|Clutter Control Checklist
A PLAN OF ATTACK
• Start with the area of your life that causes you the greatest pain
• Create a list of the areas you want to work on in order of priority
• If no volunteers, consider hiring a professional organizer to help
ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS
• When was the last time you used it?
• When will you (realistically) need it again?
• Why would you need it again?
• Who might ask for it?
• What would you need it for?
• Is it easily replaceable?
• What's the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of it?
• Is it beautiful, useful, or loved?
BEFORE YOU START
• Know what you want from your storage before beginning
• Maximize space? See everything you own? Cut down on cleaning?
• Make sure each storage decision meets these goals
• Collect up everything that needs a home before starting organizing
LETTING GO OF CLUTTER EXCUSES
• "It was expensive and I can't stand to see it go to waste."
• If you don't use it, it's still being wasted -- even if you keep it
• "I might be needing it someday."
• If you haven't used it in a year, will you use it in the next?
• "It was a gift."
• Once you receive a gift, it's yours to do with as you see fit
SORTING THROUGH IT ALL
• Set up several boxes as you go through each storage area
• "Keep" (items you know you love and use)
• Sort "keeps" into different boxes for each area of the house
• "Get rid of" (items you know you don't use and don't want)
• Throw items that can't be repaired or used by others in the trash
• Put serviceable items in a "give away" box to be donated
• Put valuable items into a "sell" box to consign
• "Not sure" (don't know if you want it and aren't ready to let go)
• Tape up the "not sure" box and label with the date and contents
• Put in the garage or basement
• Make a note in your calendar to check back in 6-12 months
• If you haven't needed anything in the box in that time, get rid of it
• "Need to buy" (is missing parts or accessories)
• "Need to repair" (requires some work before it can be used)
• "To return" (doesn't belong to you and needs to go back)
• Create a set home for everything you own -- no halfway spots
• Have a good reason for storing and item in a certain place
• Store like items together according to purpose
• Don’t forget accessories and related items
• Ex: store travel alarm, A/C adapter, and toiletry bag with luggage
• Store items nearest the point where you use them
• Store items you use most often in more accessible spaces
• Store items you use less in harder-to-reach areas
• Keep climate in mind -- heat, moisture, and insects
• Don’t store things in an attic or garage if they will be damaged
• Leave 15% of your space free for future additions
• Plan to go through your spaces to "purge" once a year
THE RIGHT STORAGE PARAPHERNALIA
• Use see-through containers whenever possible
• Label every container so you know what's in it without opening
• Use drawer dividers, baskets, shelves to subdivide larger spaces
• Make use of hanging space with hooks and racks
• Make use of low space with under-bed boxes
• Choose modular components that can adjust as your needs change
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