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De-Cluttering and Organizing Your STUFF!!!

Updated on February 6, 2012

New Year's Resolution Time...

Well, Happy New Year!!!

Almost every year I have basically the same type of New Year's Resolutions. At the top of that list is always to vow to become more organized and more neat and tidy. At times thinking that I will never reach my goal. Other times, feeling more confident that I'm making some sort of "Headway"!


A Recent Move Put Things Into Perspective...

About three months ago, I made a major move from my Bohemian Chic crib (the older place that had the potential to be designed into an Amelie type place, but the plumbing never worked) to another location.

I hit a major "Reality Check"-- when it took over 2 1/2 weeks to box and move my "stuff" -- which gave me a chance to evaluate how much "stuff" I actually have in my life-- and what pieces I may need to part with.

We Often Teach, That Which We Should Learn...

Ok, I'm not the most "Neat-Freakish" person on the planet-- and I'm not one of the people who may be categorized a classic "Hoarder". I'm somewhere in the middle with this topic.

A number of my closest friends are all bordering on the side of "Neat Freak-ism"... which is probably the same category that I would have placed my Mother and Father in, when they were living. I struggle with constantly trying to get my own home to the level of perfection and orderliness that I lived in when growing up-- often falling short and criticizing myself a lot for not meeting expectations.

My inner "Creative Spirit and Artist"-- couldn't really give a flying flip whether or not my home EVER meets a standard white glove test -- while my inner "Martha Stewart" bitterly opposes this and isn't happy until everything is in its place and ready for a Good Housekeeping magazine photo shoot!

The internal battle wages on... who is going to win this battle? Its a toss up! From week to week, it seems that both of these sides are playing a major tug of war!

I grapple with walking a fine line of wanting to be the creative free spirit who doesn't really care whether or not the house is in order, to wanting to be organized where I can find things easily.

At times, I need some clutter therapy just to get through the daily tasks of putting things in their place! So, I started doing video searches a couple of years ago to try to "Inspire Myself" into becoming more organized!

With this thought in mind-- here's my attempt to try to help myself become more organized! I'm hoping that the videos that I have found can serve to inspire you as well!

It's ALL GOOD!!! I just have to make strides everyday to try to pull myself together!

Taking An Inventory

What have I collected?... It would be a lot more easy to say-- "What have I NOT collected?"!!!

I enjoy cooking so I've collected a lot of kitchen dishes, pots, pans, utensils, etc... which took hours to pack for the move. My makeup collection is pretty extensive because I love makeup artistry and can never toss out something that I still like and may use someday! Clothing becomes an expression of creativity so I have a lot of scarves, jewelry, and clothing that allow me to create the type of image that I want to create-- from yoga attire to clothing that I like to wear when I'm out singing in night clubs! And I love and adore interior design, so I have a lot of unique accent pieces for the home that I rotate periodically to keep things fresh and interesting.

As an artist and photographer, I've purchased a lot of expensive art supplies along with over 20 years of artwork and photography in storage of some sort for a number of years. The supplies and my own art work are too valuable to me to toss out, but I don't have the wall space to feature a lot of my work either. So-- this becomes a very "emotional" type challenge.

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A very neat-freakish friend was visiting the San Diego area while this move was taking place. It was interesting to see his perspective on all of the things that I was moving into my place. He was "Overwhelmed"-- and he wasn't even the one that was having to move or organize things in my space! LOL...

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Just as it would be very difficult for a surgeon to do surgery on himself/herself... letting go of items and organizing things in a new way in the home have created a very unique challenge. Often I have relied upon friends to help me sort through things. Sometimes it is beneficial to bring in someone who is not attached to items to help with this excavation project.

Feng Shui recommends to let go of clutter-- some times this is leaning in the direction of doing a surgical procedure on yourself.

So, with this in mind, I've written this hub page out of a need for inspiration to help me "let go" of stuff that I no longer need or use--- and to move towards a more organized approach for my home and home office!

