R.I.P. to Our Stuff

Originally posted on MilTribe.

In the spirit of PCS season, I go back in my mind to last year when we had just arrived in San Antonio. Although our boxes were nicely stacked in every room, in my mind, it looked a lot like that picture below! It’s easy to become overwhelmed and think that it can’t be conquered.

Meanwhile, life persistently keeps “happening” all around us, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to stop and regroup! We jump into survival mode and that one area becomes our dumping ground, when we haven’t had time to clean, and visitors are coming to welcome us to our new neighborhood or family is coming to see our new home. I would do a quick sweep of the house, and drop these items in that room where I could shut (and maybe lock) the door, and no one would be the wiser.

As things start to settle down, we attempt to get back into that room and clear it out. But, sometimes, we just don’t have the energy to use our “free” time to clean up. If the pile gets really high, we open the door just to quickly shut it, again, because we get completely overwhelmed. If you’re in that place, call a friend, and ask them to come help you get started. Maybe offer bribes of wine and food…. I hear that works! Better yet, call a professional organizer, like me, to help you figure out a plan to get things under control.

garage organization tips

 

Quick Tips to Get You Started

If you find the courage to tackle that dumping ground of “I’ll deal with it later,” try these three quick tips to help you get started.

1. Go through your inventory of empty boxes.

Pull out all of the empty boxes you kept from online orders that you received and kept in case of return or in case you might need them for something else, and break them down.

I like to reuse boxes when I send items to long distance friends and family, but I make sure to limit myself. I have a few conditions that I review before just keeping a box or packaging such as its condition, how many I already have and size. I recycle all of the rest.

   2. Set a sorting time.

Find a comfortable spot to sort the items from a mix-matched box. If you don’t have a full free day, pick one or two boxes to start.

You’ll probably find that the items in the box actually do have a “home” somewhere else in the house. Make a box of those items, and return them to their home.

  3. Move things around.

If the items don’t have a home but can’t be tossed, try to rearrange the box so it will close. When items need to be kept in storage, the way they are arranged and distributed in containers can help to optimize space. Most of the time, when we pile up things, we just toss them on top of whatever was previously there, and don’t think about consolidating. This makes the mess seem much bigger than it may actually be!

If you decide to take on the challenge of tackling your storage room, I bet you’ll come across a lot of “I forgot I had that, and bought another one,” or “why did I keep this?” And, when you do, don’t be afraid to let go of that stuff! You don’t need it, and I know that you will feel so much better when you have your space back. Items you don’t need can be given a second life by donating to a local non-profit such as Goodwill.

The best thing you can do is just start. Start with small steps, and start conquering that clutter. You’ve got this!

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Melissa Rogers, Professional Organizer

With over a decade of experience in both teaching and management, it has been essential that I perfect my organizing skill set! The management of my classroom, and even my programs that I managed, depended solely on the systems I created and my ability to TEACH those systems to others. Since the beginning, I have always LOVED to put things in order! As a kid I would pull all of my mom’s shoes out of the bottom of her closet and line them up or pull all of the towels out of the kitchen drawer and refold them to match. I found it extremely satisfying when everything was in order. Bringing order to spaces is one of my greatest joys!
  1. Janet Barclay says:

    This is a hazard not only when moving, but if you have any unused space. For a lot of people it’s the garage. So much so that someone once knocked on our door and was surprised when we answered because the car wasn’t in the driveway. It was in the garage, isn’t that what it’s for? But that’s not to say nothing like this has happened to us.

    In our old house the previous owners had added a sort of sunroom on the back. We didn’t use it for sitting though; that’s where we put empty cardboard boxes etc. until eventually we’d bundle the up and put them out for recycling. The same happened with our spare room here, but we’ve finally got it the way we want it and haven’t fallen back into bad habits.

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      Yes, definitely! I’ve noticed since we moved into a bigger home, that I’m constantly searching for things to put in our home! Like a chair for this corner or a table to put on this wall….it can easily get out of control! Definitely have to keep awareness of it!

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