There are hundreds of design and decorating videos on Youtube today.  But, have you noticed how many videos, books and magazines there are about how to declutter and organize your home too?

You probably know that I’m an International Design and Decorating Professional.  What you might not know though, is that I’m also an International Organizing Professional.

So, today, let’s talk about organizing and decluttering.

We all want to avoid having lots of clutter around the house if you can help it, right? But, how do you know how much is too much clutter?


Keeping, baggage from the past will leave no room

for happiness in the future.

– Wayne L. Misner –

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Read through the following questions and answer them honestly. These questions are designed to help you to see your home from a different perspective.  Then you’ll know if you’ve become “clutter” blind and need to get organized.

  • Are My Counters and Tables Too Cluttered to Use Them? – Do you have to clear surfaces before you can use them?  This is the first sign that you may have too much clutter. Ideally, your countertops and table tops are clear of clutter so that you can work at or eat at them without always moving things out of the way.


  • Does It Take a Long Time to Find Things I Need? – If you spend more than five minutes searching for items that you need on a regular basis, like your shoes, wallet, keys, hairbrush and so forth, you may have too much stuff piled up.


  • Have I Ever Bought a Replacement for Something, Then Found the Item Later? – If you’ve done this, it’s likely because you haven’t found an organizational system that works for you. This is not only a waste of money but can also cause a lot of anxiety, stress, and guilt.


  • Do I Have Piles of “Things” Because I Don’t Know Where to Put Them? – You’ve heard the saying, “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” All of your things should have a “home” of their own.  If you can’t picture where the item should be, you probably need to make some changes and declutter and organize your space.


  • Does My Family Not Put Thing Away Because They Don’t Know Where Things Are Kept? – You’re not the only one who should know where things are. If you have items that the entire family uses, everyone should know where those things live. Also, having a firm rule about returning items to their proper place immediately after you’re done using them is a big help.


  • Do I Own a Storage Unit? – This is not necessarily a sign of clutter on its own; but it can be a good clue. If you do have a storage unit, how well is it organized?   Whether it’s a commercial unit or a backyard shed, the same rules apply for clutter and organization.


  • Do I Store Everything in My Garage Except My Car? – If you have a garage but you can’t fit your car in there because it’s full of out-of-season items, like lawn and garden tools or the Christmas tree, you may need to reduce your clutter or organize your items differently.


  • Do I Feel Embarrassed to Invite Company Over? – If your house is so messy and cluttered that you don’t have company over, you definitely need to make decluttering and organizing a priority. 


  • Do I Make Excuses About How My House Looks? – If you find yourself making excuses about how your home looks, you may have an issue. Have you thought about what would happen if firemen or first responders had to come into your home? Would they be able to get the gurney or stretcher to you? If this is even remotely a concern, you need to get busy and make things easier for emergency personnel, should they ever need to come in unexpectedly. It could literally be the difference between life and death.


  • Is my Family Embarrassed by their Home? – Has your family actually said that they’re embarrassed about their home? Is there an “understanding” among you that guests should be kept away from certain rooms or areas because of the clutter? Does your family often hide things in closets, drawers, or unused rooms? This is a sure sign that the whole family needs to make some changes.


  • Do I Hold Onto Items Only Because I Would Feel Guilty Getting Rid of Them? – Many people with clutter claim that they can’t get rid of the stuff because of its emotional value.  But, if you really think about it, when things are very important to us, we take extra special care of them. The problem is that some people confuse valuing items with avoidance to change, so things are often just stacked together haphazardly, rather than carefully protected and stored.


  • Do I Feel Uncomfortable in My Home? – When you’re all alone in your home how do you feel about it? Are you able to relax? Do you feel safe, cozy, and comfortable? Or do you feel stressed out about all that needs to be done?

If you answered “yes” to one or two of these questions, then having too much clutter may not be cause for concern.

But, if you have three or more, you probably need to deal with your clutter as soon as possible. You’ll not only improve your own life (and health) but your family and friends will benefit as well.

Stay tuned as we will continue to talk about how to declutter and organize your home in future blog posts.  In the meantime,


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