I met with a client recently who explained all the storage solutions she and her husband had attempted in an effort to create order. They have three kids and a small house and it felt to them like their home was bursting at the seams. Yet their storage solutions hadn’t solved the problem.
My comment to her was that one way to get things to fit better into their home was to have fewer belongings.
Decluttering is an important first step in the organizing process.
Decluttering should be embraced, not skipped, because when you let go of those items that don’t serve you, it is so much easier to organize what remains.
I was reading some old blog posts this morning and came across one from eight years ago in which I detailed some organizing projects in my own home. My 2016 self started twitching when I read this sentence, “Last weekend, I started doing some shifting of closet contents in order to help alleviate some clothes storage problems.” No, I thought! Don’t shift things around. Get rid of things! I know that in 2008 I had a lot more clothes than I have now. And I know I still have more than I need.
When we own fewer items we have less to manage. When we distill our items down to those things that we use and love, then we can easily find what we need and put it away. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Life is easier when you have less stuff.
Next time you have the itch to organize, see how much you can let go of before you start the actual organizing. Don’t move things around, move things out. Resist the temptation to buy organizing supplies or storage solutions before you declutter.
If you declutter prior to organizing, you set yourself up for success. When you have fewer items to organize (and manage), everything becomes easier.