Ask the Organizer – Decluttering
This month’s question is from a reader named Stacey:
Question: Dear Jessica,
No matter how clean I keep the house, there’s always the clutter that I can never seem to get a handle on.
Some of it is just laziness but most of it is not having a designated place for MOST of our things. We have SUCH limited storage space, yet with 3 kids (one still a baby) we have TONS of ‘stuff’.
And the kitchen is one of the most cluttered places in the house. Seconds: kids rooms and living room (and we have no play room.)
To get to the point (lol!) my question is: How can I carve out places to hold stuff in a house that has no already-carved-out spaces, very little counter top, and when we can’t hang things on the walls because the old horse-hair plaster falls out in chunks if we try to hammer in a nail?
You can see, I am desperate here! lol.
I know it must seem frustrating to be crowded into a not-very-accommodating place. Sometimes it’s difficult to answer this type of question because there is always too much to the situation that is not right on the surface.
For instance, is the “stuff” that you talked about clutter, or is it just the things you use in your day to day life? Is there any way to cut down on the amount of stuff you have? Usually, when there is a stoppage in the flow (clutter), it’s a reflection of something going on that is stuck on the inside.
Often, when the kitchen is cluttered, it means that you are not nurturing and feeding yourself enough. Does this resonate with you? If so, one thing you can do is start to become more conscious, more prayerful around the ritual of feeding your family. Once you put your intention in that room, it will become clear right away which items are serving you and which are not. Becoming present makes it very easy, not only to find the time to declutter, but also to let go easily because you will want to create the space that energizes you and the food you are eating. The reason we clutter is because we only do what we are committed to doing. If you are committed to feeding and nurturing yourself as well as your family, then the momentum and motivation will be there. When you are not, the stagnant, sticky, energy-zapping clutter shows up in that space. Like attracts like.
My sister once told me, “Jessica, people do what they want to do.” Nothing could be truer. If your kids’ life depended on having a clean and orderly house, with everything in its place, you would find time and the way. What if you tapped into that passion and drive now? What would your best idea be for your situation?
I don’t think it’s laziness that prevents us from acting. Ever. I think that what holds us back is fear and the feeling that we don’t deserve to be happy. To feel joy. To live in full surrender. We are controlled by the fear and it paralyzes us. When you connect your intention (or God’s) with your situation, it’s like a gentle wind at your back. Things flow smoothly. What would it be like if your life flowed smoothly? Paint a picture and it will be easier to realize.
On the very practical level, there are some inexpensive and attractive storage solutions available now like baskets, wicker dressers, chests, and plastic drawers that work wonders for holding the stuff of life. If you don’t have built in storage, and you can’t hang anything on the wall, look for pieces of furniture that are double-duty, such as coffee tables with drawers, bed frames in the kids’ room that have underbed storage, end tables with pull out shelves and small drawers, etc.
The decluttering part is more difficult, but imagine what your home would feel like if everything was in it’s place.
Just remember, clutter shouts and harmony sings.
Remember, I am on your team!
..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ Jessica -:¦:-
Jessica Duquette from
It’s Not About Your Stuff