Home De-Cluttering Office Organizing Move Management Downsizing Space Redsign Insights

Make Space: Order

Dear Jo the Clutterbuster:

I now consider myself  a Decision Making Diva. It wasn't easy but I am comfortable with the choices I've made. (Although I am worried that Great Aunt Agnes will wonder where her wedding gift went.)

There's no room to move. We are living in a barricade of boxes. What do we do  now?


Corralled by Clutter

Dear Corralled:

As a result of completing the first phase of this process, you have 3 (or more) filled boxes labeled:

Keep/Put Away
Sell/free cycle

You should also have some bags of trash and bins filled with recycling. The next step is to dispense with the contents of each container. Be realistic about how much time dispersing will require. If necessary, arrange for assistance and a time commitment from someone who is willing to help.

Before you begin, make these decisions:

Determine how much time you will work today.
Determine if you need help from others to lift, carry, donate.
Identify where you will make donations, find out the hours  that they will accept donations and criteria for donations.

Arrange a date for pick up by organizations such as Amvets, Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans

Make Order

First remove the trash and recycling which usually accounts for 25 - 50% of the clutter. You will then have more space in which to work.

Next, place all the Donate items you are taking to a donation site into your vehicle. (If you need a tax deduction, make a list of the items to attach to the receipt you will receive.) OR Make the appointment for pick up of items too large to take to the donation center. You can bring good, clean, useable clothing to a favorite local shelter or place of worship.

Items that you want to Sell or Freecycle require additional time and storage. A yard sale often does not earn enough money to offset the  time and energy expended to hold one. Listing items on freecyle means you will need to store it and wait for phone calls. It is easier and faster to place items outside with a FREE TO GOOD HOME sign and watch how fast they disappear.

Finally, tackle the Keep/Put Away box. Frequently, the contents of this box do not have a  'home' and that is how they became clutter in the first place. As you review each item, you may decide that it is no longer useful and end up donating or discarding it.

If there is no specific place, put the item in the room where it belongs. If there is no specific room, return the item to the box.

DO NOT STOP TO CREATE A HOME FOR A HOMELESS ITEM. You will create systems in the final step in the process.

Congratulate yourself for taking care of the items in the boxes and allowing others to benefit from your generosity. You can continue this process throughout your home until you are ready for the next phase or just take proceed to the next phase: Make Systems.