The Difference Between Decluttering and Storage

#Decluttering isn’t easy. Even when you find the time to do it and prepare yourself to keep, donate or trash all of the clothes that don’t fit, tchotchkes and other #junk, you can quickly get bogged down in the decision-making.

Many of your possessions will carry memories that make you linger over the decision or leave it for another day. After a few of these quandaries, you may just throw in the towel, shove a bunch of random items in a box and “store” it out of sight.

That is not decluttering — nor is it storage. It’s simply putting off the inevitable.

Storage is for things you use. You may use such things infrequently but regularly, like holiday decorations. You can keep these things from adding to #clutter by sorting it into dedicated, labeled bins and putting the bins in a predictable out-of-the way location.

You also have things you use frequently that need to be stored. Think of your kitchen cabinets and closets; they already hold any number of items that you’ll usse this week, maybe multiple times.

When you have #stuff that doesn’t have a “home,” however (meaning its own drawer, shelf, bin, box or display), you have #clutter. And as a result, any serious decluttering is going to involve a lot of #organizing.

So your goal in decluttering is really twofold: to weed out anything that you don’t use, and to make sure that anything you do use has a place. This is a tall order, the Organizing Blog is well aware.

Start small with a single closet, kitchen cabinet or desk drawer. Figure out what kinds of things should “live” there, and separate out anything that’s broken, disused or just in the wrong place. You can toss, donate, and relocate or store these items, respectively.

Leave only what you know you use frequently in immediate-access locations — and if you don’t use something frequently in its current location, find a place where it can stay until you need it. Otherwise, it will just get in the way.

Once you’ve organized and/or stored the #stuff you use, contact ClothingDonations.org for a free, contactless #donation #pickup if — er, when — you want to get rid of the lightly used clothing and household items you don’t. We’ll help find them new homes, and help veterans at the same time.

More Time at Home Means More Clutter

The #quarantines and #lockdowns of COVID-19 have most people spending more time at home, says Apartment Therapy — and more time at home means more household #clutter. Not only have you stocked up on canned goods and work-from-home supplies, but there may also be school projects, toys and games laying around. To maintain a sense of order, do the little necessities such as taking out the trash and doing the dishes. If you find time in your schedule, tackle a larger #organization project you’d been putting off.

Hygge: Cozy Without Clutter

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-guh”) is a concept celebrated mostly in Denmark that heralds the creation of a cozy, welcoming living space. Originally, the concept is thought to be the indoorsy, affirming answer to Scandinavia’s long, bleak winter nights.

Since English-speakers don’t have a word for the concept, picture yourself relaxing in a warm ski lodge after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing, with cup of tea or hot chocolate in hand, a crackling fire in the hearth, and a wooly blanket in your lap.

Nice, huh? Now bring that feeling home.

What’s missing from that picture is all of the #junk, papers and #clutter you’ve collected over the years. Because at the core of the #hygge concept is #simplicity — cognizant of the fact that extra #stuff is #anxiety-producing, hygge takes a #minimalist approach.

#Minimalism gets a bad rap as stark or cold, says Simple Lionheart Life, a minimalist blog, and Scandinavia’s penchant for modern design might underline that misconception. But hygge is a different kind of minimalism that’s all cozy blankets, candles and #calm.

To embrace it (and survive the long, socially distanced winter), you’ll need to get rid of the #clutter that’s overrunning your space; it’s distracting from what’s really important and may actually be getting in the way of your sense of inner peace.

“Hygge isn’t about ‘things’ at all,” the blog says. “It’s more about slowing down and being present to appreciate and enjoy your life. And finding ways to celebrate ordinary moments and make them special.”

To embrace it, figure out what you value and what makes you feel good about your home. Then, get rid of everything that isn’t contributing to that feeling. Throw the stuff somebody might still want into boxes and bags, and contact ClothingDonations.org for a donation pickup.

Keep your favorite blanket, a candle, and a couple of good books or board games, of course, because once you #declutter your home, you’ll want to relax and enjoy how #clean and #cozy it is mindfully — hyyge-style — by yourself and with family and friends.

Cut Kitchen Clutter in the New Year

Experts agree that small, incremental New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep and may turn into healthy, lifelong habits. For example, Good Housekeeping suggests keeping the kitchen clutter-free by putting all recipe cards, small appliances and incoming groceries in their place immediately. One study found that women who were surrounded by kitchen clutter tended to eat more cookies, the magazine says; so, this resolution can contribute to other common goals such as losing weight and eating right.

So You Shopped the President’s Day Sales

Happy President’s Day!

We at the Organizing Blog know that we’re a little late in telling you this, but since retailers were trotting out the deals over the long weekend, you may have celebrated your day off shopping for mattresses, furniture or other household goods.

Having recently moved in to a new home, we did the same. And some of the discounts were incredible! But that doesn’t mean we bought a lot — some things weren’t that great a deal, most we didn’t need, and many would have created more problems than they solved.

Unless you’re starting over, any decorative item or piece of furniture you buy is likely redundant. If you’re short on space, you need to make sure whatever you buy actually replaces an existing item, or you’ll wind up surrounding yourself with #clutter.

You can buy things and still avoid this problem. Is your living room already crowded with furniture and knickknacks? One new couch might be able to do the work of two old loveseats, or a new wall unit could help you make sense of what’s on display.

Some furniture — like beds frames with storage underneath — can actually create space by offering a place to store some of your stuff out of sight. But you’ll need to observe a strict out-with-the-old policy to avoid #clutter.

With large items like beds, mattresses and couches, the ultraminimalist one in/two out rule doesn’t always apply. But be sure to get rid of the one old thing as quickly as you find its replacement, and donate it to ClothingDonations.org if it has some life left in it.

For smaller stuff, make an attempt to find two items in the same category to get rid of as soon as something else enters the inventory. This will preserve the thrill of the shopping “hunt” while slowly downsizing your possessions — or at least keeping them in check.

Observe this simple #decluttering rule, and before you know it, any new stuff you find at the weekend sales will help your home look brand new, stylish and spotless, and the old stuff that survives will consist only of things you truly cherish.

You don’t necessarily have to stop shopping to keep the #clutter at bay!