Whether reorganizing or moving into a new home, it is astoundingly daunting to go through a lifetime’s worth of possessions and personal effects. One will be amazed at the amount of time it takes to sort through all the seemingly daily knick-knacks you stash in a corner. But while the idea of simply stacking them all in a box and dropping them in the basement like a hot potato seems like a good idea, you can easily get lost rummaging through all that stuff with nary a trace of knowing the “wants” from your “needs”.
Before you start pulling your hair though, here are some tips on how to organize an overstuffed room—and make sure not repeating the same cluttered horrors over and over again.
1. It all begins with your commitment. Create a mindset that will lead to the path of a clutter-free space and commit to it. There is no sense picking up all the pieces and arranging them in neat piles only to create a mess again in a week’s time. Realize that you will fix all the clutter and you will commit to maintain a clutter-free space.
2. Remove, keep, give away or sell. Prepare 4 huge boxes before sorting out your belongings. Label them with “for storage”, “to sell”, “trash”, and “to use”. Don’t just toss those things into their appropriate box though. Make sure to fold them and arrange them so the box won’t also be bursting at the seams. All the “to sell” items can be sold via a rummage sale or online. Pawnable items can be sent to pawnshops or to resale shops. This will help earn you extra cash for buying storage system later on.
3. Look for discreet ways to store the ones you wish to keep and the ones you will be actively using. There are some things that one simply cannot let go because of their sentimental value. Old photo albums, for instance, are memorabilia which holds a special place in one’s heart. So is an old Christening dress or the very wedding gown you wore when you first walked down the aisle. The key is to find storage systems which can keep them safe without causing too much of an eyesore or without crowding the room.
4. Organize accordingly. Shirts, pants, undies and other things household members wear easily, can pile up on a chair, in a table or in a room’s corner. Learn how to fold these items the right way. It is also wise to teach school age children, messy teenagers, and others in the household, how to do things right. Here’s a great idea on how to fold shirts, pants, undies, skirts, and so on for easy access without leaving any mess:
5. Categorize everything. From your stockpile of perfume, makeup, jewelry, and hair bands to children’s toys, school stuff, towels, bed linens, and so on—sort these items and categorize accordingly. You can stack personal pieces like perfume and makeup on your vanity making it look more like decorative items. This is also one way to see the “excesses” and find a way to get rid of them.
6. Cultivate the habit of proper clutter management on everything you do. Cleaning the kitchen after every meal, clearing the fridge every weekend, returning books and other things into the right nook, remove décor right after each season, and so on, is a great routine to develop. These habits do not just organize things, but also makes a great way to sweat it out.
7. Go on a self-imposed buying hiatus. Some people easily get lured with the word “sale” or “good bargain” without even realizing the excesses it brings. The next time you decide to buy something, it is wise to analyze first if the item is really needed or will it require storage—and if there’s available storage. Stop accumulating unnecessary items. Make do with what you have and only buy when needed.
Knowing how to organize a room with too much stuff is going to be a long haul. It can sometimes feel like it'll take an army to organize even the smallest of apartments. Try to create a schedule and set goals accordingly. You can do it one room per day. The key is to set a deadline and to follow through by cultivating a de-cluttering daily habit. Now on to how to keep all the children in one place and behaving!