July 13

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Professional Organizers’ Expert Advice on How to Begin Decluttering Your Space

Where to start when decluttering according to professional organizers

When it comes to decluttering our homes, many of us find ourselves overwhelmed and unsure where to begin. The needs of each person and living space are unique, and the clutter we have created can cause stress and make our homes feel chaotic. That’s where professional organizers like Lucy come in.

Lucy is a specialist in organizing homes and helping her clients create rooms that are not only functional, but also peaceful and stress-free. She knows that the first step to an organized home is decluttering. But where do you start?

According to Lucy, the best place to begin is by picking one area or room to focus on. Whether it’s the kitchen, living room, or even a small corner, starting with one space allows you to direct your time and energy into decluttering and organizing without feeling overwhelmed.

One method that Lucy recommends is the KonMari method, created by organizing expert Marie Kondo. This method encourages you to declutter by category rather than room. For example, instead of organizing your kitchen all at once, you would gather all your kitchen items, such as utensils and appliances, and go through them one by one to decide what to keep and what to discard.

When going through your belongings, Lucy suggests asking yourself whether each item brings you joy or serves a practical purpose. If it doesn’t, it might be time to let go. Lucy advises her clients to look at each item and consider if it truly adds value to their lives or if it’s just taking up space.

As you begin to declutter, Lucy recommends having three categories: keep, donate/sell, and trash. Items that you want to keep should be organized in a way that makes sense to you, while items that no longer serve a purpose or bring you joy can be donated, sold, or simply thrown away.

Lucy believes that decluttering not only results in an organized home, but also has a positive impact on our mental health. Living in a clutter-free space can make us feel more calm and focused, and it can also make our homes more inviting for friends and family.

So, whether you choose to follow the KonMari method or create your own, starting the decluttering process is the first step towards an organized and stress-free home. With the help of a professional organizer like Lucy, you can make a real difference in your living spaces and create an environment that you truly love.

Where to start when decluttering

Decluttering can be a daunting task, especially if you have a lot of stuff that needs to be organized and sorted. However, with the right approach and a clear plan, you can tackle the clutter in your home effectively. Professional organizers suggest starting with the areas that tend to accumulate the most stuff, such as the kitchen and the hard-to-reach corners of your house.

The kitchen is often the heart of the home and can quickly become cluttered with appliances, dishes, and utensils. Start by clearing out your cabinets and drawers, getting rid of any items that you no longer use or need. Donate or sell any duplicate items that you have, and make sure to organize your remaining items in a way that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Another area to focus on is the hard-to-reach corners of your home. These are often overlooked and can quickly become a dumping ground for items that don’t have a designated place. Start by decluttering one corner or area at a time, sorting items into categories such as trash, donate, and keep. It’s important to be ruthless when decluttering and only keep items that you truly love or use on a regular basis.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, the KonMari method can be a helpful way to approach decluttering. This method, created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo, encourages you to sort items by category rather than by room. Start with clothing, then move on to books, papers, and other categories. This method can help you see progress and make decisions about what to keep and what to let go of.

It’s also important to know when to ask for help. If decluttering feels like a stressful and time-consuming task, consider hiring a professional organizer or enlisting the help of friends and family. A specialist can provide guidance and support, helping you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s important to maintain an organized space. Set up systems that work for you and make it easy to keep things tidy. Regularly go through your belongings and get rid of items that no longer serve a purpose.

Remember, decluttering is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. Trust your instincts and create a decluttering plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. With time and commitment, you can transform your home and enjoy the benefits of a clutter-free space.

Start decluttering by room

Start decluttering by room

When it comes to decluttering your home, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Professional organizers recommend beginning the decluttering process by focusing on one room at a time. This helps to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and allows you to see progress as you move through the different areas of your house.

