Monday, February 25, 2013


by Stephanie Stewart


Get rid of Stuff  - sell it, donate it, give it away, throw it away, just get rid of it
Don’t justify keeping stuff

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?

                                 Justified stuff
                                            “I use it & I need it.”
                                    GREAT! KEEP IT!



Different kinds of stuff “

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 specific and limited storage
Stupid Stuff (stuff you don’t have to, need to or should be keeping)
gets NO space
             TACKLE YOUR STUFF
1.      Pick a spot (clutter area, junk drawer, crammed closet, kids room, kitchen cabinet)
2.      Use 6 bags or boxes labeled: keep here, relocate, return, repair, recycle, & 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.      Put the stuff away in an organized way
 TIPS 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 general area

§  similar kitchen items, medicines/first aid, repair items, project/craft supplies, gift wrapping
3.      Downsize and limit the space you give certain things (anything that you may have too many of)

§  Think - 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 create storage right there

§  Notice areas that are dumping grounds and devise storage solutions in that area for those things

§  Backpacks, shoes, papers, dirty clothes, papers
5.      Store things where you use them – don’t keep things you need/use in one room – some place else

§  Watch and see if you go get something to bring back and use it where you were and then take it back

§  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 everywhere you might need them
7.      Use containers – loose items become unorganized and cluttered

§  Use bins, baskets, or boxes to contain loose, bagged, or small items

§  use containers in drawers, on shelves, in cupboards and 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.      Designate a donation 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 inboxes and out boxes (for papers, homework, mail, returns, gifts)

§  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 homework and projects being worked on
11.  Create Work Stations designate clearly defined work areas and store appropriate supplies right there

§  Set up 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 space and storage creatively – look for  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