizational systems. For example, storage units and furniture that doubles as storage are great items to include.

Tackle the Paper and Clothes

If you have piles of paper around your place, now is the time to sort it. Decide what to keep, shred, or toss. Getting rid of unnecessary paper can be a freeing feeling!

Going through your clothes is also something that you’ll want to do. If you find this hard to do, simply letting go of those items that are worn, ripped, stained, or no longer fit is a way to pare down the bedroom closet.

Hire a Professional

You don’t have to do it all alone. Our pre/post home renovation service helps you to declutter and organize with a pro at your side before and after the upgrade.

Our professional organizer customizes the process based on your needs and preferences. That ensures that your reno goals are met within the allotted time frame.

From recommending ways to pare down your belongings to how to increase the utility of the new space, our friendly organizers have effective strategies to help you. We will also suggest ways to prevent clutter from returning, and we move at a comfortable pace for you.

Call us today for a free consultation. We are happy to help you from start to finish as you remodel with decluttering and organizing so you can get the most out of the new space!

organizing your home

Here’s What to Toss from Each Room in Your Home

When you want to declutter around the house, this list is the one for you! Find the common things that people hold onto that no longer serve a purpose or get used. By the way, when we say to “toss it,” we mean that you donate, give to a loved one, sell, or, if it is broken, throw away or recycle. Now, let’s go room by room.

Decluttering the Bedroom

Starting with the clothing, toss anything that is too small, old, or outdated. Also, remove any pieces that are torn if you don’t plan to mend them.

Then, go through your jewelry, following the same process. Repeat for purses, shoes, and ties.

If the room still looks clutter after this is done, look around and see if there is anything that doesn’t look like it belongs. Ideally, you only want items relating to sleeping and dressing in the bedroom.

decluttering the bedroom

Over to the Kitchen

The kitchen can be tough to keep clutter-free given how much you use it, from cooking to eating and entertaining. With so many purposes, it also requires storing a lot of different items there.

When going through the cupboards, remove dishes and glassware that you don’t use. While you might keep them thinking you’ll use them one day, if you haven’t touched them in two years, then they’ve got to go.

When it comes to plastic containers, the lids without matching bottoms can go immediately. As for your dishtowels and rags, it’s time to part with the ones that are torn or stained.

The pantry needs organizing too! Toss what is outdated or donate what you don’t use that is still good. Also, if you have a small appliance you use only once a year, why not give it up for another appliance you have that gets more use and can do the same job?

Clearing the Bathroom Clutter

The bathroom easily accumulates stuff, and some of it won’t be missed when it’s removed. For example, the expired medications in the back of the cabinet that you forgot about can be tossed. Especially since using them now could be dangerous.

You might also notice that you have multiples of the same thing, such as soap and shampoo. Consider throwing away the ten excess bars of soap or changing shampoo so that everyone in the family uses the same bottle.

As for makeup, toss anything outdated, or that doesn’t suit you. Rather than feeling guilty about getting rid of expensive things you don’t use, you’re simplifying your morning routine by not having to look through dozens of products to find one to use.

Organizing your bathroom

In the Family Room

This room gets a lot of use, so it’s one to go through and declutter regularly. If you have a pile of old newspapers and magazines, for example, they’re going to go, as are puzzles and games with missing pieces.

As for CDs and movies you only play every few years or don’t work, they can go too. If you are keeping them because you feel like you’re throwing away money, try selling them instead or learn from it and think twice the next time you want to make a purchase you don’t necessarily need.

Want more tips? Reach out to us today! Give us a call for the help of a professional organizer who can help you reduce clutter in a way that feels comfortable to you.

Home Organizing Tips

These are the Organizing Tips You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner

There’s a lot on your plate as a homeowner, from paying the bills to maintaining the exterior and interior. To help you keep the inside of the home looking its best, here are the organizing tips that our pros think you’ll find as valuable as they do.

Two-Year Rule

When you look at your clothes closet, do you wonder how it got to be so full? The addition of a shirt or pair of pants here and there can add up over the years, resulting in clutter. Often, people don’t see it getting that way until the closet is packed.

If this scenario sounds familiar to you, here’s a rule to apply. If you haven’t worn a clothing item for two years, let it go. That could mean gifting it to a friend, donating to a local charity, or selling it to get some extra cash. Even if you are still fond of it, you’re not wearing it, so it’s time to take it out of the closet.

