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Storage products can be attractive but first and foremost, they must be functional for your items and space

Featured Article

Spring Clutter Cleaning Made Easier

Quickly and easily reduce your clutter and enjoy your space

In springtime, the words “fresh,” “clean,” and “clear” come to mind. Maybe you’re thinking about getting organized but, like many people, feel overwhelmed with no idea how to start. Here are a few tips from my business, The Clutter Doctor, Inc., to help you get started so that when the warmer weather arrives, you can be outside having fun.

First, identify areas in your home that are “hot spots”—areas that tend to get cluttered quickly. Now decide which area deserves your immediate attention. For example, perhaps the spare bedroom needs organizing first because company is coming.

Second, break the project into smaller, more manageable steps. Instead of spending an entire day on the project, dedicate an hour or two at a time. This prevents you from getting overwhelmed and makes it easier to find the time to do the work.

Third, sort items into categories: Keep, move to another room, donate, and trash. Ask yourself: When was the last time I used this? Will I ever use this? Does it still work? If you’re afraid of letting go of something, ask yourself why. Maybe the item evokes a special memory, or someone special gave it to you.

Be aware of the connections you have with your belongings and why you keep them or let them go. Even useful or beautiful things become clutter when you have too many of them. By the way, if you think you might need it someday, you would have already been using it. Only keep items you love and enjoy seeing or using, not because you feel obligated to keep them.

Keep in mind that most items in your home can be donated to family, friends, or charity rather than being tossed into a landfill. Always clean as you go, and donate items as soon as they are ready to be parted with.

Lastly, decide how to store the remaining items and only then, purchase bins to accommodate those items. My best advice is to not fall in love with a bin simply because it’s pretty or trendy. The bin needs to work for the items it’s storing and fit in the area set aside for the items.

I hope these tips are easy to follow and let you easily reduce the clutter so you can enjoy a fresh, clean, clear space!

Carleen’s website is clutterdoctor.com. She helps organize homes and offices and offers rightsizing and moving services, as well as remote coaching, workshops, and clutter support groups. Based in East Longmeadow and serving western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, she can be reached for a free consultation at 413.525.7345 and carleen@clutterdoctor.com.

"Even useful or beautiful things become clutter when you have too many of them. Only keep items you love and enjoy seeing or using, not because you feel an obligation to keep them."

  • Carleen Fischer Hoffman, owner of The Clutter Doctor, Inc.
  • Storage products can be attractive but first and foremost, they must be functional for your items and space