When the Clutter Goes, the Solutions Present Themselves

Lately I've been clutter busting with some families. They told me they were looking for organizing system solutions so they could create some order in their homes. I told them that when they get rid of the stuff that's no longer part of their lives, the solutions present themselves. That's because they end up having more usable space, and they have a greater peace of mind that helps them use the space more intelligently.

A few weeks ago I worked with a family whose main floor closet was used by everyone to store, over stuff and jam things into. It had games, toys, coats, Christmas stuff, and dining room table accessories. Everyone got irritated when they went into it. We took everything out of there and made decisions on what to keep and let go. Most of the games and toys weren't being used and got donated. Half the coats were old ones nobody wore. They were donated. On the bottom of the closet were two storage containers that
didn't fit and were very difficult to get into. We let those go and most of the stuff in them. The Christmas stuff was moved into their basement storage that housed the rest of the Christmas supplies. They ended up with a spacious usable closet that worked for them.

I worked with a single dad whose work stuff was mixed in with his son's stuff. He kept buying more storage bins as a solution. But then he was running out of space. Plus they were unhappily living in the midst of the chaos from the clutter. We sorted things out one at a time. Again, more than 3/4 of the stuff wasn't needed. We got rid of the things that were clutter. We had all the items he was keeping in an ordered pile on the floor. Then we simply put things away in a way that made sense to how he and his son lived. It's amazing how resourceful people are when they are no longer under the influence of the clutter. I think families try and figure it out while the clutter is still there and it's impossible. It causes a lot of friction.

I also instilled in these clients the desire to regularly clutter bust. I said it's a way to maintain the peacefulness they created. This is an easy suggestion because they are vividly aware of the contrast. I encourage them to work kindly together.