(678) 294-7813 | linda@capturedclutter.com | Member, NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers)
  • Decluttering 101

Decluttering 101: How to Let Go and Get on With It

It is easy for me to say how simple it is to let things go, but not so easy when YOU are trying to part with memorabilia, favorite shoes, clothing, artwork jewelry and other collections.

Of course, that is why it sometimes pays to have a Professional Organizer on board as we help to keep it impersonal.

But if you do not have the budget or desire to hire, here are a few tips to get you started on major clutter areas:

1. Children’s Art Work 
How cute are those hand prints or those construction paper collages? And how about those Mother’s Day cards, or the crayon-drawn pics of holiday events? Adorable, right? If you have more than one child, those precious art pieces can start taking over your house.

One simple suggestion cold be to let your child choose several of their favorites every couple of months and display them on walls, fridge or bulletin boards.

After these precious works serve their artful purpose, you can say goodbye. If that is too difficult, you can take a picture of the piece. Of course, that just creates another type of clutter – a discussion for another day.

2. Books 
One of the most challenging items to let go of is books. Some questions to ponder, are they taking up valuable real estate in your home? Do you still read the books, will you read them in the future? Are you keeping for sentimental reasons? Is the topic related to your career or a special family situation? Do you just enjoy collecting books?

I am a sucker for Organizing books. In fact, I have an entire library with industry information. But I do have a home for these gems and they are all contained in a designated cabinet.

So, if you are going to hang on to your multitudes of books, then you need a specified zone.

You can start by purging the books you do not read or want to read again every 6 to 12 months. Decide if you really need or want to hold on to that package of words. And, if you start adding new ones, make sure you give some away to the library or a charity. Half Priced Books in East Cobb, Marietta Georgia will pay you money for your treasures (don’t get too excited as it is not enough to quit your day job). I like this idea because your fav books are recirculated for another to enjoy at an affordable price, and you are not throwing it into our already overused landfills. Special Collector sets should be appraised and maintained in an environmentally friendly location.

3. Clothing 
It is still football season, so tackle your closets and drawers by going on zone-to-zone defense. You can keep a few items that you are just not prepared to let go. Hang them in a corner of your closet or place in a bin. If you do not wear those stored items within 6 months, have a heart to heart with yourself and determine if you really want to take up valuable Real Estate space with those pieces.

  • Unwanted Clothing – pick out the pants, skirts, shirts, dresses, shoes, hats that you know you will not wear again and put them in a trash bag, old tote bag or bin. Set a date to either deliver to your favorite charity or ask your Professional Organizer to take it away. Some charities will still pick up if you call them, set a date and leave items outside of your house. The main point is to get rid of those outdated items.
  • Put Your High-End Garments To Work – if you have designer pieces that are in good shape, Consignment Shops might be a source of revenue for those pieces that do not fit your body or taste. Take note, do not get offended when you bring your clothing to the shop for acceptance. The owners are very persnickety about what they want to merchandise to their clientele. So save yourself time and effort. Inspect the clothing for fabric flaws. Also, consider the season – will this be timely and do you have enough pieces? Consignment owners tend to require a minimum number of pieces to open an account. If you are not familiar with stores in your area, ask your friends on FB for suggestions.
  • Arranging the Keepers – Now you should have the pieces you know you will wear. You can strategically place these in easy to reach areas by season if you have the room. Plan a space for long hanging dresses and pants. Sort by category of clothing, and then by color within those zones. Splurge and get hangers that all look alike and will keep your clothing from sliding onto the floor. Clear bins are a great way to contain handbags and scarves.
  • Do The Math – Maintaining your new look can be a lot easier if you remind yourself that when you bring a new item home, two must go. After all, you want to keep that nice trim look around for a long time.

Happy decluttering! Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

By | 2017-05-15T14:34:30+00:00 November 28th, 2016|Professional Organizing|1 Comment

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  1. David McDonough December 5, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Great article, Linda. I recently got Jan Cutini to frame some of my children’s art work and will be giving it as presents this year. They are older now, so the artwork that’s been gathering dust is going up in Grandma’s house, with pride!

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