I've been researching these types of videos for several years now, these are some of the best that I've found! I hope that they can be of as much inspiration to you-- as they have been to me! Some of the professional organization videos are moving in the direct opposite end of the continuum from the hoarding videos shown at the bottom. It appears that these are two different sides of obsessive compulsive behavior... one that is insistent on having everything perfectly "in place"-- and one that is insistent to collect so many items that things appear to be completely and utterly OUT OF CONTROL!!! There is bound to be a "happy medium" here. This is the task to find the right balance of organization and feeling comfortable in your surroundings!

It is definitely "a Process"!!! Each day, I make a little bit of progress towards my new goals!

Feng Shui Recommends De-Cluttering Your Environment

One of the main things that I have learned from Feng Shui is the importance to periodically de-clutter your environment and to let go of things that are no longer serving your current goals.

I've studied and practiced Feng Shui this past 18 or so years. I've had some amazing "coincidences" happen as a result of following Feng Shui recommendations... so many so, that I really cant deny the principles of Feng Shui and how it helps you to manifest your goals and intentions much faster.

This hub page will be dedicated to the concept of de-cluttering your environment.

7 Step Plan to De-Clutter Your Home

7 Steps To De-Clutter Your Home

Ann-Marie Barton

1.) Never touch a piece of paper more than once. File items immediately before they pile up.

2.) Closet clearing: If you haven't worn it in 2 years, get rid of it. Remove everything from the closet and separate things that you have not worn from those things that you wear more frequently.

3.) Designate a keep sake drawer for family members. Make a family event out of of clearing through this and adding to their own bins.

4.) Assign an Art Drawer: Keep creativity close at hand by organizing art supplies where you can easily find them.

5.) Be specific about chores. Put up a chore list or a sticky note on their doors.

6.) Set out a basket as a clutter catch to throw all of the things that are left hanging around.

7.) Purge collections: Remove things that are non-functional, dated, redundant, or unappealing. Purge items periodically.

Develop a plan to rotate things that you want to use seasonally.



Professional Organizer Tips To Speed Up Your Clutter Therapy

It's amazing what a little bit of coaching can do to really accelerate a learning curve.

Here are several videos that I found that feature professional organizers and how they have organized certain spaces.


Oprah's Organizing Guru Gives Tips on Decluttering

Oprah's Organizing Guru Gives Advice on De-cluttering

Deciding What to Keep or Let Go in Your Closet, Bookshelves, and Toys

Inexpensive Organizing Tips

Make Up Organization: Makeup Chest of Drawers

Closet Organization and Design

Several videos mention that one of the first places to start a home organization process is in the closet.

Whenever I move, this is obviously one of the most important things to do first-- because you have to wear clothes -- and it is important to be able to easily find shoes and accessories.

Here are several videos that give you a number of different organizational ideas for your closets. Some of these range from smaller closets-- to larger closets. One is even a bedroom which is converted into a huge closet/dressing area. I chose each video because they each have something to share!


Closet Makeover

Organizing Your Closet: Tips

IKEA PAX System: Great Organizational Ideas

Closet Makeover: Wallpaper and Structural Features

Uniform Hangers Help to Eliminate Visual Clutter

I had seen these Joy Mongolo hangers advertised for years on the Home Shopping Network, but had never purchased them until moving to the home that I'm in now, with this incredibly small hall closet.

Wow, what a difference these make! I never would have guessed what a difference this makes!

Why? Because, visually-- you have a uniform hanger that allows you to see your closet in a new light. I should have taken "Before" and "After" photos of this! I can't imagine the transformation that took place, just in changing the hangers in my closet!

I walk into my closet now and it feels like shopping in a boutique! It is an amazing transformation and it allows me to see my clothing a lot better (with the other hangers I've had in the past, clothing would often slip off and fall to the bottom of the closet). These hangers have a felt-like material which holds the clothing on much better.

Tip-- if you buy these hangers, buy them in the same shade (or at least buy them in the same color for each section of clothing... i.e... shirts, jackets, coats, sweaters, pants, skirts). You want to create the illusion of being able to see your clothing, rather than focusing on seeing a jumbled set of hangers. This works best with a monochromatic color combination... one color.

