Closed September 2017

Just Isn’t Working? 3 Subtle Mistakes in Organized Spaces | Clutter Video Tip

Gaffes, flubs and blunders… Raise your hand if you have never made a mistake organizing your space. Me too! 😉 Watch this video to see the common mistakes people make when organizing their home.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program. Have you ever done an organizing project or created a work space, and something about it is not quite working, and you don’t know why? Well, today we’re going to talk about three reasons that might be the case.

The first reason is lighting. I’m standing here in my closet, because I just replaced the two dim light bulbs that were in here from the builder with these great bright LED fixtures that save money and energy and make the space work better. So now I can tell navy apart from black, and I can see the colors in here better, and it just feels better in here. So, think about lighting in closets. It’s very overlooked. Also, though, there are three types of lighting for any room that you should consider. First, task lighting, which is very targeted light on a certain work surface. So, it could be a desk lamp, or it could be under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen. Then you have ambient lighting, which is the overall lighting in a room. And then you have accent lighting, which is more decorative in nature, and that could be like a spotlight for a piece of artwork or an up-light for a plant or something. So, in terms of functionality, what you want to consider is the task lighting and the ambient lighting, and really check those out, and make sure that you have enough brightness to do what you need to do.

The second factor I want you to consider is privacy or noise issues. Sometimes, that doesn’t feel good in a room, especially in a home-office situation. You’re trying to have consultations or phone conversations and that isn’t quite working because there’s too much ambient noise or you don’t want people to hear what you’re saying. So the first thing I would suggest is a headset, because you can then have that conversation in your ears and you can drown out some of the ambient noise if that’s an issue for you. Also, we love headsets to be more productive. You have your hands free to type or do something else.

Also, you can consider white noise as a way to drown out ambient noise and create privacy for yourself. You used to have to buy a white noise machine. Now you can get apps on your smart phone that create white noise for you. Most of them are free. So check that out. Also, there’s a web site called “noisily” that allows you to create your own custom white noise. It’s free also. And you can layer sound upon sound so you can have babbling brook over train tracks over rainfall with thunder, or whatever you want to do. I use it and I really like that.

So, another factor that you want to consider is the ergonomics. The furniture placement, even things like your chair height. There are things like that in a home-office environment particularly that are difficult and make the space not quite work or feel funny. And something as simple as having your back to the door can make a space feel uncomfortable. So, we have an innate human instinct where if we can’t see someone approaching us, we don’t really feel safe. And so if your back is facing the door, try to rearrange the furniture. I’ve done this so many times in client’s offices where then you can see whose coming and it just…it really does feel better. And it sounds silly, but it’s true. If you can’t rearrange the work space, you can put some kind of reflective surface in front of you like even a shiny vase or a mirror or something, so at least in your peripheral vision, you can see somebody approaching, and it really does make a difference and make you feel safer and more easily relaxed in the space so that you can do your work. Also, you can think about the height of your chair, whether you need to have a wrist cushion, you can use a headset to save your neck muscles, like we already mentioned, so think about the ergonomics, and make sure that that is flowing nicely for you so that you can do your work most effectively.

So, if you can’t figure this out, you can ask a friend to trade organizing favors with you and come in with her objectivity and solve some of these problems for you. Because sometimes, your friend can see these things before you do. You’ve been looking at the problem too long. So, we suggest this very often, not only to make the project more fun, but to give you that fresh set of eyes so that you can solve these very subtle problems that you might be having. And if you also need objectivity on your project in general from an expert, we do that all the time in our Member Message Board area. You can come and check us out at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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