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Kicking the Clutter: How to avoid common organizing mistakes

We have all heard this daily mantra: “I have to get organized one day.”

We all know a well-organized home is cleaner, more functional and pleasant to live in. However, getting your home organized could be a challenge if you are not making it your priority, and therefore, result in making avoidable mistakes in organizing.

Here are four possible solutions to help you get organized:

Prioritize your tasks

We have all heard this daily mantra: “I have to get organized one day.”

This is what we call venting, commenting without committing to organizing. Many of us lead such busy lives we put organizing our home on the backburner to do it when we have plenty of time.

Getting organized just doesn’t seem important. After so many times avoiding dealing with your disorganized home, you become stressed and ready to give up.

What’s the answer? The best way to conquer this challenge is to simply make organizing a top priority. Schedule a time on your calendar to start your organizing session. Start small and build on your success. One kitchen drawer is good enough to begin.

Organize before decluttering

One of the worst organizing mistakes people make is trying to organize an area or a room before decluttering the area. This is like the old saying: “Putting the cart before the horse.”

What’s the solution? Before you start your organizing project, you need to let go of all the stuff you no longer want, need or use. This will help provide the space you need to organize what you do have in a practical order.

Maybe you will find it easier to declutter broken, soiled or rusty items. These are not usable but they are taking up your valuable space. The things that come to mind are old appliances, televisions, computers, old cell phones, broken toys and tools.

Plunging versus planning

Some people avoid any kind of planning or commitment to organizing projects. They dive into the mess, get overwhelmed and quit before they even start. I love this quote that says it all: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” by Benjamin Franklin.

What is a cost-effective solution? Evaluate the space before you actually begin organizing; look over the area you want to improve. Make a list of helpers you might need. Make it a family venture.

Also, you will need big, sturdy garbage and recycle bags, and a few boxes if you are planning to donate or sell. After purging and cleaning the space, you might need containers to hold the items you are keeping. The dollar store has an amazing selection of good quality containers, hangers, shoe racks and other items that will help you to finish your organizing project.

Starting and stopping

Let me explain the starting and stopping way of organizing. You start decluttering, get bored, frustrated and quit. Or you choose something else to do, something you like, or something more pleasant. At this time many people start abandoning their chores and responsibilities. This is a perfect recipe for depression and overwhelm.

What’s the sensible solution? Start with a small project, one you can finish in 30 minutes. Clearing the kitchen counter’s clutter can give you a big boost and confidence to carry on.

I wish you luck organizing your home today for a better tomorrow.

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to

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