Closed September 2017

Where Do I Start? How to Get Started Organizing Your House | Clutter Video Tip

One of the best parts of a board game is that they tell you where to start. It’s not so easy when you are looking at a room full of stuff. Watch this video to figure out where to start.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today I’m going to answer the question I get more often than any other, and that is: “Where do I start?”

You know, it can be really overwhelming when you feel like your whole house needs work and your whole life is disorganized, so here are the steps to get started.

First, you want to gather up some tools. So my favorite tools are heavy duty trash bags, some things to sort with, like paper sacks or boxes, and then a pen and paper to take notes. This process brings up a lot of stuff that you need to capture, like things to buy or replace, errands you need to run, all kinds of to-do’s that pop into your head while you’re doing this, so at least those basic things.

And then you want to establish a staging area. Centralizing is a really good method of organizing, so you can make your bed and then use the top of the bed to be a staging area to have, basically, a large flat surface to sort with. So, you can have a large dining table that you don’t use, or a spare bedroom, a big patch of the floor somewhere, or if it’s your garage you’re organizing, you can use your driveway as a staging area. Whatever works for you to be able to get visibility to your stuff and make those categorized sorted piles so that you can see what you have and make those decisions about it.

Thirdly, you might want to establish what I call a supply spot. So don’t make the mistake of going out and shopping your organizing aisles of your local discount store and buying all these bins and things that you think you’re going to need for the project. Most likely, you may not need all of those things, and they’re going to become clutter themselves, so you don’t want that to happen. So wait until you see what you need in the project before you go buy it, but if you already have a lot of bins and little drawer dividers and other things that might be helpful, gather all those up so that you can select them and use them as you see fit. Then you’re going to decide what project to do first.

So think about what is the most immediately beneficial thing that’s going to make the greatest impact on your daily life. And then, also think about what you would do if you were moving in fresh to a new house. What you want to do is create systems that sustain your family on a daily basis. So, if you’re moving into a new house, what do you do first? You do the kitchen so that you can cook meals, you do the laundry room so you can wash clothes, and you do your bedroom so that you can sleep that night. So, that’s kind of what you would do in an existing home too. You want to have all those systems for those important processes in your house to be established and done and ready and stress-free so you can focus on other things. Then you want to move into storage of things that you don’t use quite as often. Maybe it’s the living room or you’ve got a video game or a DVD collection, a little less important than the daily cooking and washing. And then you want to move into, finally, areas of the house that you don’t use very often at all, like a spare room, a guest room, maybe it’s some kind of hobby area or something. So any of those things that are less often used or accessed are going to be a lot less important to start with than getting those crucial systems in place.

So, I hope that helps you. You can share your experience in the Comments, or if you want help, we’ve been helping people since 2006. In our Member Message Board Area, we have our experts seven days a week that can help you. We’ve helped thousands of people in 18 countries and we can help you too. So check us out at

We’ll see you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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