Overwhelmed by Organizing

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I’m not the most organized person in the world. In fact, I’m pretty messy, and it’s starting to drive my roommates crazy. I try to keep my things in order, but when I need something I find myself digging through all of my stuff and scattering my things all around. I try to clean up after myself, but sometimes I’m in a rush. I feel like I have too many things, but I also feel like there’s nothing I can get rid of. Do the experts have any advice for someone who feels buried by his own stuff? Thanks in advance!

It isn’t easy to be organized, says the creative team at Manalapan, New Jersey-based custom closet designers ClosetTech. The reality is that most of us just have too much stuff – and the statistics prove it.

Americans are buried in stuff. The average home has 300,000 separate items in it! That’s simply too much stuff to keep organized in our spaces, even as the size of the American home grows. While the average size of an American home has grown three times larger over the past 50 years, we’re still running out of space: 1 in 10 of us rents off-site storage space.

It’s not just us: the Brisbane, Australia custom home builders at Kalka say that their clients are looking for space and organization, too. Everywhere in the Western world and beyond, people are running out of space for their things.

But many of us have trouble downsizing. What can be done? Experts recommend choosing a plan or a strategy and sticking to it. For instance, you could commit to giving away one item every day. Career organizers recommend hanging clothes backwards and replacing them in the right direction after they’ve been worn – after a few months, you can see which clothes you don’t use. And once you’ve used a strategy to downsize, you can stick to your commitment with the “one in, one out” rule, which requires you to ditch an old item when a new one comes in.

Once you have a manageable amount of stuff, organizing should be easier. Invest in containers and space-saving upright storage that will suit your small college living space, and develop a system that makes it easy to know which container or drawer something belongs in.

Easier said than done? Sure, that’s true. But it’s clear that your cluttered lifestyle is starting to affect your happiness and your relationships, so now is the time to commit to change. Good luck!

“You’re the boss of clutter, not the other way around.” – Monika Kristofferson

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