One of the best places to start is the kitchen. This is often a high-traffic area in most homes, and it’s where a lot of clutter tends to accumulate. Begin by organizing your pantry and getting rid of any expired or unused items. Sort through your cabinets and drawers, discarding any broken or duplicate items. Consider using an organizing method like the KonMari method, which encourages you to collect and declutter items by category rather than by room. This will help you to keep things organized in the long run.

Once you’ve tackled the kitchen, you can move on to other rooms in the house. Some people like to start with the areas that cause them the most stress, such as the bedroom or living room. Others prefer to begin with smaller spaces, like bathrooms or closets, as these can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue decluttering.

It’s important to consider your own needs and preferences when deciding where to begin. Think about which areas of your home are causing you the most stress or which rooms you would like to improve the most. Professional organizers often tell their clients to start in the area that bothers them the most or to begin with the room that guests see first. This can help to create a sense of order and make your home feel more inviting.

Lucy, a professional organizer, suggests picking a room and tackling it from start to finish without jumping around to different spaces. This method allows you to see a visible difference in the decluttered area and can help to keep you motivated to continue decluttering throughout your home.

If you’re still not sure where to start, don’t stress! There are plenty of resources and ideas available to help you get organized. You can reach out to a professional organizer or ask friends and family for their advice. They may have been through the decluttering process themselves and can offer valuable insights and support.

Remember, decluttering can be hard work, but the difference it can make to your home and your mindset is well worth it. So pick a room, start decluttering, and enjoy the benefits of a more organized and clutter-free living space.

1 The clutter hotspot that’s stressing you out the most

When it comes to decluttering, it’s important to start with a clear plan and a focus. Professional organizers suggest finding the clutter hotspot that’s causing you the most stress and tackling it first. This can be a specific area in your home or even a particular room that seems to always be in disarray.

Look around your spaces and identify the area or room that gives you the most anxiety. It could be your kitchen, where all the pots and pans are constantly cluttered, or your living room, where toys and books seem to have taken over. Once you’ve identified the clutter hotspot, you can brainstorm ideas on how to organize and declutter it.

If you’re finding it hard to decide where to begin, it might be helpful to consult a specialist or professional organizer. They can assess your home and provide guidance on the best place to start based on your specific needs and the condition of your spaces.

Remember, the goal is to reduce stress, so it’s important to prioritize the area that is causing you the most anxiety. Whether it’s your kitchen, bedroom, or home office, picking the right place to start can make a big difference.

One popular method for decluttering is the KonMari method, created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo. It suggests sorting items by category, such as clothing, books, and sentimental items, and only keeping the ones that spark joy.

Once you’ve decided on a hotspot or category to focus on, it’s time to gather all the items in that area. This means collecting everything that belongs in the chosen spot so you can see the full extent of what needs to be organized.

If you’re working with a clutter hotspot like the kitchen, for example, you’ll want to take everything out of the cabinets and drawers and place them on the counter. This will give you a clear view of what you have and allow you to assess what should stay and what should go.

During this process, it can be helpful to have friends or family members assist you. They can provide a fresh perspective and help you make decisions about what to keep or donate. Plus, decluttering can be more fun and less overwhelming when you have someone to share the task with.

Once you’ve gone through the items and decided what to keep or discard, it’s important to find a system to keep the area organized. This could involve buying storage containers, labeling shelves, or creating a schedule to regularly clean and maintain the space.

Organizing and decluttering takes time, so it’s important to be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your clutter hotspot won’t magically disappear overnight. Take small steps and celebrate the progress you make along the way.

2 The room you spend a lot of time using

2 The room you spend a lot of time using

When it comes to decluttering your home, it’s important to begin with the room that you spend a lot of time using. For many people, this room is the kitchen. Lucy, a professional organizer with years of experience, suggests that whether it’s the kitchen or another room in your home, it’s really important to start with the space where you spend the most time.

As an organizer, Lucy believes that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where you prepare your meals, gather with family and friends, and often spend a significant amount of time. Decluttering and organizing this room can make a big difference in how you feel in your home.