Create Space in the Bathroom

Don’t worry, we don’t mean to start knocking down walls to remodel the bathroom. Instead, a more affordable and easier approach can provide better storage for even the smallest bathroom. It can start with adding holsters for your hairdryer and curling iron on the inside of the under-sink door to store them there.

For example, have you considered making use of blank wall space? Our professional organizers suggest hooks to hang towels and accessories like mirrors. Also, corner shelving units provide a way to use the space there, filling them with haircare products and other things you reach for daily.

Decluttering Tips

Reimagine Your Laundry Room

If you’ve always wanted to create a well-organized room for handling and cleaning laundry, now is the time. Keeping it organized makes laundry less of a chore and can also speed it up.

Begin by looking around for what doesn’t belong in the room, such as dog toys and kids’ gadgets (unless it’s shared space). Then, see if you can reduce the number of laundry products used by combining dryer sheets into one package, for example. If there aren’t shelves in the room, it’s a worthwhile investment to add them to store your laundry products and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Cubby Storage

We’re excited about this one as it’s a great storage solution, even for a small home. Cubby storage units can have a range of purposes, from organizing books to cat supplies.

Being able to customize them to each room is one of the major benefits. Plus, you can rearrange them when you want, how you want, as your kids grow up and their needs change or as your decorating style shifts over time. From a baby changing table to floating box shelves, there are plenty of ways to use cubbies!

Get More Great Ideas

Organizing your home can be fun, believe it or not. When you have a vision and are willing to put in the effort and time to sort through possessions, you can get the organized home interior that you’ve wanted for years.

To make it more enjoyable, get on the right path from day one with a professional organizer. We work with your vision and provide tips like the ones above to help you get more out of your space and clear the clutter. Let’s start the next project together!

clutter affecting relationships

Is Clutter Affecting Your Relationships?

A messy home interior can have a profound impact on your life in more ways than you realize. Is the clutter wreaking havoc on the relationships you value the most?

Romantic Relationships

Even if you have a tolerance for clutter and enjoy collecting things, the same might not be true for your partner. Perhaps they are a minimalist, for example, who likes everything in its place.

When one person is unhappy in the living environment, it affects the entire household. The pandemic only enhanced those differences as some people stockpiled toilet paper and other items.

This relationship issue involves respecting one another’s comfort levels and making compromises, such as keeping clutter contained in a single room. Or, work together to eliminate the excess possessions, only keeping those that are significant or useful.

Letting go of belongings can be painful for some people, given the memories attached to the items. ClutterBGone understands it’s possible to declutter with compassion.

Your Relationship with Yourself

The clutter can also be creating anxiety and stress within. That can negatively affect your emotional well-being.

For example, you might find your mind wandering while trying to do an activity at home as you look around at piles of paper or other messes. Thinking about what and how to organize things can make it hard to focus on the task at hand, which makes you less productive.

Also, having things out of place can make you feel a loss of control and incompetent. On the other hand, organizing items and decluttering can be liberating and boost self-esteem.

Work Relationships

When you look at your desk, do you see clutter? If so, you might want to clear it up to make a better impression on your boss.

A clean desk shows that you are on top of projects and able to organize effectively. That might just get you the promotion sooner rather than interfering with your career.

Clearing up clutter also clears up space mentally for you to focus on work tasks. That can help you feel more confidant and at ease when interacting with co-workers.

decluttering as self care

Decluttering as Self-Care

When you look at the impact on your relationships that clutter can have, it becomes clear that decluttering is a form of self-care. In other words, ridding your home and workspace of excess items can be good for your health and well-being.

It can reduce anxiety, improve productivity, and reduce arguments with your spouse over messes. Overall, you can look forward to living a more satisfying life. But, sometimes, you need guidance to get there.

That’s where the ClutterBGone team comes in. A professional organizer can help you stay motivated through the process, meet goals, and move forward at a comfortable pace. Get tips based on what has worked well with clients in the past.

Together with the organizer, form a tailored plan for your lifestyle and unique home. Reach out today to start to manage clutter in a way that works for your household. Doing so can help relationships and better the home overall.

Definition of Clutter

What is the Real Definition of Clutter?

There are times in life when we all feel a bit lost and unsure where to go next. What do you do when you want a significant change but cannot determine what to do to move forward? What if you lack the motivation to try as nothing seems right? In these moments, finding the clutter can help you let go of it, which enables you to take positive steps in life.

