by Ronit Krancberg, Owner, Seize the Space
Signs of clutter
“I can’t find things.”
“I don’t have any energy.”
“The disorganization interferes with other aspects of my life.”
As a professional organizer, I repeatedly hear these comments from clients. I understand how they feel. Living in clutter, or, as I like to call it, “stuffication”, is often exhausting and overwhelming. The negative effects of clutter can spill over into many parts of your life.
The definition of clutter (aka “stuffication”)
Clutter is a known syndrome of having too much stuff which increases your stress level and zaps your energy. It’s important to understand, though, that what one person calls clutter, another considers treasure or memorabilia. So, what are the reasons you hang onto “things”? Take a step back to think about the clutter in your house…most of it can fit into one or more of these categories:
“Memory” clutter reminds you of important events, like old school programs or newspaper clippings.
“Someday” clutter refers to items you won’t toss because you feel you may need it someday.
“Money” clutter means someone spends a lot of money on the item or items, justifying the need to keep it (even if you never touched it).
Know that the problem isn’t your stuff. The issue is you simply have too much for your space. Clutter creeps up slowly over weeks, months or years. How do you know when it’s time to declutter?
6 Signs of clutter in your home, office & life
Due to clutter, people often feel so overwhelmed they don’t know what to do or where to start! So, the trick then, is to recognize the “danger signs” before everything spins completely out of control. How do you know if you need to clean out/de-clutter or organize?
- There is no place to sit without moving a pile OFF of a chair.
- You shove everything in a closet or drawer to hide it away. Out of sight, out of mind.
- When you need things you can’t find them.
- It takes 3 tries to get out of the house/office in the morning or more because you keep forgetting something.
- You pay unnecessary late fees because your bills are buried under stacks of paper.
- There are not open areas or flat surfaces in a given area.
How to get started once you decide it’s time to declutter
The hardest part of decluttering is actually getting started. So, set yourself up for success by taking on one small area at a time. For example, start with your desk or a small pile anywhere in the room. Then take on another space. Give yourself a reasonable time frame to accomplish each task. If you decide to declutter an entire room in two hours, you likely will fail.
After you set reasonable goals for yourself, I recommend you set up three large boxes. Label them “keep”, “donate” and “discard. Your situation may require additional boxes such as “sell” or “give to family”. It’s completely up to you.
Next, pick up one item at a time and think about if you need it or not to move forward. You may decide to keep an item or two that have good memories attached, but you probably don’t need all of them. For example, if you have three potato peelers, hang onto just one. You don’t need three. As you go through your “stuff”, put the items in the appropriate box.
The task is easier if you enlist the help someone who can objectively work with you to find the best solutions over the long haul.
When to hire a professional organizer
If you are at the point where you just don’t know where to start and need help, don’t hesitate to call a professional organizer. They are trained to help in a skilled, kind, and nonjudgemental way. And don’t be embarrassed. Clutter is not a sign of weakness and neither is asking for help. You may be overwhelmed by other factors in your life and not able to attend to your home or office right now, or perhaps you plan to downsize after living in the same house for many years. Whatever your reason, help is available and can save you hours of precious time.
The bottom line
Your home or office should be a comfortable place where you can think clearly and be your best self. Watch for the signs that you may need to unclutter your life. If you need to eliminate the “stuffication”, set reasonable goals to get started. If you need additional help, find a local organizer to help facilitate the process!
About the author
Ronit Krancberg, owner of Seize the Space., has a talent for organizing. She is passionate and enthusiastic about helping others create uncluttered spaces and lives. As per Ronit,
“I love to see the smiles on my clients’ faces
When they see their organized spaces!”
Contact Ronit for a free consultation here.