Take the clutter quiz
Do you have a serious problem with clutter and disorganization?
The professional organizers we interviewed suggest asking yourself these questions and providing answers on a scale of 1 (perfectly organized) to 10 (overwhelming clutter). If your responses tend to be (5) or higher, you have a problem.
1. Does the amount of clutter in your home, car, or office seem overwhelming?
2. Do your de-cluttering and re-organizing efforts repeatedly relapse into disorder?
3. Are you ashamed when visitors come to your house?
4. Do you refuse to let visitors inside your house?
5. Do you own multiple copies of the same item — nail scissors, charging cords, a specific book, flashlights — because you couldn’t locate the original item when you needed it?
6. Do you keep something that’s broken because you intend to repair it someday?
7. Do your closet and dresser include clothing more than 10 years old (OK, fine, we’ll make exceptions for a few vintage and costume pieces).
8. Do your family and friends express concern about disorders in your home?
9. Is it hard for you to pare down your things because they might be useful someday?
10. Do you save appliance boxes, fast-food boxes, and other things that most people automatically throw out?
11. Does your concern about saving food for an emergency result in a larder that could easily feed everyone on the block?
12. Do you tend to get distracted during chores, shifting from one task to another before the first job is finished?
Clutter solution: Tough-love questions will help set you free
To clear out and clean up, do these four things
1. Ask yourself the hard questions about your stuff
For sentimental possessions (heirlooms, gifts, memorabilia), ask: Do I love this? When was the last time I used it? Which do I want more — this, or the space it’s taking up? If I disappeared today, what would my survivors do with this?
For projects (art, crafts, quilting, sewing), ask: Do I have the skills necessary to start and finish this project? When is the earliest I can start working on this project? How long will it take me to finish? Is it worth my time and energy to keep these materials?
2. Re-evaluate what you’re storing
For stacks of mail, enter addresses and other information into a digital file, then shred papers.
For shelf-stable food, ask:
• Is it still edible? If the shape of the container has swollen or shrunk, throw it away.
• How long have I had this can, box or package? If the answer is “Longer than six months,” donate it to charity. (Goodwill and ARC accept shelf-stable food that hasn’t exceeded the expiration date.)
3. Take a look at the things in your commercial storage unit
Ask: When was the last time I went through this stuff? How much am I paying annually in storage fees? If I disappeared today, what would my survivors do with this stuff?
4. Establish boundaries
• Before buying something, ask: Do I really need this?
• Use the “one in, one out” rule: When you buy something, donate or throw away its predecessor. Buy a shirt, remove a shirt; buy a vase, donate another one.
Need help organizing your home? We use and recommend Major Mom
303.991.5478 Denver Metro
719.948.8788 Colorado Springs
To read the rest of this story click here: Time to declutter and organize? The professionals share their secrets – The Denver Post