How to stay organized: 12 questions to cut clutter

How to stay organized: 12 questions to cut clutter
garage tools organized very nicely indeed

garage tools organized very nicely indeed

I want to get organized, but how do I know what to keep and what to let go of? The answer is simple, but making it reality can be a challenge.

Whether you’re organizing a junk drawer, garage or an office, the first step is to determine the purpose of the space and what your goals and priorities are. Your purpose and priorities become the plumb line for what stays and what goes. That way you’re keeping the things that are most important to you and that fit with the purpose of the space.

Here are some more questions that will help as you determine what stays and what goes:

1. Have I used this item in the past year?

2. Do I have a definite use for this in the foreseeable future?

3. If it’s broken, is it worth fixing?

4. Does this item serve a worthwhile purpose in my life?

5. Do I need to keep it for legal or tax purposes?

6. Is it more important to me to keep this item than to have the space it occupies?

7.Do I love it?

8. If it has sentimental value, is it something I can take a picture of to remember it by, or keep a portion of it rather than keeping the whole thing?

9. Would it be difficult or expensive for me to get another one?

10. Do I have more than I use or need?

11. Do I really want to continue to take care of it or work around it?

12. Is it earning its keep?

I recognize that it’s hard sometimes to let go. Because the process can be challenging, write down your goals and purpose for the space you’re organizing. Ask someone to come alongside to keep you on task. You too can experience freedom from the clutter that crowds out what you truly value.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Brenda McElroy is a professional organizer and owner of Organized By Choice, which she founded in 2006. Based in Fresno, Calif., she creates peaceful and productive environments for those frustrated with clutter and disorganization. She has been featured in the Fresno Magazine and on KSEE 24's Central Valley Today Show. 

As of November 20, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List 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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