Lessons learned while decluttering

28 August 2014

I love it when I find myself in situations that plant me squarely in my clients’ shoes. This past weekend, my friend Aby Garvey, who is an amazing organizer, offered to come to my house to help me organize my office. We swap services occasionally and it’s always fun and rewarding.

While we were going through my vast collection of office supplies (oh, how I love office supplies!), I heard myself say some things that I hear my clients say with a certain amount of frequency. Here were some reasons I initially gave for not wanting to part with items:

  • I’ve had it for years!
  • That could come in handy some day
  • I don’t use it anymore, but it did such a good job when I did use it
  • I worked really hard to get that
  • It was expensive
  • It’s a keepsake

Even professional organizers can have difficulty decluttering

The truth is that once I got rolling, it became easier to give up items. I knew how much better everything would look there was less of it. But, as you can see from the above picture of my office-supply closet, I did manage to keep quite a bit. At least everything’s stored beautifully.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • I don’t like using binders, so it’s okay to give up my copious binder accessories
  • If I have a two years’ worth of a magazine I’ve never read, it’s okay to decide I’ll never read the issues-and give them away.
  • People are happy to take your free magazines via a free listing on Craigslist
  • It might be possible to have too many colored sharpies
  • Mason jars make great pen holders

It can be hard to give up items that you’ve had for years and that you bought for a reason. But identifying those items that you’ll probably never use can free up space for stuff that you actually need. Out with the old and in with the new (or in with the clean space)!

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Thank you! I also find it very rewarding to give books and magazines to my local library.

Mitzi Roberts 11/21/2014 12:13 PM

Oh, I know that “it might come in handy one day”… lol. I have stacks of notebooks.. the old fashioned ones :)

Barbara 04/22/2017 02:34 PM

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About Janine

Janine Adams

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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