Ever wonder where to start? Feeling overwhelmed and unsure how to tackle the clutter?

Let me share a little secret, step one is not going to The Container Store.

Step one is not making a plan of where everything needs to go. Step one is not creating a design for your space. Step one is taking time to edit.edit.edit.

Oh and take a before photo because if you don’t you will wish you had!

Use the word edit instead of purge. I find it’s a more positive word and truly captures what I want you to experience during this time. To purge seems compulsive and a forced action. When you edit something, you are being mindful of the end result, you are being specific to ensure you accomplish the end goal. 

Step 1:

Ok, as your start the editing process, start with the easy stuff. Clothes that you no longer like, expired goods in the pantry, products that didn’t work for you (even though you spent money on them). Let go of the items that take little thought, items that you know you don’t need or use. Now that the obvious is gone, take a deep look at what you have left over. Do these items support your best life? Do they look good on you? Do you enjoying eating this?  Will you truly use, and enjoy using this? Once you have gone through and made these decisions it’s finally time to make a plan. 

Step 2:

Sort everything by category (tops/bottoms, Hair/Skin, Dry goods/ can goods, etc.) Once you have sorted everything place them in the area that makes the most sense. For a pantry I suggest organize it like a grocery store so it’s easy to build a meal. Closets all depend on your needs, if you have work clothes and casual clothes, keep them separate to ensure Monday – Friday you don’t have to be reminded it’s still not the weekend! 

Step 3:

Yes, the step you all have been waiting for… if needed you can go out and buy matching containers and really prefect your space. The key here is to keep the containers consistent to avoid visual clutter. Also think about the function of the bin, you want a smooth or lined bin for clothes and plastic or easy to clean bins for a pantry in case of a spill. Once everything is in it’s place label as needed. Keep labels simple.

Step 4:

Enjoy your newly organized space. Maintenance will be needed, so every 3-6 months come in and assess the damage and reset the space to match your after photo! Best of Luck and I’ll be here if you need me.

Sarah Parisi – The Clutter Curator
Chicago’s Premier Home Organizer