Tips & Tricks

COVID UPDATE: All members of our Declutter4Good team are fully vaccinated and (as requested) wear masks and gloves on site.

Clutter gone equals space and calm so whether you are looking for Organizing & Decluttering tips & tricks, some inspiration & motivation or some general information about donations, Declutter4Good is committed to helping you.

Top 5 questions you can ask yourself to determine if you should keep something:

(1). Do you love it?

(2). Do you use it regularly?

(3). Is the item in working order?

(4). Do you have space for it and does it have a logical ‘place to live’ in your home?

(5). For items of clothing, determine if it still fits and if it still suits your current lifestyle.

Take a look around you and start with a junk drawer, your linen closet or your bathroom cupboard. Ask the above five questions about each item you come across and if the item is no longer serving you, let it go keeping in mind that a life well-lived is about experiences not things.

Top reasons to donate when decluttering:

  1. Eco-friendly: donating items ensures less waste in our landfills and reduces the impact our consumerism has on the planet.  If you do need to purchase something, look for the best quality versus the best deal.
  2. Easy: no need to post, to measure, to photograph or to schedule buyers.  Just pack up your car and drop off the items at a local charity.
  3. Good karma: donating those items that no longer owe you anything and that are still functional and in good repair, is a great way to pay it forward.  The more you give away, the lighter you will feel. 
  4. Second life:  your items will have a second life with someone else who will be able to use and appreciate those items.  As an added bonus you will then enjoy what you have more! 
  5. Opens up space: not only will you have more space in your home but you will feel more in alignment with your present self by clearing space for new opportunities and experiences.

Decluttering and donating those items you no longer need or want can be one of the most rewarding experiences on the journey to reclaiming your life. 

One in one out:

-Without a doubt one of the biggest reasons for clutter in a home is that the household does not follow the ‘one in, one out rule’   

-When one new thing comes into the house, another item of equal or greater size should  be put in the donation bin (or the trash if need be)..

-Make it easy for the family by having a donation bin on the same level as your bedrooms and in an easy-to-access location.  In fact, have a donation bin on another level too.  That’s the key – it needs to be easy.  .

-Whoever brings a new item into the home is responsible for donating another item of equal or greater size.  

-Remember the space in your home is finite.  So the ‘one in, one out rule’ respects your home’s equilibrium and ensures you don’t max out the spaces in your home. 

Top 10 Reasons To Hire a Professional Organizer?

1). Think of a professional organizer as a ‘personal decluttering coach’.  Similar to a personal trainer they are going to find out what your goal is.  In this case, the goal is about the space(s) you want to have organized and decluttered.

2). Decluttering a space can seem overwhelming and sometimes even unattainable.  Again like a personal trainer, an organizer keeps their clients focused and motivated to reach their end goal.

3). Decluttering is physical work.  There is lots of leaning, bending, and lifting. This is what a professional organizer does.  All you have to do is decide on the items you want to keep or let go. 

4). We make the decision process even easier by sorting the ‘like with like’ and then bringing them to you. By doing so, it’s not as overwhelming and it’s more obvious to spot the duplicates or categories you have in excess. 

5).  We keep you ‘on task’ so that you don’t get sidetracked when you see an item that you want to get caught up in (ie. photos, documents) 

6).  Decluttering is emotional work for clients but professional organizers are able to stay objective (and as such, keep you moving towards your decluttering and organization goal).  

7). Working with a professional organizer will guarantee the organizing and decluttering process is dramatically reduced in terms of time spent on this project.  Usually in the space of an afternoon, a space is able to be completely transformed into a more functional and mindful space.    

8).  Like with any large undertaking, it’s easy to lose momentum after a couple of hours. A professional organizer will break the session up into bite size chunks so that the project is more enjoyable and manageable.

9).  Often clients are unsure what is the correct number of something to keep or they are unsure about letting something go.  A professional organizer can be a good sounding board and will ask key questions (always with your end goal in mind) so that you don’t ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ but as well so that you make a noticeable difference in the amount of stuff that you have.  As well, a professional organizer can answer questions about what and how to donate, sell, and recycle the items you come across.

10).  At Declutter4Good we take your donations away with us at the end of every session and donate them to local charitable organizations.  The bonus is that the items are physically out of your home (so your home is truly more spacious) and it saves you time and effort as we make sure these items are taken to local charities where they will have a second life.

The ‘Russion Doll Approach’ to storing luggage:

-Keep three travel bags per family member (preferably only for those family members currently living in your home).I recommend a large wheeled one (international travel), a small wheeled one (domestic travel) and a medium sized day bag/backpack or duffel bag (weekend travel).

-Using the wooden nested Russian doll sets as your example, place the smaller luggage inside the larger luggage.

-If you no longer need some of your luggage, take a photo and the measurements and put them on an online marketplace group like Buy Nothing, Facebook marketplace, Kijiji, etc.

Top 5 Reasons Why Organizing Needs To Be Easy:

1). Keep in mind that in order for spaces to stay organized and uncluttered, organizing needs to be easy to do (for everyone in the family).  

2). Fussing with bin lids that are tricky to open, having to always move one item out of the way to get to another or spending time each day or week looking for something is never conducive to being able to keep a space organized.  

3). Use clear bins so you can see the contents within or if using opaque bins (ie. woven, fabric) make sure to label them.

4). No need for fancy label makers. A Sharpie marker and a piece of masking tape will do the trick. Write in large letters and make sure the label effictively represents the contents. Use broad categories (ie. baking supplies, gardening accessories etc. )

5). Organizing needs to make sense. Sort ‘like with like’ and use ‘zones’ (ie. labelled baking supplies bin in baking ‘zone’ of the pantry). It then becomes commonsensical to determine where something is when you want to find it.

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