Kick Clutter to the Curb

Kick Clutter to the Curb

When I think about organizing, I get the chills…the good kind. I love, love organizing (and cleaning, too!). It’s cathartic and I physically and mentally feel better when I’m finished. My clients, on the other hand, well, let’s just say they like the end result more than they like the process.

We can sometimes make the process trickier than it needs to be. We don’t have to have everything perfectly lined up. In fact, it’s ok to put out the beta version and then release an update at a later point. Tech companies do it all the time, so why can we?

What does that mean? Simply put, give your best effort and START. You can always add “the polish and shine” later. Also, sometimes not knowing where to begin can stall our plans, but there are things you can do to get motivated to get a move on.

Here are six of them:

1. Turn Up the Positive Vibes.

No negativity allowed! If you think you won’t accomplish your goals, you probably won’t. So, do whatever you need to do get a happy mood going. Put on your favorite music or even your favorite perfume. Get in a good mood because with all that positivity floating around, you’re likely to see some change in the right direction. This also means that on the day that you attack the clutter, you want to be well fed (not hungry), alert (not tired or sleepy), and feeling well (not sick or in pain).

2. Get A Plan.

Take a minute or two or five and write down what you want to get accomplished. Think about what an organized space will look and feel like to you. Drawing or mapping it out may help you solidify your plan and help give you direction. Knowing what to do and when you’ll do it is a much better feeling than standing around scratching your head and feeling overwhelmed.

3. Pick a Starting Point.

Once the plan is formulized, pick the ONE thing that you will work on first. Notice I didn’t say the one thing you will finish. Remember, this is all about getting started…but if you actually do finish on the first try, that’s icing on the cake!

4. Get the Tools You Need.

Be sure to have some garbage bags and boxes on hand. You can get free boxes from, Craig’s List, or your local supermarket. If you’re working on files, get a file crate or use a collapsible file box – just one to get you started while you weed through your file cabinet.

Note: You might think that you’ll need to buy a few plastic containers, but you don’t…at least not yet. Here’s why: you probably already have some on hand (though they may be filled at that moment) or you can use other things, like shoe boxes and cartons (from stores like Sam’s Club or Costco) that are hanging about your house. They’re great for sorting and categorizing items.

5. Commit to 15 Minutes.

When you’re tackling a project, especially a big one, it helps to work on it a little bit at a time. So, take 10-15 minutes daily to attack the clutter. That way, you get some organizing done – along with a good feeling of accomplishment – AND you get to go off and have your life, too. Take a look at your calendar right now. Where can you carve out 15 minutes? Go ahead, pen in it on your schedule and…

6. Practice for 21 Days.

Whenever you start a new process, practicing that system is essential. Actually, practicing that process for 21 consecutive days really helps it to stick and become a regular part of your routine. It’s not 21 weeks or years. It’s less than a month. It’s doable. 15 minutes a day for 21 days…you CAN do it! When in doubt, refer to #1.

By Deb Allison Lee

About the Author

Deb Lee is an award winning Certified Professional Organizer® and the founder of D. Allison Lee LLC, a company that helps residential and business clients kick clutter to the curb and become more productive. Visit her blog, Organize to Revitalize, for more great tips and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.