Organize and De-clutter the Home
Crystal Miller


I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me want to organize and reorganize my home. Perhaps it is trying to find places for the new items from Christmas or just a sense of wanting to start the New Year off in a clean and organized way. But whatever it is, I just feel a need to tackle as many rooms as possible after Christmas and clean out the clutter and organize my things.

One problem I can seem to encounter is the feeling of just being plain overwhelmed by the size of a cluttered room or storage area. What is the best way to tackle this job? There are so many tips, tricks and such that I have read about this topic and I admit that I am not an expert but have utilized bits and pieces of this information to do better and better in this area all the time.

The bottom line for me is that I have to just plan a time and work with fierce determination towards the goal. What is the goal?? The goal is a clutter free, organized home. As I read once.. if our homes are cluttered and unorganized we can not even enjoy all the “stuff” we have because we can’t find it or there is no room to enjoy it. So the goal could be reworded as learn to live with less, and enjoy it more! With that in mind each item that you deal with can be evaluated by deciding if it meets your main goal. Not always the emotional or sentimental value it has.

I know that sentimental value has prevented me from getting rid of a lot of things. So what I do now is determine a container or two or what ever my choice may be and I say .. “this is my limit of sentimental stuff” When I reach my limit, I need to re-evaluate what I have and see if some of things have more value than others and then make room for what means the most to me. I also do this for other things like children’s clothes, extra bedding and sheets, craft items, sewing items, etc..

After the goal is set it is time to start dealing with all the “stuff”. I begin by having a plan for what to do with the items I come across. Do I want to give them away, throw them away or keep them? If I choose to keep them, how do I want to deal with them? A couple of years ago I began buying Rubbermaid totes and this year I added even more of them in an effort to have a way of storing those things I desire to keep. I have them for… out of season clothing, sewing and crafts, toys, school supplies, games and puzzles, camping gear and life jackets, etc… This year I started by going through all my containers first and cleaned them out of items that were worn out, lost their use for us or had broken and missing pieces, etc… I can be a bit of pack rat and save things that are really not of value to me or should just be put in the garbage… who wants a puzzle with missing pieces anyway!? I reduced the number of totes I was using and was able to put those extra ones to better use. I purchased a few more and now have all my totes labeled and stacked against one wall in my basement. At any time we have things we need to store; we can simply look for the appropriate tote and put them item where it belongs!

Remember that de-cluttering and organizing is something that you must take one step at a time and don’t try and accomplish it all in one day (or if you have not dealt with it in a long time, don’t think you can do it in one week either!). Just remember to get yourself prepared ahead of time with defining your goal, gathering containers and boxes for storage and remember to have a garbage can ready for any items to be tossed and several bags or boxes ready to put useable items in that can be given away. I know many people plan garage sales, and I have often thought about that too. I just don’t have a place to store my useable items and honestly the feeling I! get from a home free of clutter is worth just giving the items away and being done with it.

A few other tips that may help make your clutter cleaning and organizing go better is to clear your day of as much daily responsibility ahead of time. Do extra house cleaning the day before so you don’t have to get behind as you work in other areas, plan a crockpot meal and prepare it the night before or at least have everything ready so the meal goes together quickly in the morning. If you have young children at home perhaps you can have a friend watch them so you can work and concentrate with undivided attention. Then you could do the same for her as she cleans her clutter and organizes her home. This could actually work as an encouragement for the both of you as you compare notes and help each other to accomplish your individual goals.


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