Hooks Used for Accessories

Scarf Organization Tied Into a Loop

Folded Clothes Organizer For Closet

Shoe Storage in Your Closet

Shoe Storage Ideas

Converting a Room Into a Closet

Wall Storage Bookcase/Shelf Furniture Ideas Used with Decor

This Video Has Some Good Storage Ideas for Bedrooms

Creative Storage Ideas for Bedroom Storage Solutions

Organizing the Toy Room

Tips for On-The-Go Home Office Organization: Multi-Tasking Rooms Require Mobile Work Spaces

Our Culture is Addicted to Collecting "Stuff"

This upcoming video explains the whole cultural phenomena of how and why we collect "Stuff"! It is presented in a very creative way with a great animated video while the speaker talks about the entire cycle of "Stuff"!

The Story of Stuff

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders That Surround Organization and Clutter...

There seems to be a fine balance between having an environment that operates efficiently with moderate organization-- to either being too organized, where you are becoming obsessively driven to be overly clean, neat, and organized-- to the other end of the continuum where someone has slipped into a hoarding mode of operation.

When these issues start to effect people's every day life, this is when these compulsions have crossed the line into dangerous territory.

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Both sides of this equation are a compulsive disorder. Neat Freaks are on one side of the continuum and hoarders are obviously on the other end of the spectrum.

The upcoming videos illustrate what I am talking about...

Professional Organizer Home Tour - This Girl Takes Organization Completely OVER THE TOP, But There Are Some Good Ideas in this Video

If You Have Stepped Into a Situation Where It Appears That You are Hoarding: Here are Some Tips on De-Cluttering

The Video Above Breaks Down How to Handle Clutter

Clutter hoarders typically have the problem of not wanting to throw things out, they cling to things that they are currently not using-- which compounds the problem.

De-cluttering serves many purposes:

1.) We can free up our lives and save money and time looking for things.

2.) Get rid of anything that the client doesn't need.

3.) You often find things that you have misplaced, making it unnecessary to buy these items again. You can shop in your own house!

4.) It gives you a better plan of what to buy for the future.

5.) Sell items that you are currently not using to create additional cash.

6.) Find joy in giving things away to help people who may need items.

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Some recommendations from the video:

It is easy to feel overwhelmed. Set small goals. Clean one shelf, one cupboard, one closet, one room at a time.

She shows and exercise of bringing in 3 baskets. Use these to scan, sort, and toss. Ask yourself these questions: Do I love it, do I use it, does it fit?

Create piles: Items that you'd like to donate, items that you'd like to sell, and items that you'd like to keep.

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Make Extra money...

Sell things of value on Craig's List or Ebay. Or hold a garage sale.

"Hoarder" Show Therapy: The Benefits of Seeing Clutter Mirrored To You...

Hoarding is a compulsive disorder which comes about because people are in the habit of collecting too much "Stuff". It takes the video that was shown above to an absolute EXTREME!!!

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When I'm needing some inspiration to start the task of de-cluttering-- one of the best things that I have found to inspire me is to watch a "Hoarder" episode! Nothing puts me in a cleaning and clearing mission faster than watching this!!!

ZOMG!!!

These shows move me into a mode of a complete CLEANING RAMPAGE. Watching these shows are very inspiring because they allow you to see clutter mirrored to you in a way that is totally OVER THE TOP... Ridiculous!!!

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This does three things--

1.) It shows me how disgusting excess stuff and clutter is...

2.) These shows are so extreme that it makes me feel as if my place is way ahead of this game!

3.) It makes me realize that there is a lot of excess "stuff" that is clouding the consciousness of the person who is living in this environment. As they start the clearing process - this appears to lighten the person's emotional baggage. They normally appear healthier and happier as a result of the clearing.

Envisioning Positive Change: "Before and Afters" for Every Room of the House

Wrapping Up...

Well, I hope that this information has been as interesting to you as it has been for me! I'm alway inspired to see new designs that have better function and organizational potential.

Now its time to put all of this information to good use and finish my own home decorating, organization, and clutter clearing!

(Rolling up my shirt sleeves) It's time to get down to the nitty gritty! No excuses! It has got to be done!


working

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