Monday, October 10, 2011

Sweetly Organize IT

Today for
"Sweetly Organize IT,"
I thought it would be fun to learn from my sweet mom.
She is a professional organizer.
Sometimes she is asked to teach lessons on organizing and of course she says, "YES!"
So, today's lesson is on
Getting rid of clutter
Have you heard this saying?
"People who are organized are just too lazy to look for things!"
I love it!
When is the best time to get rid of clutter?
How about starting when the kids go "Back to school?"
This is a great time of year to declutter because the kids aren't home to distract you. 
If you decide it is time to get rid of clutter, here are
Stephanie Culp's 10 rules for taking action with clutter...
1. Stop Procrastinating – decide what you are going to do with the next piece of paper, item of clothing, etc. that you pick up. Put things away right after you use them. (According to one organizer 95% of a nice house is just putting stuff back where it belongs)

Personally, I have a hard time putting things back so I end up taking more time re-organizing.

2. Quit Making Excuses – just jump right in and get started.

-What are your excuses? No time – get up earlier or stay up later

-Don’t know where to start – walk through your house & decide on one spot

-Create a priority list/set a time limit/REWARD YOURSELF (candy)

-No alone time – trade babysitting with friend/personal day off

-Can’t get motivated – trade “services” with a friend/turn on music

-Find out “peak” energy time

-Work???? – take a personal day off of work

3. Use it or Lose it – if you are not using it now or haven’t used it in 1 year, get rid of it. Don’t keep anything that’s not beautiful, useful or loved. (Don’t feel guilty about holding on to wedding/birthday gifts that you won’t ever use; if you have 2 of something get rid of 1; get rid of unfinished craft projects). Don’t buy something you think you might use someday. If you do buy something new, ask “where will it go”

4. Learn to Let Go – Be progressive and don’t take up valuable space by keeping everything you have ever gotten. Remember – if you don’t need, don’t want, don’t like, don’t use & don’t have room – WHY KEEP!!! (If it is hard for you – box things up and date. Store away & if you haven’t opened in 6 months – 1 year throw out!)

5. Be A Giver – give things away, right away. That great sweater that you got at the cheapest price ever but have never worn, can be worn by a less fortunate person.

6. Set Limits – limit the amount of space you allocate to clutter and needless paper.

-Do you buy anything from Costco? Well, my mom gave an example about how she can't buy everything at Costco anymore because she has a smaller home. It has been worth it because now she isn't frustrated with her cupboards & drawers being out of control.

-Determine what you actually use and toss out the rest.

7. Use the In and Out Inventory Rule – if something new comes in, something old goes out. For example: Before your children’s birthdays have them help you find things that can go to less fortunate children.

8. Less Is More – the less clutter and out of control paper that you have, the more time, money and energy you will have. Teach your children –pick out 1 art paper/month to keep.

My sister Cassie keeps art work in shadow box frames for her children.
Someone once said, “We attain, accumulate, and collect and then we have to pay for it, keep track of, protect it, clean it, store it, ensure it, worry about it – this takes energy and effort. Later we have to move it, hide it, apologize for it, and argue over it. All this stifles us and robs us of freedom because it requires so much of our time to take care of.”

9. Keep Everything in Its Place – DISPLAY file box, magazine holder, Sweater/shoe boxes, card box, coupon holder, notebook, etc.
-Find a “home” for everything (every room should have a purpose – some things might need to be in more than one place)

-Keep like things together.
-Label the home-That way your family has no excuses for putting things back in the correct place. You can use pictures for children. You can buy a Costco labeler. They range from $29.89 to $89.99.
-Keep everything in its place.

-Keep things nearest the place where they are used.

-Use drawer dividers, baskets, shelves, containers, hanging space, low space, etc.

-Children’s Rooms - make it easy for THEM! They like having places for their things. My mom helped her grandsom Christopher one weekend and he said, “Grandma my favorite time with you this weekend was buying those ‘boxes’ at Target." Wow! Children love to be organized as well.

 -Install shelves, hooks, over-the-door racks, shoe racks for floor, plastic bags for game parts, smaller toys, Sterilite containers, file box or drawer for papers. Make things low if possible so children can reach.

-Kitchen/bath/desk drawers - plastic dividers

-Bedrooms - neat knicks for socks/lingerie. Target Sterilite 15 qt. for sweaters, etc. Sterilite shoe boxes/racks for shoes.

-Garage – Gorilla racks with Target Rubbermaid 10/14/18 gallon

10. Compromise – stop letting your perfectionism keep you from doing or letting someone else help you to do something. Remember that perfect is not the same as excellent and sometimes good is good enough.

-Delegate – Choose Charts/Chore Time
-Laundry Room – have clothes basket for each family member

-10 Minute Chore Box – each person’s box contains specific chores that need to be completed. They need to take care of their specific chore by the end of the day.

-10 Minute Pick-Up – set a timer and take care of jobs during 10 min.

-10 Minute Luxuries – do something nice for yourself!

The important thing is to GET RID OF CLUTTER

Instead of the “household shuffle” DO the “household Shovel”!!!

“When in doubt, throw it out”.  Don’t know where to start – pick a room to and get started!!!


  1. I loved this post - I'm off to form a list of all the bits I need to declutter around my house :D Thanks!


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