Closed September 2017

3 Pitfalls of Sorting Out Your Stuff! | Clutter Video Tip

Dread Pirate Roberts knew a thing or two about Fire Swamps and Cliffs of Insanity. But he had to learn about pits the hard way, just like the rest of us. Learning how to overcome the common pitfalls of organizing your castle doesn’t have to be inconceivable. Watch this video for strategies to navigate these common organizing hazards. Then you can really have fun storming the castle!

(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at


Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about the three pitfalls that happen during the sorting process. The reviewing and sorting process is the first step of your organizing project. So, you’re all motivated, you’ve got the garage open, and you’re ready with your coveralls on or whatever you’re going to do, and you’re about to start pulling everything out and sorting it into some kind of staging area. In this case, it might be the driveway. And I want to share with you that there are three pitfalls to watch out for as you are sorting through your stuff that are going to slow you down, de-motivate you, and generally make you less successful.

So, the first pitfall is what we call “The Scary Phase” of the project. So, you are going to take your whole garage apart for example. And when you see everything spread out and it’s all taken apart, it looks overwhelming. And it gets worse before it gets better. But this visibility is required for you to be able to make the decisions about your stuff. So, just know that that scary phase is coming, you’re going to see it all disassembled, and then you’re going to know that that is exactly right and you are on-track. So get through that scary phase and go on.

So, the next thing you’re going to run into is another pitfall, what I call “Memory Lane.” So, you might run into a box of small mementos like maybe a box full of photographs and you’re going to be tempted to sit down and go through those things. If you do that, it’s going to slow you way down, that scary phase is going to take much longer than you thought, and you might even get bogged down with some heavy emotions about some of those things. So, just understand that your sorting and reviewing process should be fast. It’s a raw sort, you’re trying to just get things into categories; you’re not trying to do the micro level of organizing where you’re going to be organizing pictures by date or anything. Not at this point of your project.

So the third pitfall is what we call the “Elsewhere” pitfall. You’re going to be doing all this sorting and you see all the stuff spread out and you say, “Oh my gosh, that goes somewhere else in the house. I need to go put that away in the kitchen,” or, “I need to put that away in my son’s room,” or, “I need to give this to a person.” So we suggest that you take a lot of grocery sacks with some Sharpie markers and you can write on there the different rooms of the house or you can write a different person’s name like this and you can sort those things into the sacks and keep going. Don’t let yourself get distracted running those things around to the different places in your house.

So if you avoid those three pitfalls you’ll get through the sorting and reviewing phase, and you’ll be making all those decisions, and you’ll be going to the next phase of your project so that you will be finding homes for all of those things, and you will have a finished system in no time.

If you need help, come visit us on our web site at, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for tips to get through the hard part of organizing or how to tackle big projects.

Click here for FREE decluttering help NOW!

Leave a Reply

ParadeRachael RayInStyleCNBCFast CompanyThe Boston GlobeWomen's DayWGNToday