Beginners Guide: De-cluttering and Organizing

Is your room, apartment, or house an incessant mess? Even when it is clean, does it still feel cluttered? Maybe you don’t even know where to start on that mountain of…stuff. Hey, I’ve been there, done that. In this post I would like to give you a few tips on tidying, de-cluttering, and organizing that have changed my life. And my bedroom.

1. This is not an extensive “get-your-house-in-order” list. It is meant to be a spring-board to learn more. I would recommend that you get Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up at your local library. It’s an awesome, fun, and easy read and very helpful.

2. What do you want out of your space? Do you want space for a desk dedicated to art, or a shelf by the window for your plants, or (my favorite), room for another book shelf? If you really want your place to be crowded, messy, and dis-organized, then help yourself, but I would rather a neat, bright, and calming space where I can just chill with a book.

3. Attack! The fun begins! I’m going to come right out and shoot down the saying we’ve probably all heard, “Do it cupboard by cupboard, drawer by drawer.” I am taking Marie Kondo’s advice, something that has worked beautifully for me, and so we will be sorting by category, not by place. When you go place by place, it is hard to see how much of one category of stuff you actually have, even if your things (i.e. scrap-booking supplies) are already fairly neat.
So, starting with category Clothes, (the easiest one!) pull out all of your clothes; dresses, shirts, skirts, pj’s, shoes, accessories, and purses. Put it all on one big pile. When you are sure you have everything, grab a trash bag for donations and sit down by Mt. Apparel. Remember that anything you happen to find after this, excluding items in the wash and the clothes your sisters are borrowing at the moment:), will be immediately donated, no choice. If you didn’t remember it before, it obviously isn’t too important to you. Now, simply go through your pile, one article at a time. Here are a few questions to help you assess your need of the items.
A. Does it “spark joy”? When you look at it do you say, “Yes! This is totally me.” or are you more like, “Nah, not really my type.” sometimes trying the clothes on to see how they look or feel can help you clarify if you really want to keep it. Remember, it’s not about getting rid of as much as possible, but only keeping what you actually like. And, I always feel better in clothes I adore, rather than something that is not high on my “like “list.
B. Have you worn it in the last 6 months? If not, you will most likely not miss it at all!
C. Can you replace it in 20 minutes for under $20? When you’re just not sure if you do or don’t like it, think about rarity. Is that sweater something generic that you can find cheap anywhere, or is it a bit more high end or unique?

4. So once you have gone through all your clothes, we can learn how to store! You can fold practically all your clothes. It is a bit more practical to hang dresses and coats, but everything else can be folded. Start by folding sweaters, jackets etc. as shown in the example below.

Don’t put them all on a vertical stack in a bin in your closet! When you have a large stack of sweaters, the pile can go up, up, up until it either hits the sky or your closet ceiling! However, if you put your sweaters vertically, you have easy access to all sweaters, not just the ones on the top, and there are no hidden, wrinkly sweaters on the bottom. You are probably like me, and less likely to wear something if you have to iron it. Again, I’m trying to make this post brief, so we’ll move on from clothes.

5. For your other things like crafts, collections, and misc., ask yourself if you really are going to use it, or if you want it clogging up your life. Also remember, tomorrow doesn’t come! If you don’t know when you’ll do that one project you probably never will. When you store things you need to keep, have them organized into like categories. A cup for pens, a bin for cards and envelopes, a file for important papers, a drawer for a relevant hobby, etc.

I hope you all have found this helpful and informative. One thing that challenged me in the area of belongings is keeping in mind that “my” things have only been given to me for a short time to use for God’s glory.

Note from Ginger- This article was written by my younger sister, Kylie. She is, obviously, very passionate about keeping things neat and organized, and keeps our bedroom in top order. I have to admit that the closet is a lot fuller with my stuff than hers!

Published by Pursuing Our Purpose

Welcome! We are two sets of sisters that are best friends; longing to live the purpose and design that God has specially planned for every one of us. We would love to have you come along with us as we learn what it looks like to be a true woman glowing with an inward beauty that comes from our Heavenly Father.

2 thoughts on “Beginners Guide: De-cluttering and Organizing

  1. The comment about sweaters made me grin, because there’s another problem with vertical stacking. (Or at least, it’s a problem for small people like me — it might not be an issue for taller people.) It’s when your sweater stack is on a shelf at forehead level, and you reach for one and pull down the entire stack! I’d never thought about putting them horizontally, but now that Kylie has mentioned it, I think I’m going to grab the stepladder and go rearrange my sweaters. 😉


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