The best solutions come after your problem has been diagnosed. It could be simply that the plans for your space are too grandiose. So, if you have things to which you want to say adios- watch today’s video for help with the types of rooms I see the most.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/tcddiag.)
Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about five reasons why your room is disorganized.
So, we’re talking about diagnosing your space. So, as you approach your organizing project, don’t just jump in and think, “I’m going to clean it up.” Stop for a second, think about what’s really going on here. Why did it get this way in the first place, and how can I keep it from getting that way again? So, here are some diagnoses that you can kind of hang your hat on as you think about this.
The first one I call “boneless spaces.” Just like your body has to have a skeleton to hold it up, your room has to have a skeleton too. It needs to have an infrastructure. This can be shelving, cabinetry, it can be furniture pieces, it can even be racks hanging from the ceiling. What you want to do to cure a boneless place, like an empty garage that you just moved into for example, is just go vertical. Use the walls as much as you can and clear all the flat surfaces. You don’t want to start stacking stuff all around the edges of the walls, on the floor, and then that stuff stacks up and migrates into the middle of the garage. You need to have the wall space used to its fullest potential. And remember, again, furniture also being a part of this, make sure you have great storage in the furniture pieces that you chose.
All right, “overweight spaces” is my next diagnosis. This is simply too much stuff in the available space. We see this in closets all the time. So you can’t pour a gallon of water into an eight-ounce glass. There’s just, at some point, simply too much stuff. So you have to pare it down. And no matter how great your closet system is, how much you’ve maximized the storage, how thin your hangers are, whatever, at some point you’re going to have to make decisions about that stuff and get some of it out. You can take whole categories of it out, like maybe seasonal clothing, and maybe that will help you, but you’ve got to get real about that if you have an overweight space.
The next category is “a clutter cemetery.” So, a lot of people have a guest room or a garage or a basement where things go to die. You haven’t made a decision about this stuff; you kind of push it out of one room into another; you’ve pushed it out by the back door, and it finally ended up in the garage. And you’ve got a whole cemetery full of this stuff that’s just sort of dead in the water. You really need to make your final decisions about these things. And one of the keys is to have a great disposal plan when you’re going to tackle a clutter cemetery. So you may want to donate a lot of it to Goodwill. You may want to sell some things on Craigslist. You may want to have, even, a dumpster for some of the items that you have in these kinds of spaces. So think about how you’re going to complete the cycle and push that stuff out of your home and out of your life.
Okay, the next one is called “a stressed out space.” It means there are too many functions going on in this room. We see this all the time. People have a spare bedroom or a loft area or a bonus room and they think, “Oh, it’s going to be my scrap-booking, craft, home office, exercise room,” or, “my meditation space, my home theater, and my play room,” or whatever. And so there’s so much going on in there, and that’s why it’s not working and it feels cluttered all the time. You can use room dividers and different screens and things sometimes if you can section off the space and make that work better, but mostly you just need to stop for a second and evaluate what are all the functions that are supposedly happening in here, and is that realistic? You may want to relocate some of those functions. Maybe you don’t need a treadmill, maybe you just need to join a gym and get that out of your house. There could be a lot of answers for that, but evaluate those functions.
Okay, the last type of room diagnosis is what we call “shared custody,” or “neglected spaces.” This is a shared space. Something like an office kitchen where a lot of coworkers are sharing the kitchen. Or a pantry, or a kitchen at home, or a common, you know, laundry room or something like that. So what happens is there’s usually a lack of ownership of the space, so maybe somebody organized it once and then the system just devolved from there. Everybody’s coming in, putting things wherever they feel like it, and what usually is a good solution is for someone to first have ownership of the space and regularly reorganize it, and secondly, for everyone involved to kind of have an orientation about the space. Very briefly, it doesn’t have to be formal, but you can use labeling and signs and you can briefly explain why you created this system so that they might have empathy for all the hard work you did to organize it.
So think through that, and if you need more help, you can get unstuck and look at those diagnoses with our expert team. We do virtual consulting all the time. We’ve done it since 2006, I guess. At clutterdiet.com, you can upload your photos, we can show you a solution for that and you can let us know what’s going on and we can get you unstuck and move forward in your project.
So check us out, and we will see you next time. May you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
You may have been searching for how to organize a room that won’t stay clean or how to handle hard to clean spaces.
I moved from a four bedroom three living areas and Two and a half bathroom. House in Texas. We moved to Indiana. We didn’t have enough money to relocate ourselves and household. So we rented 2-5’x10’storage unit and 1-20’x20′. Why didn’t we plan? We were working on finding employment anywhere and fast. My husband was laid off after 18long hard years in pharmaceutical sales. Now speeding up time it’s going on Six years. My oldest son is out of College. My youngest son is a senior in high school. We live in Indianapolis with my disabled mother-in-law. She lived by herself with home health to care for things for Ten years. That was a disaster. So my husband and I plus my youngest son live in the 2 bedroom 1 living 1 bath area of her home called a loft. This living arrangement has worked out wonderfully for my family.we moved to Indy do to my Husband finding comparable work. Now I need to get rid of our storage bins in Texas. By the way, the storage units are NOT climate controlled. Please, help me I’m a desperate lost in stuff person. Help me rid myself of my storage units…
I did give my son who graduated from college anything he needed to start furnishing his new apartment. He took my leather sofa and love seat. So one living room set. two wing back chairs and lots of kitchen things.
I cried the whole time we were moving things to his U-haul/truck. My crying was emotional loss but also my things are crumbling. I am almost certain that mice have been in some boxes. I feel like I lost 18 years of our past life in storage. How may I quickly get Reid of mattresses all the typical household things. Worst of all just mine a lone three closet full of clothes are in storage. I also had a pretty large home including a scrapbook & craftroom. I believe at least a quarter of my items are ruined. Everything from Mickey Mouse pillow sets to marble foyer furniture set. My entire life of things are dispersed among three storage bins. Where and how my I start to move my things? Please please help me…