Get Organized and Control the Clutter

Professional organizer Liz Witts offers tips on how to control clutter.

Don't Let Clutter Control You

Organizing has a huge payoff. People don't realize how much their clutter can bring them down and lead them to avoid entire rooms of their homes.

Don't let your clutter control you. Start small, perhaps one shelf at a time, or one pile at a time and remind yourself that you don't have to tackle the entire project in just one day. It takes months or years for clutter to build up, and it won't unclutter itself in a day.

The payoff I am referring to is the psychological relief one gets from being organized. I believe it is better for your health to be organized because it creates less stress in your life. When items are easily found, you save time.

Organizing is hard work, but in the end you will feel as if a huge burden has been lifted from your shoulders. Here are a few quick tips to help you throughout the process.


  • When sorting through clutter, determine how frequently you use the item. This will serve as a guide for where you place it in your home. For example, if you use something every week, it should have a home in your daily living space. If the item is something you use just 10 times a year, then it should be placed in a more long-term storage space like the garage.
  • After your initial sorting process, review what you have placed in the Keep pile if the pile seems excessive. Sometimes when you give an item a second look you realize that you don't need it after all.
  • Display mementos sparingly, rather than entire collection of items from a certain event. Photos are also a great way to remember things like trip, parties or holiday gatherings. The nice thing about photos is that they don't take up much space in your room and can serve double duty as decor for the walls and bookcases.

  • Why do we check off "doubles" when we get our film developed? We all do it, and then we end up with a ton of extra photos that pile up and seem to multiply over time. Don't get doubles unless you are either positive that nearly all of the photos are going to be frame worthy or plan to distribute the extras to others.

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