Time to tackle Tote City

This month’s Longmont Times-Call column heads down into the basement.

L T-C column Feb 2018


This column should be easy to read on a desktop computer, but it might be tricky on your phone. To save your eyesight, here’s a transcript of the Longmont Times-Call column:

Yes, it’s organized. Look at this tidy basement, with its uniform stacks of totes, oh so orderly in their dull gray precision.

Those totes are all full of clutter. How do I know? Because no one needs that many things just in case. Anything you love, need or use is out on display or to hand. You don’t have to go searching in totes for what’s part of your life right now.

Is it time to have a look-see at those organized not-so-little totes and see if you can’t free up some space in the basement for the things that are part of your life right now? Is there some camping equipment stuffed into the garage that needs a home? If you clear out Tote City, the basement can hold all the stuff that’s stopping you from parking your cars in the garage.

The good news is, it’s less overwhelming to declutter when things are already in totes. If you take it a tote at a time, the city will start to shrink. Twenty minutes a day with a tote sounds ridiculous when you look at how much there is, but you’d be surprised what it can achieve. Tote cities don’t surrender in a day, but when attacked steadily and consistently, they fall.

Some would argue that as long as you have the space, what does it matter if the basement’s full? My clients often tell me they thought that too, until the day when they had to move came sooner than planned and they were faced with the daunting prospect of storming the city walls in a month.

Hidden clutter still has to be dealt with sooner or later. If you want to have control over where it goes, or would like to spare your children the huge burden of dealing with it, it’s time to head into Tote City and start sorting.

After all, if a tote is full of photographs, you can’t look at them and enjoy the memories. Let’s find the photographs you love and create ways to display them so you can adore them whenever you want to.

If a tote is crammed with your kids’ old toys, they can’t make you smile. Let’s pick a select few favorites, find a shelf and set them out for you to enjoy. Let’s go treasure hunting in Tote City and find the things you love, want and need.

Lucy Kelly is a professional organizer who shares decluttering tips on her blog, joyfulsurroundingsllc.com. Reach her at lucy@joyfulsurroundingsllc.com.

© 2013 – 2018 Joyful Surroundings LLC. All rights reserved.

Joyful Surroundings LLC


Everything feels better with an organized home!

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