How to Organize Your Home, Your Life

A good question to start this article is: do you live or accumulate? The answer is not as easy as you might think.

By Christian Pedersen

Translation: Loretta Murphy / Eric Major

DeclutteringOur life is full of transitions, such as parenthood, marriage, divorce, death, retirement, chronic health problems, accidents, career changes and moving. Everyone knows how the process of change or simply the organization of a space can be tiring and stressful, and especially how we tend to accumulate over the years. It is difficult to know how or where to start downsizing or decluttering.

The good news is that there are home organization experts, such as Brad Borg. After helping friends and acquaintances (and even themselves), he and his sister Cathy, decided to open a business and do it professionally.

Wave talked to Brad about how to avoid accumulating “stuff” in our homes, and consequently our lives.

According to him, many people do not know how or where to start when it comes to decluttering or downsizing. “Sometimes we need an objective person to help us make decisions about what to discard and what to keep, as well as a way to dispose of unwanted items.”

Downsizing versus Decluttering

Downsizing is when you move from a large house or apartment to a smaller one. Furniture and goods need to be considered using criteria such as having the correct size or matching the new environment.

Decluttering is clearing your current space from accumulation over the years of things that are unnecessary, unused or have no sentimental value whatsoever. In other words, getting rid of goods that make your living space messy, cluttered, unnecessarily complicated and frustrating can restore peace, balance and harmony in your home.

Five Simple Tips to get You Organized

1. Do the most daunting task first – Start with the most irritating task. You will decrease anxiety and increase motivation.
2. Follow routines – Do the same thing in the same way, like putting your keys in the same place, your bags in one spot, etc.
3. Put what you like with the things you like – This will reduce time spent in indecision and chaos.
4. Pick up things off the ground – Avoid visual clutter and do not use the floor for storage.
5. Be decisive and take action – If you no longer want, need or like that object, then get rid of it.

How to Start Downsizing

Brad Borg, founder of In and Out Organizing. Photo: Eric Major

Brad Borg, founder of In and Out Organizing. Photo: Eric Major

According to Brad, first of all, take a walk through your home, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this item really fit in my new home?
  • Does it match the decor of my new home?
  • Is it something I really want to keep or am I holding on to it due to a feeling of guilt since it was a gift or because I paid a lot for it?
  • Is it an old item or should I have had it replaced years ago?
  • Is it something I haven’t used in the last five years?
  • Can I sell it easily in a garage sale or online?

Decluttering

According to Brad, focusing on areas that cause the most problems in your life becomes easier to work with these challenges, “When you look at what bothers you, think out what needs to be cleared out, either by creating a simple organization system, a maintenance schedule, hiring help, or just writing down everything and prioritizing,” says the organizer.

1. Use only one place to write everything down. Keep track by date.
2. Set a few goals for each day on your to-do list. Keep a list of things to do.
3. Group things close to where they will be used.
4. Divide your projects into manageable tasks.
5. Create a schedule that works for you.

 

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