One of the first things Lucy recommends when decluttering a room is to look at the conditions in that area. Does it need to be deep cleaned? Are there any repairs or maintenance tasks that need to be done? Taking care of these tasks will help create a clean and stress-free space.

Once the room is clean, Lucy suggests starting by decluttering one area at a time. For example, in the kitchen, you could begin with the countertops or the pantry. Start by taking everything off the surface or out of the area and only keep the items that you use and love. The KonMari method, created by organizing specialist Marie Kondo, emphasizes keeping items that bring you joy.

If you’re having a hard time picking what items to keep, Lucy suggests going through this process with a friend or family member. Sometimes, they can provide a different perspective and help you make decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. It also helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of and keep you motivated.

Lucy has worked with many clients in organizing their homes, and the focus is always on creating spaces that are organized and functional. The key is to create systems that work for each individual’s needs and wants. Whether it’s the kitchen, bedroom, or any other room, organizing is about finding what works best for you and your space.

Without the clutter, you’ll be able to focus on the activities you enjoy and make your house a place where you feel calm and at ease. So why not start with the room you spend the most time in? Decluttering and organizing this space will not only make a difference in how it looks, but it will also help you make the most out of every moment you spend there.

3 The room that’s functioning poorly because of clutter

In this section, we will discuss the importance of organizing the room that is not functioning well due to clutter. Lucy, a professional organizer and decluttering specialist, suggests that this is often the best place to start when decluttering a home.

Whether it’s the kitchen, living room, or any other area, starting with the room that’s not functioning properly can make a significant difference in how you feel about your living conditions. By decluttering this room, you can create a more organized and stress-free environment.

Lucy advises her clients to look at each room and identify the one that needs the most attention. This can be determined by assessing which room causes the most stress or is consistently difficult to keep organized. Once you’ve identified this room, it’s time to start decluttering.

When using the KonMari method, Lucy suggests picking one category at a time and going through each item individually. For example, if you start in the kitchen, you would focus on decluttering items like utensils, dishes, and appliances first.

To begin, Lucy recommends creating three separate piles: keep, donate/sell, and trash. As you go through each item, ask yourself if it brings you joy or if it serves a specific purpose. If not, it may be time to let it go.

  • Keep: Items that you love, use regularly, or have a special sentimental value.
  • Donate/Sell: Items that are still in good condition but no longer serve a purpose in your life. Consider giving them to friends, selling them, or donating to charity.
  • Trash: Items that are broken, damaged, or no longer usable. These should be disposed of responsibly.

Once you have sorted through the items in this room, Lucy advises finding a designated place for each item that you decide to keep. This will help you maintain order and prevent the room from becoming cluttered again in the future.

By starting with the room that’s functioning poorly, you can make a significant impact on the overall organization and functionality of your home. Lucy emphasizes that with the right mindset and method, any room can be transformed into a beautifully organized space.

These are just some of the ideas and tips that professional organizers like Lucy use to help their clients declutter and create organized homes. Whether you want to declutter your kitchen, living room, or any other room, following these guidelines can help you get started on the right path to a more organized and clutter-free home.

Start decluttering by category

Start decluttering by category

When it comes to decluttering, getting started can be one of the hardest parts. That’s where a professional organizer can help. They have plenty of experience and ideas to help you tackle the clutter in your home.

One popular method that many organizers suggest is to start decluttering by category. This means picking a specific area or type of item to begin with and working through all the rooms in your house that contain that category. It may sound overwhelming, but it can make a big difference in how organized your spaces look and feel.

If you’re not sure where to begin, think about what areas or items in your home cause you the most stress. For some people, it might be a messy kitchen or overflowing closets. Others might feel overwhelmed by their garden tools or children’s toys.

Once you’ve identified the category you want to start with, it’s time to begin organizing. If you’re not sure where to put things, ask yourself what the best conditions are for the items in that category. For example, kitchen items should be kept in a clean and easily accessible area. Once you have an idea of where things should go, it’s easier to decide what to keep and what to let go of.

