Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Where Does Everything Go?

Whenever someone looks at my before and after pictures the inevitable question that follows is always, "Where did everything go?" The short answer: where it belongs! Yes, that's oversimplifying so let's cover it in more detail.

1) Trash/Recycle/Shred - Although I never force anyone to throw things away during a project, I do encourage the homeowner to think about the item. Keeping an item just because you always have isn't an acceptable answer. Things that fall into this category tend to be broken items, items that are beyond cleaning, and items that are now worthless such as user manuals for items long gone, clothes that aren't good enough to donate, paperwork, phone books, magazines, files for the car you owned 15 years get the idea. Depending on the project, this is often the largest category of "stuff" during a project. Somehow it expands to be far larger than the original space.

2) Donations/Sales - For the most part, cluttered spaces often are packed with perfectly good items...that you'll never use again. But someone else can, and will, so this is where donations (and sales) come into play. By the time a person has actually reached the point of decluttering a space, having the items removed immediately is usually the preferred method. On occasion, a person is planning on a yard sale or on-line posting and these items are prepared accordingly.

3) Archives/Memorabilia - Areas that are cluttered in our living spaces often have items that are meaningful and sentimental, which is fine.  However, if the plan isn't to display those items proudly, then it's time to pack them up and keep them safe. Generally cluttered areas, like desks, kitchen counters and living room tables often accumulate LOTS of archives that can be packed up and removed from the space.

4) Transfers - During the process of decluttering, areas are established for everything. Yes, everything. If it doesn't already have a designated place, we'll define one. Then, as the project continues, we put everything in its place, "transferring" it there. This is always an extremely satisfying step. This is where you realize you can be organized because you know where to put things back. You may have known where to put some things, but when you know where EVERYTHING should go, it's a great feeling of accomplishment...and the beginning of an organized space for a lifetime.

The things that are meant to stay in the space are then organized. This means utilizing the closet space, shelving, and storage containers in the space, and then arranging your items in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. That's it! Mission organized space!

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