Saturday, January 29, 2011


How to control clutter, get organized & manage all your STUFF

2011 Women's Conference Class, taught by Stephanie Stewart

Do you feel like you have too much stuff?
Are there areas in your home that are cluttered with stuff?
Is there stuff bulging, overflowing, toppling or stacked anywhere?
Where does stuff seem to accumulate?
Do you feel like you have places for all of your stuff?
Do you feel like you need more space to store your stuff?
Is your stuff organized?
How does your stuff make you feel?

1. Pick a spot (slutter ares, junk drawer, crammed closet, kids room, kitchen cabinet)
2. Use 6 bags or boxes labeled: keep here, relocate, return, repair, donate & toss
3. Sort the stuff in the spot you are working on (dump it out, empty it out, or sort it out item by item)
4. Ask with each item "why am I keeping this?"--keep all the "I use it and I need it" stuff
5. Ask "what kind of stuff is this?"--keep "all the time and most of the time" stuff
6. Move the rest of the stuff into the appropriate boxes
7. Use the Rules for Storing, Organizing and Managing your stuff to put things away

Justified Stuff: "I use it and I need it." GREAT! KEEP IT!

Unjustified Stuff: "I like it" "It cost a lot" "I might use it" "I can't waste it" "I got that for..." "It's memorable" "It was a gift" "It's cute" "I just can't part with it" YES, BUT DO YOU USE IT, NEED IT?

All the time
Stuff (have to keep)........gets prime locations (top drawers, main cabinets & shelves)

Most of the Time Stuff (need to keep)......gets secondary locations (2nd shelf, higher up, near-by)

Some of the Time Stuff (should keep)...gets "storage" locations (closets, highest shelf, garage)

Keepsake Stuff (want to keep - true keepsakes) ... Gets specifiec and limited storage

Stupid Stuff (stuff ou don't have to, need to or should be keeping). . . gets NO space

RULES for Storing, Organizing and Managing Your Stuff

1. Give everything you own a “home” (a very specific storage spot)
 this is your key to clutter control
 use a box, drawer, jar, closet, shelf, room, corner, basket, etc
 ie. batteries, cameras, keys, cell phone, purse, gift cards, coins, scissors, homework, library books
 you should be able to tidy up your home just by putting everything away
2. Group Like Items – store similar items together or in the same area
 similar kitchen items, medicines/first aid, repair items, project/craft supplies, gift wrapping
3. Downsize – anything that you may have too many of (Tupperware, sheets, movies, clothes, books, crafts )
 Designate a limited space and when items start out growing their space then downsize
4. Identify clutter spots and eliminate them
 Notice areas that are dumping grounds and devise storage solutions in that area for those things
 Backpacks, shoes, papers, dirty clothes, papers
5. Point of Use – store things where you use them
 Watch and see if you go get something elsewhere to bring back and use it where you were
 ie. tools, shoes, kids art stuff, tape, cups, wrapping paper, hairbrushes, broom, medicines, envelopes
6. Make Things Easy To Put Away – make things easier to put away then to get out
 If you have to open, move or take something else out – it create steps and you won’t do it
 hooks vs. hangers (coats, towels, backpacks), take lids off bins, don’t stack items or put things behind
 put hampers, garbage cans and necessary supplies in every room
7. Containerize – loose items become unorganized and cluttered
 Use bins, baskets, or boxes to contain loose, bagged, or small items
 use containers in drawers and on shelves, label them
 ie. medicine bottles, kids toys/games, bathroom stuff, kitchen drawers, garage tools, pantry
8. Eliminate the junk drawers – don’t have any drawer be a “catch all”
 assign your drawers (office supplies, sharps, spoons and spatulas, baking drawer)
 assign the space within the drawer as well
 DON’T put anything else in that drawer unless you make that its home
9. Create a DI box – and use it
 Think of how much stuff we bring in – make sure equal stuff is going out
10. Establish Temporary Storage Spaces - for things coming in and going out of your house
 Set up in boxes and out boxes (for papers, homework, mail)
 Use a bag or basket or shelf to hold things that need to be returned to stores, library, friends
 Create a place where you keep library books and DVD rentals while you have them
 Designate a place for you or your kids to keep projects being worked on
11. Create Work Stations – designate clearly defined work areas and store appropriate things there
 specific areas for doing specific things (work zones)
 ie. baking center, knives and cutting, bill paying, wrapping, crafting, changing baby
 things should be stored there and used there
12. Multiples - have more than one of frequently used items and keep them in different places
 tools, scissors, garbage cans, laundry baskets, bandages, stamps, wipes, hair brushes, toothbrushes
13. Use Wasted Space
 look for short things in tall spaces, space under hanging items, places you could add shelves
 When you think you don’t have enough storage space, look again
14. Don’t stack or stuff – it makes it hard to get things out and difficult to put things away
15. Pickup every day – maintain the order, it is easy when everything has a home and it shouldn’t take long

Everything you have takes up space
Everything in your space creates your environment
Your environment effects how you live and how you feel
Remember this as you manage your stuff