Clutter is Physical… and Mental

The first definition of clutter that comes to mind for most people is the abundance of things in a confined space, such as the closet or another space at home or work. The disorganization and accumulation of items, some of which you likely no longer use, can feel overwhelming. That is the mental component of physical clutter.

Have you ever looked around a messy room at home and felt your thoughts becoming jumbled too? That is the mental manifestation of the clutter you see, and the disorganized thoughts can be as jarring as the physical mess.

Clutter can also be habits you hold onto that are no longer useful or appropriate in your current station of life. So, taking the time to tackle both the tangible possessions and thoughts that no longer serve you well is the way to a better version of yourself.

From Mental to Physical Clutter

It’s interesting to also look at what came first. Was it the physical abundance of items at home or the overwhelming and disorganized thoughts?

It could start with either one, depending on the situation. Perhaps you were gifted a lot of items when you moved into a new home, for example. You must find somewhere to store them but have limited space. The more you look at the clutter, the more chaotic your thoughts feel, and you may experience stress about what to with the mess. In this scenario, the physical mess can have significant effects on the mind.

Or, perhaps you felt uncertain about your career and felt security in holding onto items, even though they no longer were helpful or even working anymore. The fear you feel can manifest itself in more and more clutter, whether you realize it or not. In this case, the mental clutter leads to a disorganized home or workspace.

Getting the Support to Improve Your Quality of Life

After realizing why clutter is happening, the next step is to use it to encourage change. Believe it or not, those feelings of uncertainty are the inspiration to unclutter.

Start by making decisions that encourage you to move forward. Making one decision leads to another, and so on. The more of them that you make now, the less you must do later after you’ve removed the chaos.

To help you create a more positive environment at home, where you likely spend a lot of time, enlist the help of a friend, professional organizer, or someone else you feel comfortable with during this process. That is how to clear your physical environment and your mind to get past those stagnant moments in life.

home clutter anxiety

How Clutter Gets in the Way of Summer Fun

If you’ve been putting off decluttering, you’re not alone. Getting outdoors to enjoy the nice weather is what summertime is about, and sorting things indoors can quickly go by the wayside. But taking a bit of time to sort the clutter can improve your summer while ignoring it can become an obstacle to a season of fun. Here’s how.

Clutter Attracts Heat

Have you ever noticed that a room full of piles of things, from papers to clothing, seems warmer than an organized part of the home? The reason is that clutter attracts heat. The possessions absorb hot air and trap it, which makes for rising temperatures inside.

Coming home after a great day out to a hot house puts a damper on things, to put it mildly. To help cool down a room, take a few minutes a day to tackle the clutter. Also, consider removing rugs to make use of the bare floor’s ability to cool naturally.

Clutter Creates Anxiety

Having disarray around the home can elevate anxiety, hinder sleep, and make it hard to focus. That’s because being in a disorganized area can lead to a disorganized mind, not to mention reminding you that you’ve still got to clean up, when you’re already super busy.

You are likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. To help you enjoy summer more, wake up a half-hour earlier than usual a few times a week to sort papers or clear off the kitchen counter. It’s for your mental health.

summer bbq fun

Embarrassed to Have People Over

A great part of summer is the BBQs and other outdoor gatherings. When it’s safe to do so, you’ll likely look forward to seeing loved ones in person again after the isolation of the pandemic. But if your place is disorganized, having them over might feel uncomfortable.

Being embarrassed to have people visit means that they might not get to see you much. Avoid discomfort altogether by scheduling time on your calendar to empty shelves and drawers, reducing what you keep, and donating what’s no longer useful. Within a short time, you will be proud of your organized home and look forward to visitors.

The Energy of the Space Brings You Down

If you return from summer vacation feeling uneasy in your own home, it could be that you’re missing the getaway spot. It makes sense that you want to have the same sense of relaxation at home.

Unfortunately, clutter could be weighing you down and depleting rooms of positive energy. So, now is the time to look at how your residence can support your dreams and encourage new energy to grow. That involves clearing clutter from tabletops, and everywhere else you see it. You might also rearrange the furniture and move artwork from one part of the house to another to freshen up the interior.

Stay on Top of the Tidy Space

Once it’s decluttered, the home is a place you can look forward to retreating after a fun-filled day in summer. Keep it organized by taking 10 minutes a day to sort papers or other items that quickly can pile up.

Get more valuable tips from our professional organizers today. Reach out for help with your next organizing project!