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Declutter and Organize

How Not to Become a Hoarder

By Yvonne LovejoyPublished 3 years ago 5 min read
Photo by Onur Bahçıvancılar on Unsplash

Am I a hoarder? Well, let’s check the definition. According to, The definition of a hoarder is someone who collects things in their home obsessively, including things that would commonly be thrown away: bags, old food, or broken items. No, not a hoarder, yet. But it doesn’t take long for clutter to get out of control.

We are all trying to reduce our impact on the planet, conserve our resources, and not just send everything to a landfill. Before you know it, you have too many things kept in case you need them someday. So before you can organize your home, you have to get rid of the clutter. The big questions are how to get started and what to do with all of the clutter you’re clearing away.

Getting Started

Suggestion 1 -Take Pictures

Take pictures of each room in your home as they are. This is really a really helpful tool. When you look at the pictures, you will get a more objective view of the clutter. Sometimes when you walk past items day in and day out you don’t see them anymore. Not to mention that when you get done decluttering and organizing you might have problems remembering how bad things looked before you started.

Suggestion 2- Time It

Depending on the size of your home, decluttering can seem pretty overwhelming so there is a trick to avoid that feeling. Choose an area and set a timer. Let’s say you want to work on your bedroom closet. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Do what you can in 30 minutes. If you want to work longer, that’s great but 30 minutes is your goal. When your 30 minutes are done, you will have made positive progress and have something to feel good about. Being able to motivate yourself is the key. Each time you complete this process you’ll see less and less clutter without focussing on the massive job you had at the start.

Pick a period of time; two years for example. If you haven’t seen, used, worn, played with, or touched whatever it is in two years; do you really need it? Basements, closets, and garages are notorious places for clutter to gather and overstay its welcome.

Getting it Gone

Suggestion 1- Make Some Inquiries

Local charitable organizations are a great place to find new homes for good, usable items. Homeless shelters, women’s shelters, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations that help people get their lives back together need items to provide their clients. In some cases, you may need to deliver the items but larger items they can usually pick up. Daycare centers may be looking for donations of items they can use for crafts or learning activities. It will be much easier to get rid of clutter if you know where it’s going.

Suggestion 2- Recycle and Upcycle

Whether you recycle the items alongside your weekly trash or find a recycling center to take the items to, recycling is a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint. Most recycling centers have a list of what they will accept. You can also see if there are textile recycling drop boxes in your area if you have cloth items to throw away. Many items can be transformed into usable items. Old t-shirts can become beach bags or cleaning rags. Tin cans can even become the Tinman.

Photo by JTinmen

Suggestion 3- Sell Your Clutter

Having a yard sale is probably the first thing that comes to mind and that is a practical idea. It can be even more fun if you invite family and friends to join you. Depending on the community you live in, it could be a good idea to invite neighbors to have a yard sale at the same time. As long as you have a location for it, a yard sale could work for you.

Other options for selling are Craigslist, eBay, and other online websites. You can also take your clutter to a local auction house or pay for a booth in a flea market. If you don’t have time to sell your clutter, you can donate it to a local church that is planning to have a yard sale.

I prefer to completely declutter before organizing. Once it’s gone, it should be gone. It’s too tempting to keep some clutter that now fits in your newly organized space. There’s nothing wrong with having an empty shelf or drawer.

By Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Organizing the things in your home has to be logical to you. Maybe you always take aspirin in the kitchen. It wouldn’t make any sense to suddenly keep the aspirin in the bathroom medicine cabinet just because that’s where medicine is supposed to go. Now it’s time to find a place for everything you’ve kept and put everything in its place.

Place for everything

Suggestion 1- Move it on up

In order to have a place for everything, you might need to create new places. An over-the-door plastic shoe organizer is a good way to keep items organized and out of the way. The pockets for the shoes are clear so it’s a great way to organize the bathroom and keep toiletries from taking up the available space around the sink. A tall, narrow shelf is a practical way to show off your style by moving things off of a table and displaying them.

Suggestion 2- Command Some Attention

Command hooks come in various sizes and strengths to help organize everything in your home. The best part is that you don’t need a hammer and nails. No walls will be hurt while organizing your possessions. Small hooks can be used to hang purses, necklaces, hats, and belts on the bedroom wall. In the kitchen, the hooks are great for holding utensils. Larger, stronger command hooks can be positioned to hold baskets that keep small items out of the way but still handy.

By Jonny Caspari on Unsplash

Suggestion 3- Don’t Forget the Plastic

Even though you’ve cleared the clutter there are pieces, like offseason clothing, that need to be stored. Hobby supplies, holiday decorations, and gift wrap are examples of items that are not considered when referring to clutter. Plastic storage bins are an economical way to store those things. The bins need to be clearly labeled and only put what fits the label in each bin. Bins come in all shapes and sizes, including under the bed storage.

Everything in Its Place

Suggestion 1- Drop Spot

Designate a specific area as a drop location for anything that can’t be put back in its place right away. At the end of the day clear that area so that everything remains organized. Everyone has times when life gets in the way of planning. If you have an approved spot to leave things for the day, it will keep your stress level down while making sure things don’t get scattered everywhere.

Suggestion 2- Use One in, One Out

When you were decluttering, there were probably some areas that were worse than others. If you have a weakness for purses, clutter can start again. If you get a new lamp, get rid of the old one. Clothes, shoes, dishes, and cookware are examples of potential clutter magnets. If you replace rather than add, it will be much easier to stay organized.

If you have a hard time parting with clutter or staying organized, there is a solution out there for you. Whether you need to make a game of it, have some outside motivation, or treat yourself for getting it done; decluttering and organizing your home can improve your mood, productivity, and make your day-to-day life easier.

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About the Creator

Yvonne Lovejoy

Writing has always been a part of me. My dream could die with failure or would live on if I never tried. Time for that to change. Follow me and be sure to click like on any stories you enjoy.

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    Yvonne LovejoyWritten by Yvonne Lovejoy

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