Strategies to Help You Minimize
by Cris Sgrott-Wheedleton
In a day and age where having “stuff” is everything, collections can grow and clutter becomes overwhelming. Minimalism is a new trend, but it’s not about just getting rid of stuff – it’s about being smart about what you keep, what you value, and how you store it so that you can find it when you want it.
Many of our clients call just before they move or just after they move, because that’s when the overwhelm of “stuff” becomes apparent. To minimize means to “reduce to the smallest possible amount or degree”. This is at the heart of Organizing Maniacs, and you can bet we’re here to help.
Minimizing as You Pack to Move
Many people start to think about minimizing when they make a big move. When trying to stay organized during a move, I recommend doing a box inventory. Number each box and write down the contents of that box. When you want to find something, you just consult your inventory. The secret here is that if something stays in the box for six months or a year without you thinking about it or needing it, you can probably get rid of it.
As you unpack and move in, you can make organization a part of the process of settling in. Plan out where things are going to go, and think about functionality and practicality of where you put things. Sticky notes are a great way to plan the placement of items.
Minimizing Before You Move
If you are trying to declutter before a move, it all depends on the timeframe. If you are in a hurry to move, declutter and pack at the same time. If you have some time on your hands before the move, declutter and then pack up. Just remember, minimizing isn’t just getting rid of unwanted things. It is also a way to organize the things you already have. Many people are reluctant to give away memorabilia, and you don’t have to. You can put keepsakes and special memorabilia in its own separate bin or box, and then tuck it away in an attic or basement. That way, you can have it there when you want it, or to keep for kids or grandkids, but it isn’t taking up too much space.
Minimizing What You Collect
Just about everyone has a collection of something. Whether it be coins, spoons, or stuffed animals, we’ve all got a special collection that grows out of control. If you feel the need to dispose of your collections, there are many options. You can sell the collection, donate it, or pass it down to another family member. The key is to make a decision about what really makes you happy in your space. If keeping something causes more stress than getting rid of it, get rid of it!
Don’t get so eager to get rid of stuff that you throw away or sell someone else’s collection. You might think your husband’s record collection takes up too much space, but he might want to keep them. Find things you can agree to get rid of by making a list based on how much you value the items. Look for places where you agree that a collection can go, and start there.
Minimizing is a process that takes time and effort (and often outside help). You don’t have to live a sterile, boring life to reduce some clutter. We can help – we’re just a phone call away!