Thanks to Sandy Kutchman of Discover Organizing for submitting this wonderful insight on de-cluttering! You can read more about Sandy in her recent Step into the Spotlight article.
Watch a discussion of Discover Organizing Inc.’s Organizing Tips with Sandy Kutchman and Jill Yesko on their number one tip for tackling clutter: capitalizing on your energy. See the full list of clutter do’s and don’ts below.
Jill’s Clutter Do’s and Don’ts
10 CLUTTER DO’S
- Do work when your energy is good, and put some music on!
- Do get help – call a professional, a good friend, or a family member – it forces you to focus, and to make decisions you wouldn’t normally make.
- Do set the timer – have a beginning and an end to your decluttering!
- Do set up bins and receptacles – Keep, Toss, Donate, Sell, & Not Sure
- Do work on one area or room at a time. Set things near the door that need to go somewhere else, and take them there only after you are finished organizing the space you are in.
- Do work left to right, “reading the room”, then top to bottom.
- Do use the OHIO technique – Only Handle It Once.
- Do determine Need, Frequency, & Value of each item.
- Do contain and label everything that you possibly can so every item has a home.
- Do make ONE more pass through your Keep items before you are done, and repeat monthly afterwards!
10 CLUTTER DON’TS
- Don’t organize when you are tired or hungry!
- Don’t try to not tackle big jobs (attic, garage) alone.
- Don’t buy any new items (except food) until you are finished with your organizing project.
- Don’t allow interruptions (phone calls, texts, emails) to distract you. Turn off your phone notifications or turn off the sound altogether.
- Don’t criticize yourself for having “so much stuff”, just keep moving, and be proud that you are doing something about it NOW.
- Don’t worry about not knowing how to organize – it is a skill, and it CAN be learned!
- Don’t think that because something is old, it cannot be used by someone else – donate it.
- Don’t run around the house giving items a new home once you have them in your hand – this will only distract you from the space you were in.
- Don’t put things in the attic or basement “for now” – they will be forgotten about, and they might get ruined if they are valuable.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for professional help if you cannot stop hoarding and collecting things out of fear.