When deciding what to keep, many organizers suggest using the “KonMari” method. This involves holding each item in your hands and asking yourself if it sparks joy or serves a purpose in your life. If the answer is no, it’s time to let it go.

If you’re having a hard time letting go of items, consider enlisting the help of a specialist. They can provide support and guidance to help you make the right decisions. Sometimes it can be easier to have an unbiased person help you sort through your belongings.

A professional organizer can also assist you in creating a system that works for you. They can help you find the best way to store and organize your items, whether it’s with bins and labels or a specific method that they recommend.

Remember, decluttering is not just about getting rid of things. It’s about creating a home that feels peaceful and reflects your needs and lifestyle. With the help of an organizer and a focus on decluttering by category, you can transform your living space into a place that you love to be.

FAQs

FAQs

Q: Where should I start when decluttering my home?

A: The best place to start is with one room or area that feels overwhelming to you. Whether it’s your kitchen, bedroom, or living room, pick one space to focus on first. By starting in a small area, you can make a significant difference without feeling too overwhelmed.

Q: How do I decide what to keep and what to get rid of?

A: A popular method for decluttering is the KonMari method, created by organizing specialist Marie Kondo. The KonMari method suggests keeping items that bring you joy and discarding those that don’t. Another approach is to categorize items and only keep what you truly need or love. It’s important to trust your instinct and let go of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life.

Q: What if I have a hard time letting go of things?

A: It’s completely normal to feel attached to your belongings, especially if they hold sentimental value. However, professional organizers suggest asking yourself if the item truly adds value or brings you joy. If not, it may be time to let it go. You can also try donating items to someone who may appreciate them more or selling them to recoup some of their value.

Q: Should I hire a professional organizer?

A: Hiring a professional organizer can be beneficial if you feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to start. They can provide guidance and support throughout the decluttering process. However, if you prefer to tackle the task on your own, there are plenty of resources and organizing ideas available online to help you get started.

Q: How can decluttering help reduce stress?

A: A cluttered and disorganized home can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety. By decluttering and organizing your space, you create a more peaceful and harmonious environment. Having everything in its proper place can also save you time and make it easier to find what you need, reducing daily frustrations.

Q: What do professional organizers do with the items they collect?

A: Professional organizers will often sort the items they collect into different categories, such as trash, donation, or sell. They will then dispose of the items accordingly, either by taking them to the appropriate facilities or arranging for donation pick-ups.

Q: Can I declutter my home with the help of friends or family?

A: Absolutely! Decluttering can be a fun and productive activity to do with loved ones. You can enlist the help of friends or family members to keep you motivated and provide an extra set of hands. Just make sure to set clear expectations and goals for the decluttering session to stay focused and make the most of your time together.

Q: How long does it take to declutter a room?

A: The time it takes to declutter a room can vary depending on the size of the space, the amount of clutter, and your own pace. Some rooms may only take a few hours, while others may take several days or even weeks. It’s important to be patient with yourself and celebrate progress, no matter how small.

Q: What should I do if I feel overwhelmed during the decluttering process?

A: If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a break and give yourself some time to recharge. It’s okay to step away from the organizing process for a little while and come back to it with fresh eyes. You can also consider seeking support from a professional organizer or a friend who has experience in decluttering and organizing.

Q: Can decluttering help with my mental well-being?

A: Yes, decluttering can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. By clearing out physical clutter, you can create a sense of calm and clarity in your living spaces. The process of decluttering can also be cathartic and help you let go of negative emotions tied to material possessions.

Q: What’s the difference between organizing and decluttering?

A: While organizing and decluttering are closely related, they are slightly different. Decluttering involves getting rid of items you no longer need or want, while organizing focuses on creating systems and order for the items you choose to keep. Decluttering comes first, as it helps make room for the organizing process.

