Now that spring has sprung, it is time to start thinking about getting your house in order. Does that mean de-cluttering? Deep cleaning? Maybe both?
People tend to get confused as to the difference between a cleaning service and a professional organizer. A common misconception is that they are one and the same. Incorrect. Cleaning is about getting out the mops, sponges, bucket, vacuum, and removing the mold, dirt, pet hair and grime. Organizing is about reducing clutter and developing and maintaining systems to keep your home and ultimately your life organized. So before you start your spring cleaning you may want to consider decluttering, either by yourself or by hiring a professional organizer.
At House to Home Organizing many times we hear people say “all I need to do to get organized is to throw things out.” Incorrect again. Decluttering is not about throwing things out. Decluttering is about the following:
-picking an area of your house you want to organize
-gathering all the like items together
-reviewing all of them
-making decisions as to what to keep, donate, sell, recycle or trash
-figuring out where and how to store what you are keeping (shelving, bins, baskets, drawer organizers etc…)
Sounds easy right? However, for many this can be a daunting task. For example, think about your attic. Years of build-up, and out of sight out of mind items have accumulated. Who really wants to work in the attic reviewing years of keepsakes, holiday décor, gifts from relatives and old papers? This is where hiring a professional organizer can really make an impact.
Closets are another area that can be a big challenge. Switching out seasonal clothing may be a time to ask yourself a few questions. How long has it been since I wore it last? Realistically will I ever wear it again? Is there a reason it has been tucked away hiding in the back of my closet? Maybe it is time to purge and donate. Also, anything with a rip, tear or stain should go to fabric recycling.
Spring is also the time to consider organizing remote areas like the garage. The garage is an easy catch all for accumulation and clutter. Many homeowners end up with multiple tools, excess gardening supplies, buckets of old toys, automobile accessories etc… For example, sometimes there is so much clutter that homeowners end up purchasing multiple tools they already own because they just can’t find the first one. Hence, 10 hammers, 17 screwdrivers, 20 beach shovels and buckets, you get the point. By organizing and purchasing systems like garage shelving and plastic bins you can create dedicated areas in the garage and you will be able to easily find what you need.
Organizing is about time. Something busy home owners do not have a lot of. Hiring a professional organizer will give you a jump start and teach you methods to properly declutter without regret.
If you want to try it yourself here are few tips:
-start slowly. Maybe start in a small area and dedicate 2 hours
-keep a trash bag and donate box nearby (save trips for the end so you can stay focused)
-things you are keeping put in clear plastic bins so you can see what is inside
-label the outside of all the bins (use labels or notes with tape so you can reuse the bin later)
-working with a family member can be difficult. Maybe ask a friend who likes to organize if it is something you don’t want to do alone
- make it fun put on some music!
Reward yourself when done, maybe a cup of coffee, ice cream cone or a new shirt to replace the one you just donated.
Smile and happy organizing!