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Simplify Your Life

I know decluttering is a hot topic right now but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that you add one thing into your life this month: something positive that won’t add to your clutter but will help you stay organized in some small way. Think about one space in your life that is perpetually disorganized, elicits anxiety whenever you think about it, and can be a hassle to get in/out of.

For me, that daunting space is my entryway closet. Before I open the closet door all of the way I move into an “I’m ready to catch whatever falls on me” stance.

Maybe you have a tall cabinet that is never fully in reach. Maybe your closet door gets stuck on something every time you open it. Maybe you spend a lot of time rummaging through drawers until you finally find what you’re looking for.

Picture the space that you interact with the most or that gives you the most grief. You can’t fix everything at once. If there is more than one area that comes to mind, focus on one with a low-cost solution that won’t take up a lot of additional space in your home. First, measure the space if you can. Start thinking about what type of solution would work best given your functional goals. If it helps, write down everything that you would ideally like to include in the space. When you’re ready to purchase this will help reduce your time spent in the store trying to visualize what will fit.

If you’re doing this right, you’re spending no more than $50. A lower-cost investment should reduce your time spent in the buying process; will hopefully reduce any buyer paralysis.

There shouldn’t be any serious sticker shock when getting this item home and it should become an almost seamless addition to your daily life.

My husband and I went through buyer paralysis when we first moved into our new place. We went three-four weeks of daily complaints that we needed a utensil drawer organizer without buying one. We did not measure the space before purchasing which led to the unfortunate damage of our kitchen drawer.

Avoid buyer paralysis and avoid damaged drawers. Make the purchase. Keep the receipt. Go home and try it out. Sit with it for a few days. Return it if it doesn’t work out. If it does, pay attention to the positivity this small amount of organization has brought to your life.

If you don’t have the space to reconfigure your kitchen to be more functional (e.g. move items from the tall cabinet to one that’s more accessible), a stool is a low-cost option that can be easily hidden in a cabinet or between your fridge and the wall.

If your closet door is getting stuck on clothes, blankets, or other items when you open it, consider adding baskets to your shelves & neatly tucking items inside them so that nothing is hanging over or sticking out. Matching baskets on shelves are appealing to the eye & give closets and pantries a cohesive look.

Find that perfect drawer or vanity organizer for the items that you use on a consistent basis and display them in a way that’s pleasing to you and saves you time.

Adding one functional item to your space doesn’t mean you can’t use this as an opportunity to further declutter and purge items that aren’t providing function or pleasure in your life. Life is short. Spend less time sifting through clutter and more time enjoying life.

Olivia Andrade, is a Certified Home Stager and the Business Manager at M Real Estate Staging located in Plainwell, MI. Her and her mom, Peg Dorgan partner with local realtors to give homeowners every resource they need in the selling process including Market-Ready Consultations, Organizing, Staging, Cleaning, and Photo Prep.

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