Guest Article – Is Your House Overweight? Organize your home

Written by Cathy Bates

Does you house need to shed some pounds? I think if we are honest, all of our houses would be better off if it lost a couple of hundred or maybe even a couple of thousand pounds. Most of us would say that we don’t have enough storage space, when the truth is we have more belongings than we need. Over the years as I have organized homes, I have realized that organizing is very much like weight loss. All of us want a quick fix that will get us where we want to be with as little inconvenience and work as possible. However, we find that these quick fixes continue to fail. We may get somewhere, lose a little weight or tidy up a little, but before long we find ourselves right back where we started.

Some organizing shows lead us to believe a major transformation can take place in 30 minutes. At the end, they show a happy homeowner who loves the transformation. They don’t always show the difficult process one goes through as they make decisions about what to keep and what to pass on. We are lead to believe we should be able to achieve that kind of transformation quickly and easily as well.

To find a real solution that produces real results, we must realize that it will not be a “piece of cake”. There are no quick solutions to a transformed life. It takes diligence, discipline and sometimes a little support and accountability. Here are some suggestions for getting started:

• Be committed to the organizing effort and get all members of the house onboard. Decide it is time for a change.
• Have the supplies you need for the job – trash bags, storage containers, labeler, etc.
• Start on a specific room. Have bags (or containers) labeled “keep”, “donate” and “trash.” Start sorting and don’t move on to another room until this task is done. It is very easy to get distracted.
• Get rid of the trash and donations immediately. We don’t want it to get back into circulation. Sort the items to keep by category and put them in a labeled container. Add any shelving or furniture needed for your system and put the items away.

Go onto the next room and do the same thing. As you get rid of things, think of it as losing weight and how much lighter your house will feel when it shed those pounds.

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions Professional Organizing and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). To contact her go to www.psorganizing.com or call (909)810-3719.

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Great suggestions! Love reading this post. And you really have a nice blog here. Good job!


Great article. I am a neat freak, but the rest of my family does not share this same uniqueness. It drives me nuts!


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