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Get Organized Week 1: Declutter


This 5-part series may inspire you to organize and simplify your home. It’s a new year and a fresh opportunity to clean up, clean out and develop ways of storing and managing your stuff

Week I – Declutter

You know that overwhelming feeling on Christmas morning when you are surrounded by paper, boxes and so much stuff? How do you handle it? You may use a triage system to tackle the job, though likely do not use that specific word. Triage is a medical term referring to how you treat patients depending on the degree of their needs.  This can be applied to decluttering your home.

Determine the needs.

Make a plan.

Have any tools you may need.


On Christmas morning you may have looked at that mess and approached it in this way: Garbage, recycling, things to put away. Breaking the task into smaller steps helps to avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed. Getting rid of clutter makes you feel better.

Choose an area to declutter. Many like to clean out their clothes in January. That can be a huge undertaking. Don’t despair. Decide on your plan.

You will need two bags: one is clothes to give away and the other is clothes to be discarded. A third pile is clothes to keep.

Start in one area, the cupboard or dresser and work your way through. Each item can be sorted into one of the three piles or bags. With a plan this task will seem easier.

When done, consider your hangars. Are they mismatched and facing every which way? Treat yourself to matching hangers which will make your cupboard tidy and seem less cluttered. If you are a fan of things that are “matchy-matchy”, hang up the clothes that you are keeping in like colours or types of clothing. Sounds like a lot of fussing? You will have to do this likely one day a year, BUT you will enjoy looking in that cupboard on the 364 days to come.

This approach can be used with any area that needs to be decluttered: tools, dishes, the junk drawer, a pantry, books, toys.

         Decluttering toys can be a unique challenge. How you approach it depends largely on the ages of your children. Younger children are likely best left out of the process. Still use the triage system: Determine the needs.  Make a plan. Have any tools you may need. Begin. Older children can understand the system. One bag for toys to give away.  One bag for discards. The third area is for toys to keep.

         Decluttering is not an enjoyable task, but sure can be enjoyed when you are done. Determine the needs, have a plan, gather any tools you might need such as boxes or bags and begin.  The secret of getting ahead is getting started.