It Starts with Decluttering

Decluttering, paring down, editing, purging - it’s that first step to clearing away the excess so you can get to the actual organizing of a space.

You must declutter in order to open up room in your existing space. This is so critical to seeing the change in your home, especially if you are going through a bigger transition like selling your home or preparing it as a rental or Airbnb.

While it’s important to get all the open shelves and surfaces neat and free from stuff, you need to walk through each room, going through all cupboards, closets, and drawers. If these areas are stuffed to the brim, it’s harder for others to find supplies they may need in a rental scenario or for a potential homebuyer trying to visualize what their stuff will look like in the space.

 
Photo courtesy of Redfin

Photo courtesy of Redfin

 

Redfin has a handy list of where to start if you’re selling your home and they suggest starting with decluttering closets, cabinets, and drawers, “and then keeping only enough belongings in each to really show off the potential that space has to offer. Think of it as an extension of staging your home, but for your storage areas.” You can see their detailed list of 11 Things Most People Forget to Do.

These are also good tips to follow if you are preparing for a move or swapping out furniture in your home that has a different footprint than your current stuff. I’m meeting more and more people who aren’t able to move right now and want to seriously downsize their stuff, maintain less things, and clear out the excess. Once they are in a position to sell their home or find a new rental, it’s so much easier when they are managing and moving less stuff.

Speaking of less stuff, I’m off to do some Saturday editing and tidying in my own closet!



Transformation Tuesday #56: Reading Nook

Sneaking in this transformation before the day is over! I've been working with a lovely client on several spaces within their home got a chance to organize this little reading nook.

We had already done some paper purging and furniture-swapping in the study and guest rooms in our previous organizing sessions. They had a few chores they needed to tackle around the house so I asked if I could work on this space.

It's a great space situated off a hallway between a couple bedrooms. I love these projects because they are a great confidence-builder for those who feel overwhelmed with spaces like a bedroom closet or a basement.

In these areas, start with items that don't belong - remove any trash, recycling, dishes, laundry. After that, it's a just a matter of straightening up the books, art, and display items.

 
 

What are some of the "easy" areas you like to cross off your tidying to-do list? Let me know in the comments below!

Transformation Tuesday #38: Kitchen Table Time Lapse

The kitchen table is one of the couple hubs in my home that attracts a lot of clutter. I live in a small space and don't have my own office or work space so the dining area serves as my desk, project area, and an extension of my counter space when baking or cooking. 

I had a few craft projects that required a space to spread out and sure enough, the table was covered in calligraphy supplies, pictures, photo albums, and who knows what else! It's so easy to gather everything up into a nice pile and simply relocate it to another room that I can shut the door on. This method works if you have someone dropping by unexpectedly or don't have a few extra minutes to spare. A better habit that will help you control the clutter is to actually put each item back in their home when tidying. 

Calligraphy supplies went back into the hall closet, planner to the entry way, laptop back in its carrying case, and pictures back into the album. Don't forget to do a quick wipe-down of the table (I spilled some of my ink ... whoops)! 

 
 

What does your kitchen table look like? Do you have any tidying tips to keep your table clutter-free? Share in the comments below!

Transformation Tuesday #30: Kid's Room

I was thrilled when a dear friend asked for my help in tidying up her son's room. She was in nesting mode as she got ready for the arrival of her second child and this was a space that hadn't gotten much attention, especially as new baby supplies started coming back into the house. She is someone who always has it together, pays attention to all the little details, and has a knack for making things beautiful.

I wasn't sure at first how much help I could offer but realized that sometimes we just need a friend to help us out so that a project is a little less overwhelming. Her partner and their son were out of the house for the morning so we could organize baby clothes, diapers, and supplies without distraction. We were able to clear out a large box of items to donate which made it easier to reorganize the closet. 

 
 

Let's pause for a moment to admire how adorable this room is, clutter and all. I love the lightness and calm in this room and the fun pops of color. When a room or space seems really simple and easy to work through, those are usually the trickiest. On the surface, this looks like a simple kid's room to clear out a few things but there were all these little pieces of the puzzle scattered throughout. There were baby clothes from different stages that needed to be sorted through for Keep, Store for Future, and Donate, toys, diapers, supplies for newborn and toddler ... so actually, quite a few things to sift through and make decisions on what to do with them. All totally normal stuff you would find in a child's room or nursery but it adds up (especially all those tiny articles of clothing ...) and can be overwhelming just to THINK about going through on your own.

I love the final result of giving this room a little TLC - everything has a home again and it looks so inviting and lovely!