De-clutter your house while spring cleaning

De-clutter your house while spring cleaning

Submitted by Linda Goldman of Altogether Organized

Too much stuff in our environment gets in the way of our ability to work, relax or even think clearly. So to make your home more calm and clutter-free, follow these tips.

Assess the stress

First identify what areas in your home get in the way of your ability to work, relax or think. If this applies to more than one room, prioritize what space to focus on first and start there.

Evaluate your items

Consider each item in a room and ask the following questions:

Do I use this? Maybe you were sure you would use that espresso maker when you bought it two years ago, but you have yet to use it so far. What is the likelihood you’ll start using it now? Anything that you haven’t used in the last two to three years is probably something you will not use in the years to come.

Do I like this? Does the lamp that your great aunt left to you make you cringe every time you look at it? She probably wouldn’t want you to have something in your home that you don’t like, and even if she would, you deserve to decorate your home with items that are appealing to you. Ideally, we should use and/or like everything in our homes.

Does this make sense for me to keep anymore? Determine if the item relevant to your life now. Are you holding onto items that once made a lot of sense for you to possess but don’t reflect how you live your life now?

Do I feel like I should use or like this, but don’t? How many of us have bought exercise equipment that we were so sure we’d use but now only hang laundry on it? We’ve all purchased something that we later regretted. We are entitled to change our minds.

Do I have more than I need of this item? Ask yourself how many of any one thing you really need. Sometimes we hold onto items because we’re afraid that we’ll someday need them and don’t want to have to repurchase them. While it’s true there is a cost in having to replace items, there is also a cost to clutter and excess.

Focus on the spaces you control

Focus first on the rooms that predominantly contain your stuff. Although the rooms that may stress you out the most may not be yours, you need to begin by working on the spaces you control. If it’s your teenager’s room or your spouse’s work space that’s cluttered, encourage that family member to follow these tips so they can begin to clear out their spaces on their own or with your help.

Our possessions can add to or detract from the quality of our lives, and clutter can drain our spaces as well as our energy. Take the time to do some clearing as you do your spring cleaning to ensure the things you own serve both you and the environment you want to create in your home.

Goldman is passionate about helping others simplify and bring order to their lives. She founded Altogether Organized in 2002 to help her clients transform their homes or workplaces from chaotic and cluttered spaces into peaceful, calm and efficient environments.

Before becoming a professional organizer, Goldman worked for more than 15 years in corporate training, human resources and management where she developed exceptional organizational skills. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois, is a certified professional organizer and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. When not organizing others, Goldman helps keep her husband and three children organized.

As of July 11, 2011, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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Judy Mawhinney


Great article: I've been working at simplifying my space for several years now. Still too much stuff.

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