As Spring slowly makes its way to the Triad, the chore of spring cleaning and disposing of winter clutter loom over many families.
Greensboro-based Professional Organizer Katrina Solomon founded Organizing Step by Step to help families, individuals, and businesses conquer the clutter. She offers home and office consultations, seminars, and on-line newsletters to help people de-clutter their lives.
“De-cluttering and organizing mean changing habits, and that can be hard for some people,” said Solomon. “But if the new system makes sense to them, it is easier to follow, and chances of maintaining it are higher.”
Solomon’s ideas for organizing the clutter help her clients get started, but she doesn’t do the job for them. She assesses the situation with the client, offers suggestions and ideas.
“One of my tasks is to determine what will work for a client,” said Solomon. “I could totally organize their files, closet, kitchen, but if it isn’t comfortable, intuitive, and intentional for them, they will not be able to maintain it.”
The initial start-up of the organized space is the hardest factor of conquering clutter.
Solomon offers these 5 tips to help start the process:
- Clutter is delayed decisions and postponed actions. Make the decisions and take the actions.
- Make sure everything has a home.
- Ask yourself do I need, use, or love it? Then, ask what is the worst that could happen if I didn’t have it?
- Keep things used most frequently closest to you.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes. Then you can stop or keep going. Either way, you will have reached your 10 minute goal.
Elizabeth Svoboda writes in Psychology Today (Closet Cases Jan/Feb 2009 42:1) that it is important to establish goals, and if the clutter is too overwhelming then the person should enlist the help of a professional organizer or an impartial friend.
“Bring in an arbiter if you know your emotional attachment to your stuff is likely to get the best of you,” writes Syoboda. “Invite an impartial friend to a clean-out day to help you make the tough calls.”
Solomon also points out that the professional or friend also helps bring accountability to the project. If payment or someone’s time is involved, then it is more likely to be a project that gets completed.
More de-cluttering helps
Expert tips on de-cluttering your home
Spring cleaning: De-clutter your house to improve your mood