Don’t Make These 6 Clutter-Causing Mistakes
Don’t Make These 6 Clutter-Causing Mistakes

Don’t Make These 6 Clutter-Causing Mistakes

To toss or not to toss. That is the question.

Some clutter is overwhelming. Some is sentimental. That’s where the experts come in.

“Do you use it, do you need it, or do you enjoy it?” Asks professional organizer Kim Cosentino. “If the answer’s no, then it’s clutter.”

But sometimes, emotions get in the way. Let a team of professional organizers clear the most common obstacles between you and a blissful, clutter-free environment.

Mistake #1: “I can’t get rid of this, it was my grandmother’s”

Many of us hold onto things because we want to hold on to a memory, a time in our life, or a person. Or we feel too guilty to get rid of gifts or hand-me-downs.

solution: take a picture
And write a short story about the meaning to share with family, friends and future generations.

Mistake #2: “But I know it’s worth something”

Here comes some tough love: Unfortunately, most of your clutter isn’t worth that much. “There’s [often] no value to the things we used to value,” said Cosentino, owner of The De-Clutter Box.

solution: try selling it
Have it appraised and try to sell it on eBay or craigslist. Otherwise, donate the item to a friend, relative or charity.

Mistake #3: “I don’t have time”

Cosentino says sorting through clutter can feel overwhelming, so we don’t think we have time.

solution: use your calendar
"Schedule the activities on your calendar over a week or two. Then you don’t have this huge overwhelming list,” she said, “and it doesn’t have to all be done in one day.”

Mistake #4: “I get distracted”

According to Monica Friel, expert organizer of Chaos to Order, clutter represents unfinished tasks or unmade decisions. With technology today, our need for instant gratification can make it harder to stay focused on clearing our clutter.

solution: stay the course
Turn off your phone and TV, and tell your family you need some uninterrupted time. Make a list of to-dos for the day. To avoid getting burned out, take a 5-10 minute break after each item is crossed off the list.

Mistake #5: “If I put it away, I’ll forget about it”

If you keep a pile of bills and mail on the counter, all you see is the top sheet of paper.

solution: go paperless
Every other part of your life is online, it’s time your bills are too. Use paperless billing options wherever possible, and be sure to enable email and text notifications so you don’t forget. You can also schedule payment due dates on your iCal or Google calendar for extra reminders.

Mistake #6: “These expensive storage solutions will help me get organized”

We know it’s tempting, but if you buy containers early, you may not know the type or size needed. Then, if those containers go unused, you just unknowingly created more clutter.

solution: clean first—cute later
If you wait until you finish organizing, you’ll know exactly how many, what type and what size containers you’ll need.