Learning to Let Go

How to make your home work for you

We know many of our readers start the New Year off with goals around making their living spaces more organized, so we connected with Lilian Chiu, Owner of Kirkland-based Peony Professional Organizing. Peony has been around for five-and-a-half years, and helps busy families and professionals eliminate clutter and set up systems so they no longer feel overwhelmed. “With the pandemic, the use of our homes has shifted,” says Chiu, “It really needs to be a productive space.” 

Chiu notes, “As humans, we attach feelings to our objects and that can make it harder for us to let go of them. We guide our clients in recognizing what to keep, and what to let go.” She provided Kirkland Lifestyle five tips to help us start the year out with only the things that serve us, and without the things that don’t. 

Tips for Starting the New Year Organized:

1. Tackle the Most Frustrating Space First: In your home, what's the one space that's most driving you nuts? Start there! It could be as small as clearing out a junk drawer (how did we accumulate so many cords!), or a bigger project like decluttering your closet and getting all matching hangers so that it feels more visually cohesive and you can get ready for the day with ease. Whatever the project is, tackling the most frustrating space first will give you motivation and confidence to move forward with other areas in your home.

2. Work on the Mail Pile for 30 Seconds Every Day: The most-asked question I get from clients is: “What organizer do you recommend for the mail pile?” Nothing! A small habit change will help you tackle the mail pile in the long run. When you get the mail, take 30 seconds right then to sort through it. Most of the time, you'll find junk mail that can be recycled, sensitive items that you don't want to keep but must be shredded, and mail that you have to act on (that should be moved to where you'll deal with it, like your desk). Doing this every day will keep the mail pile at bay.

3. Create a System for Incoming Kids Schoolwork and Artwork: Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the amount of stuff that comes home with your kids from school. If your space allows, create a bin for each kid so they can drop off their schoolwork and artwork. Once the bin is full, go through it and keep only favorites. I suggest moving those into a sentimental bin that each child keeps in their room. For artwork that you're ok with not keeping the original, I suggest sending them to Artkive so they can be turned into an art book or a framed mosaic.

4. Start a Donation Bin: Designate an area for a donation bin. As the kids outgrow clothing or you replace your teflon pans with cast iron ones, these items that are no longer serving you can go in the donation bin. Once it's full, take it to your preferred charity.

5. Label: As you declutter and organize your spaces, don't forget to label. This keeps the whole family on the same page about where things are stored.


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