What should I remove first when decluttering

When starting the decluttering process, many people wonder where to begin and what they should remove first. Professional organizers suggest that it’s best to start by focusing on one specific area or category within your home. This approach helps to prevent feeling overwhelmed and allows you to see progress as you declutter each section.

One place to start could be your kitchen. The kitchen is often a high-traffic area where many items can accumulate over time. Begin by going through your pantry and refrigerator and removing any expired or unused items. This will free up space and make it easier to organize the remaining items. You can then move on to decluttering your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and countertop, getting rid of any duplicate or unused utensils, appliances, or cookware.

Another option is to begin with your wardrobe. Many people find that their closets are filled with clothes they no longer wear or need. Start by going through your clothes and asking yourself whether you still wear each item or if it brings you joy. The KonMari method, popularized by Marie Kondo, suggests that you only keep items that spark joy. By removing clothes that no longer serve you, you can create a more organized and stress-free closet.

If you’re unsure where to start, consider reaching out to a specialist organizer. These professionals have experience in helping clients declutter their spaces and can offer valuable insights and guidance. They can assess the specific needs of your home and help you develop a plan that suits your preferences and lifestyle.

Remember, it’s important to take your time and not rush the decluttering process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and decluttering your home won’t be either. Take breaks when needed, as decluttering can be hard work both physically and emotionally. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from friends or family members who can support you along the way.

Once you have selected a category or area to start with, make sure to follow through and finish the decluttering process in that section before moving on to the next one. This will ensure that you fully organize each area and avoid creating more clutter elsewhere in your home.

As you remove items from your home, consider creating three piles: one for items to keep, one for items to donate or sell, and one for items that belong in the trash. This will help you stay organized and make it easier to direct each item to its proper place.

By picking the right starting point and following through with the decluttering process, you can make a noticeable difference in the look and feel of your home. So go ahead, start decluttering and enjoy the benefits of a more organized and stress-free living space!

What should you not do when decluttering

When embarking on the decluttering process, there are certain things you should avoid doing. Here are some common pitfalls to steer clear of:

  1. Telling yourself you’ll keep everything – It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you truly need and what is just taking up space. Don’t hold onto items out of guilt or a fear of letting go.
  2. Not knowing what to do with items you no longer need – If you’re unsure about what to do with certain items, such as old clothes or electronics, do some research. There are often local organizations or recycling centers that can help you properly dispose of these items.
  3. Thinking that everything has sentimental value – While it’s natural to attach emotions to certain possessions, not everything holds sentimental value. Learn to differentiate between what truly matters to you and what you can part with.
  4. Trying to declutter an entire house all at once – Decluttering can be overwhelming, especially if you try to tackle an entire house in one go. Instead, focus on one area or room at a time. Start small and gradually work your way through the entire home.
  5. Ignoring the help of friends or family – Decluttering can be a daunting task, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. Enlist the assistance of friends or family members who can provide support and guidance throughout the process.
  6. Not following a specific method – Without a clear plan or method, decluttering can become chaotic and ineffective. Consider following popular organizing methods like the KonMari method or seeking guidance from a professional organizer.
  7. Getting too caught up in the organizing process – While organizing is important, it’s easy to get stuck in the never-ending cycle of sorting and arranging. Remember to focus on decluttering first and then organize what is left.
  8. Overcomplicating the decluttering process – Decluttering doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple by collecting items you no longer need or want and deciding whether to keep, donate, sell, or trash them.
  9. Not creating designated spaces for items – An organized home is one that has designated spaces for specific items. Take the time to create storage solutions for different categories of belongings to ensure items are easily accessible.
  10. Not considering the needs of each room – Different rooms have different purposes and therefore require different levels of organization. Consider the function of each room and tailor your decluttering efforts to its specific needs.

By avoiding these common decluttering mistakes, you can make the process more efficient and stress-free. Remember to take your time, stay focused, and celebrate your progress along the way!


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