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Get Organized And Free From Clutter

Get Organized And Free From Clutter



[This article first appeared here in June 2020 and has been updated and revised.]

Winter is here and, for many, it's a good time for cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of clutter. But successful decluttering also requires a plan. 

With so many people having to work from home this year, staying organized is more critical than ever. And, because they are at home, this usually means dealing with clutter.


Personal Stuff: How Much is Too Much?

One of the seemingly universal truths about "stuff" is that the longer we stay in one place, the more disorganized and cluttered that place becomes. And, for most, it can be a challenge to stay ahead of the clutter, to stay organized, and to get rid of some of our junk.

Unlike most creatures, humans have a natural tendency to accumulate things. And it's not just in our homes. We do this in our workplaces as much as we do in our households. All of which means that many people at home and at work are often trying to figure out how to best organize their existing storage areas.

How much stuff do we have in America? Quite a bit apparently.

According to one professional organizer, the average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards. And where do we keep it all? Turns out that the average size of the American home has nearly tripled in size over the past 50 years, according to NPR. But apparently that's not enough room for our stuff - one out of every 10 Americans rent offsite storage.

And there are probably fewer metrics that give a clearer picture of our tendency to accumulate belongings than the self-storage industry.

As one article noted,

"The United States has upward of 50,000 storage facilities, more than five times the number of Starbucks. Currently, there is 7.3 square feet of self storage space for every man, woman and child in the nation. Thus, it is physically possible that every American could stand—all at the same time—under the total canopy of self storage roofing."

Why does all this matter? Because the number one cause of clutter is, well... we have too much stuff!


Decluttering, Junk Removal, and Organizing Your Storage

Decluttering and organizing your storage areas can often result in the need for junk removal. But we understand that the process is not always easy.

In fact, for many, the task is often overwhelming!

When our personal belongings, household goods, and other items become too much, trying to fit everything into our storage closets, attics, and garages can end up feeling like we're playing Tetris® with our stuff - constantly rearranging, shuffling and stacking things. 

But there's hope...

Professional organizers typically do quite well here in the United States. And this is largely due to the vast number of people here who have homes too full of stuff.

As one organizer pointed out on her website,

"Research shows that people use 20% of what they own 80% of the time. The rest takes up space, mostly untouched. Consider the things in your home, the clothes on your body, and even what you take in your luggage on vacation."

What we tend to do, however, is group and re-group our belongings or relocate them in an effort to "organize" our loving spaces. Stuffing, piling, hiding, and rearranging everything often results in a great deal of activity but very little change or results.

A better approach is to clear out everything from their hiding places, arrange it in categories, and then sort through it with the intent of getting rid of as much as you can.

But what if you need it?

One pair of media experts known as The Minimalists cobbled together what they refer to as the 20/20 Rule.

"Anything we get rid of that we truly need, we can replace for less than $20 in less than 20 minutes from our current location. Thus far, this hypothesis has become a theory that has held true 100% of the time. Although we’ve rarely had to replace a just-in-case item (fewer than five times for the two of us combined), we’ve never had to pay more than $20 or go more than 20 minutes out of our way to replace the item. This theory likely works 99% of the time for 99% of all items and 99% of all people—including you."

As we do this, It's quite likely that a significant amount of those belongings can be tagged as "junk" and simply gotten rid of.

But junk removal is a task that few people are equipped to take on themselves.


Declutter: Start with a Plan and Plan to Start

Fortunately, there is a systematic approach you can take for decluttering and organizing your home or workspace. By creating and following a structured plan, the process is far easier no matter whether you are a business owner or home owner.

There are some preliminary steps you should take before you simply rearrange your stuff or just throw things out:

1. Asses Your Storage Space

Not every room in your house or place of business is suitable for storage. Basements, for example, are often used for storage, but in many locations these tend to be cold and damp. If you do use these types of spaces, be sure to use appropriate storage containers to protect items. This includes plastic bins or specialty plastic bags. And keep items off the floors, if possible.

2. Make an Organization Plan

If you have more than one storage space area in your home or place of business, or a large amount of shelving, a good tactic is to assign specific locations for different types of items. And, if possible, use clear containers so the items can be easily identified. Otherwise, use large and legible labels on every container or shelf, and place these where they can be easily seen.

3. Start With Junk Removal

Go through everything being stored before moving anything to a new space, and set aside anything you don't need.  Why create a separate pile? Because a critical and important part of getting free of clutter is getting rid of excess "stuff". Determine what you actually need to store. Start with just the items or belongings you need or want and get rid of the rest, but always donate if possible.


Storage Organization Tips and Advice

Of course, it's easy for someone else to tell you that you should be organized, have a plan, and take a structured approach to decluttering. But it really helps if someone also shows you how to do that.  

This is why we created this handy checklist chart to help you with your winter decluttering and organization project:




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Get Equipped. Get Organized.

In addition to having sufficient and accessible storage areas in your home or business, having the right storage space equipment is critical for storage efficiency and increased productivity.  And this means using the right tools and hardware.

In other words, properly equipped storage areas will help you to maintain organization.

Here are some common tools and equipment that you may need to maximize the available space in your storage areas:

  • Utility shelving, preferably adjustable
  • Step-stools and/or ladders
  • Lockable cabinets or storage lockers
  • Wood or metal file cabinets
  • Plastic bins for long-term storage of papers
  • Racks, mounts or pegboard hangers for tools and equipment

Being intentional with what you toss out and how you dispose of your junk matters. Every cleaning and decluttering project will result in some unwanted items, but much of this is made of recyclable materials. And, while much or your trash is handled by your waste management company, you may need professional junk hauling for your big stuff.

If you do end up with large amounts of debris or junk, you can get rid of it all with either full-service junk removal or by using a rental dumpster. And because the items you're getting rid of are usually recyclable or reusable, it really does matter which junk hauling firm you choose to use.


Storage Organization With Professional Junk Removal

Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly junk removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete.

Whether you need our services several times during a storage space cleaning project, or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the furniture and debris is quickly out of your way so that you can get on with your life.

Our team specializes in trash and junk removal. We can be at your home in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.

One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle a much of the material we pick-up. This is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).



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