Get Organized with the De-Clutter Club

The De-Clutter Club is a safe place for all levels of clutterbugs to learn to get organized without any judgment or pressure.  Shelter in place can be a productive process if you make friends with similar goals to organize and de-clutter.  Caryl Tynan, Senior Center Staff, will share a bunch of tips and tricks to motivate you and keep you on the goal to get more organized.

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Week 1 - Basic methods and goal setting.  Small organizing project.  One junk drawer.  Real time examples.

  • SMART GOALS - Make Goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time frame. For example; If your goal is to CLEAN OUT full kitchen in one day...the goal is Specific, measurable, but is it attainable and is your time frame reasonable? Depending on your energy level and kitchen size, and amount of dis-organization, it may be difficult to complete. My suggestion is to start small with 2 hour projects (including donation and action items). You will get a feel for what you can do in a day or 1/2 a day.

  • Using RAFT System will help you have an easy way of sorting and getting through any project small or large.  RAFT is an acronym for Refer, Act, File and Throw Away.  Details under each category can be reviewed here.

  • Project 1:  Junk Drawer.  Start small so you can get practice and gain confidence.  Any progress is positive.  Don't get hung up on one item.  If its something you really can't let go of and that you love or cherish, keep it and we can find a place where it can be honored, used, and viewed regularly.  Watch a video on how I sorted a junk drawer using RAFT. (coming soon).

  • NOTES:  Refer items need to be immediately taken from the home to prevent it from laying around.  Donate or give it to the person you want it to go to.  If they reject it, please accept that they would prefer to not have it.  I have used FREE posts on social media to give it away (for those who get rejected at the donation places). This is worth money and I would like to sell it.  Please know that selling on line and determining value may be disappointing.  It takes time to sell and many will not have the same value system, which can be frustrating for some.  I consider my time valuable so unless I am able to make more money on an item than I would pay myself per hour spent posting, cleaning, communicating with seller and meeting up with seller, I tend not to sell it.  Action items should be done immediately or at the least given a timeline for completion.  You want to FINISH the full project before starting another otherwise you will end up repeating the process again when you organize the area where you put your action items.  Just take the time allocated and include finishing refer and action items.
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Week 2 - Psychology of why you want to keep everything.  Learn to challenge your impulses and combat a hoarding situation.  3 common challenges and success stories.

Common thoughts that arise about keeping things & helpful hints:

  • What if I need it later on?  If your SMART goal is to live in a calm and uncluttered space, then you know that having too much is an issue, but fear of getting rid of a potentially useful item brings up anxiety or a feeling of wanting to keep it.  How long have you had it and not needed it?  Is it so expensive, I couldn't replace it?  Do you have any or other solutions?  For ex.  Boxes.  I may need it, it is sturdy, I don't like to waste it.  You don't have to waste it.  Many people are looking for packing boxes, you could easily fold them ALL down and give away.  Ex. 2 Tools:  You have 4 sets of allen wrenches, 2 hammers, 2 sanders, 2 saws....etc.  I use power tools but keep only one.  I have 1200 sq ft house...don't need two anything.  I am not that handy that I would ever use more than 1.  You can sell the tools or give it to a new home owner, adult child starting out, or other.  Ex 3.  I have 30 pcs of tupperware.  On your biggest family celebration event, would you use ALL 30 pcs?  How long do you keep food?  Maybe a week and if you used a tupperware 2x per day, you would need 14.  30 is probably too many.  In the beginning of organizing you will need to ask all these questions, but as you practice purging, it will get easier and more logical.
  • I could sell it later.  Time is money and if you consider your time valuable, how much money is an hour worth?  Selling takes patience, online knowledge (for true success), and the ability to deal with flakey people and understanding that selling 2nd hand doesn't mean you get retail pricing even with new tags.  If you can handle it, selling is an option, but put a time line on an item for if it doesn't sell, it must leave your house hold.  If you really want a way to recoup lost money, try bundling like items.  Sell 3 pots of similar color or sell them with plants in it and you may make more.  Sell 5 shirts of the same style or size. Make the offer attractive to buyers and worthwhile for you.  If you hard line every price, you won't be successful.
  • Sentimental items.  If an object is important to you, it deserves to be honored.  If you are unable or have too many things to honor, that becomes a challenge.  
    Photos can be organized in boxes, but if you are never going to look at them, why keep them ALL. Pick the best ones or digitally convert so you can preserve memories.
    Antiques and collectibles should be looked at too.  The internet has allowed access to things all over the world.  Things can be rare, but if no one is willing to pay for it, then it is what it is.  If you love it, cherish it correctly or let it go to someone who will.
  • It's new, I just bought it.  When decluttering you will notice a lot of repeat items because you probably didn't know where to find it.  For ex. I cleaned out my closet and found 7 black v-neck shirts.  Why?  It is something I like but clearly kept in multiple places.  Do I need, I kept two.  I had 8 nail clippers...same issue.  You can sell them, but again, unless you are willing to put in the time and effort, its best to chalk it up to a learning experience and get rid of it.
  • I just like or am obsessed with ___________.  This could be magazines, books, clothes, shoes, purses, bottles, dishware, glassware, etc.  If you are having overwhelming feeling over any one item and you struggle, you may need more time to process the need.  I collected Oprah Magazines and Roosters. I am not sure why, but it was hard for me to let go.  I kept magazines for a few weeks then let go of everything except first year.  Months go by and still in my attic.  Then I kept another few months and revisited my obsession realizing...its getting old and finally let them go.  No regrets.  My other keep item was roosters.  I had over 100 roosters all over.  Dusting them was a pain.  Finding places for a $3 find was even harder.  One day, I let go of 50% and kept the nicest ones, then a few months later, I got rid of down to 15 beautiful, truly cherished, very valuable roosters that I am proud of and only takes a few minutes to clean off.  Sometimes you need to get your head in gear before your body.  Its okay to fail half way and revisit.  You will get there with patience and effort.

Week 3 - Organizing paperwork and small items.  Tips on how to keep motivated.    Success stories and success sharing from the club.

Week 4 - CLOTHES and our closet.  Understanding what "sparks joy" which is an organizing theory from Marie Kondo.  Examples on how to let go and purge items in your closet.