The Most Important Step to Transform Any Space

As a professional organizer and interior stylist, so many people come to me saying the same thing: “Help! I don’t even know where to start!”

They want a  bedroom that makes them feel peaceful and calm, or an office space that makes them feel focused and energized, or a kitchen that makes them feel fancy and healthy - but right now it’s a messy and boring space.

Do you start by buying plants and art? Should you paint the walls a certain color? Or rearrange the furniture? Or spend a lot of money on fancy organizational supplies? Should you store everything in a different place? Or maybe buy tons of containers and label all the stuff? Or get the kids to help out more with putting things back where they belong? WHERE DO YOU START?! So many folks know exactly what they want for their space, but they are stuck and don’t know how to get there.

Here’s the secret sauce. Keep it simple. Focus on just one area at a time.

And most importantly, ALWAYS DECLUTTER FIRST. Sorting your stuff and purging should always be the first step.

Always always always. Or else you’ll get stuck in that chaotic, stressed tornado - feeling stuck and trapped by your clutter.

Once all that clutter is gone, you can take a deep breath, and refocus.

If you are tackling an organization or styling project this year, good luck! Here are some helpful facts and tidbits of inspiration to get you inspired and encourage you to PURGE FIRST.

Share below in the comments: What organization projects are on your list for 2018?


Clutter Factoids

British research found that the average 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12 daily (The Telegraph).

The average American woman owns 30 outfits—one for every day of the month. In 1930, that figure was nine (Forbes).

Over the course of our lifetime, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items.The research found we lose up to nine items every day—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys, sunglasses, and paperwork top the list (The Daily Mail).

A national survey revealed that professionals who see their colleague’s cluttered workspace are more likely to assume that the person must be lacking in other aspects of their job (OfficeMax National Survey)

We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time (The Wall Street Journal)

“Nine in ten (90%) Americans admit that disorganization at home or work has a negative impact on their lives. Their productivity (77%), state of mind (65%), motivation (53%) and happiness (40%) are negatively affected when there is disorder. Moreover, 20% of Americans report that clutter also harms their relationships with other people” (OfficeMax National Survey)

Decluttering Inspiration to Take Action! 

"The rule for purging is incredibly simple: If you don’t use it and/or love it (and I mean SUPERDUPERLOVE it and would fall into a deep depression if it was gone), then you must let go of it and move forward with a less cluttered, more blissful life. Cool" (Fay Wolf, New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks). 

“The point is, you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart. If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does”  (Judi Culbertson, The Clutter Cure: Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space, & Creating the Home of Your Dreams).

“Alchemy is the process of changing lead into gold. Inner alchemy (personal transformation) occurs when we clear our clutter—internal and external—and let go of things that no longer serve us well. This creates balance and space, a place that nurtures contentment, which I believe is true success"  (Laurie Buchanan, PhD).

“Having too much of anything results in chaos, confusion and clutter" (Geralin Thomas, Decluttering Your Home: Tips, Techniques and Trade Secrets).

“From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order" (Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing).