This time of year we often want to sit back and give thanks—for family, friends, and what we’ve accomplished in the past year. You never hear anyone say they’re thankful for a closet filled to the brim or cupboards full of excess stuff. Usually the clutter starts creeping out into your home if your storage areas are not set up right. So let’s take this time before the holidays to get rid of the excess clutter and design our home so we can welcome people over without stressing about what our house looks like. I truly believe every room should be able to be picked up in 15 minutes or less—if it’s designed right!


  1. First define all the areas you want to clear up. It can become overwhelming to think you need to organize your whole home at once. If you make a list of the areas you want to tackle and then break it down to small doable steps, it won’t seem overwhelming. Just as clutter collects clutter, I believe getting organized in just one area inspires you to keep going.


  1. Now that you’ve defined the areas you want to work on, let’s take a look at why they’re clogged? Does the space have too many purposes? Is it trying to hold too much? Once you’ve defined the problem, you can work your way to a solution. What do you want and need the space to be used for? Be realistic, otherwise you’ll find yourself in the same spot.

For example: If you have a closet that holds memories, clothes that don’t fit, home decor overflow, gifts and gift wrapping, that’s way too much! Look at the space and the size of the closet. Then decide what’s really needed of your clothes, gifts, etc. and how many purposes the closet can fill. 

Another example: Mudrooms can easily become out of hand. If they’re feeling clogged, you may need to do seasonal switches more often. I know the weather can be fickle, but if you have another coat closet, keep the overflow nearby. Do you need easy access to all your hats and scarves or can you have current favorites available and the others nearby?


  1. Now we purge! Go through all the items you’ve pulled out of your closets, cupboards and storage areas and decide what to keep in that space,  what to keep but store elsewhere, what to donate, and what to dump. Keep asking yourself if this item will add to the space feeling lighter or clogged?


  1. So we now have the goals and purposes for each space. Re-evaluate if it’s set up to suit your needs. Do you need some shelves, hooks, or bins? I love taking advantage of vertical space by adding shelves in closets or bins in cupboards, and hooks where they’re helpful.  


  1. Now the maintenance part. Your space is set up and is neat and organized. You need to keep it that way!! If your room and storage areas are set up and designed to fit your needs, you should be able to pick it up in 15 minutes or less. I suggest picking one night a week to put the room back in tip-top shape. That way it doesn’t get out of hand.