The Importance of Clutter

from the archives: Sometimes clutter is vital and that’s why you’re keeping it. It’s not important because your house papers are in those piles somewhere, although that may well be the case. It’s important because it’s serving you well, cocooning you and saving you from having to face something you don’t care to deal with….

How To Stop Organizing Overwhelm

In theory, decluttering and organizing are simple. You select what you still need and let the rest go. Find homes for everything you’ve kept and move on with your life. The reality, as we know, is somewhat different. Because although in the end it’s all just stuff, when you think about decluttering, all that stuff…

What are you doing instead of decluttering?

Everyone wants to be organized but no one wants to declutter because it’s overwhelming. You take one look at the guest room and you just want to close the door and make it all go away. You cede the space to your clutter and take yourself out of the house as much as possible. When…

How to Organize Even When You’re Sad

When the world stops making sense, it’s hard to concentrate on everyday tasks like decluttering. There’s a giant feeling of ‘why bother?’ hanging over everything and a feeling of terrible impotence. Anger turns inward to depression. So, the closet is a mess? So what? When you’re too mad or sad to declutter or organize anymore,…

Organizing Without Decluttering

Being stuck at home shoves the state of your house in your face. If there’s no rhyme or reason for where things go, the descent into chaos is swift and sure. “A place for everything and everything in its place!” you decide, ready to order some beautiful storage online so you can Get Organized. But…

Organizing Rules for Recovering Perfectionists

Which organizing rules are you trying very hard to follow? Do they help you or do they trip you up? Check out the new rules for coping with clutter without sending yourself over the edge. O.H.I.O. is Old School I don’t try to O.H.I.O. (Only Handle It Once) paper because that sets me up for…

Getting Unstuck

Carol’s closet was full.* Although she adored clothes, she knew some of her favorites had become more sentimental than usable. She was eager to thin the ranks so she could find what she wanted. She worked enthusiastically for our first session but when I returned the next week, her energy was dragging. She had a…

Organizing With Pictures While We Wait

It’s so easy to put off taking action when everything seems this uncertain but there’s usually something you can do to keep the decluttering and organizing process going. This week, let’s use our phones or cameras to organize. Something You’re Storing for Someone Else Maybe that massive dresser you’re saving in the basement for your…

Thing Purgatory

Are you still punishing your things for not being quite right? Instead of releasing them to find new homes or go to their final resting place, have you opened up a branch of Purgatory in your basement where the things you no longer want, love or need are condemned to stay indefinitely? Do you hope…

Be Kind

My father was reminiscing at the dinner table some forty years ago, searching for the perfect example to make his point. He leaned back in his chair and casually mentioned the epoch he was thinking of. “I think it was twenty years ago,” he began. We fell off our chairs in gales of laughter, unable…

Sentimental Stuff

If you have trouble letting things go, you’re not alone. Making decisions about our stuff is exhausting and difficult for many people. Each and every thing seems attached to us by a tiny invisible thread, and cutting those threads can leave us feeling unsettled. This quilt was a perfect example. The hand-stitching is uneven at…

Get Your Guilt-Free Gift Pass

How much of your clutter was given to you? Drawers full of unworn clothing in colors and styles that someone else picked out – pink fuzzy sweaters for people who love wearing sweats and a t-shirt. Athletic gear for people who live in dressy blouses and elegant pants. Shelves full of unread books someone else…