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Monday, May 22 2017

Do you struggle with how many or how much of something you should keep? This is a common problem many of my clients experience. 

There is no clear cut answer to these questions but there are guidelines. 

One of the most common guidelines is what you have and where you intend to store it. When I am evaluating a situation for my clients, I always take into consideration the space in which the item or items will live.

It is important to let your boundaries be your guide.

What do I mean by this? It's simple.

We all have boundaries we need to follow - whether it's on a personal level with other people or with our possessions.

Take for example your hamper. It's a boundary! When you fill it, you know it's time to do the laundry.

The same is true for many other spaces in our home.

Here are some examples for you to consider and incorporate into your home and in your life:

1. Clothes Closet - You need to make sure that your clothes hang and/or fold in an area that provides sufficient space so as not to crowd your wardrobe.  It is easier to store your entire wardrobe in a closet to avoid having to do a "seasonal switchout", but that is not always possible. However, we do want to limit the size of our wardrobe based on the space in which we have to store it. This might mean downsizing it to make it work for you in an easier way.

2. Cabinets and Drawers - Whether they are in your kitchen, bathroom, home office, bedroom or bathroom, you need to be sure that they are not so stuffed with items, you cannot easily select what it is you want from them. Drawers should be able to easily open and close without items getting stuck. Cabinets should be set up neatly so you can easily see what they contain.  Storing similiar items together will make it easier to find them.

3. Donation Bin - Every household should have them. I tend to use 18-gallon plastic containers. I especially like to use them in kids' bedrooms so that when they outgrow their clothing, they are easily identified and can be donated or passed on to another family member or friend. However, when the bin is full, you need to clear it out and start again! If you are storing clothing for a younger sibling to use. Containerize them by size. 

4. Storage Room - This room needs to be as organized as any other room in the home that your family and friends see on a regular basis. It is not a dumping ground for everything you want to hide from public view. The use of storage shelves can go a long way in setting boundaries and zones for the various items you wish to store. Be sure to review this area on an annual basis to determine what might no longer be needed or wanted. 

5. Garage - The same holds true for the garage as the storage room. It is not a dumping ground. Remember, the original intent of a garage is to store your car. Although there are other items that need storing, such as trash cans, recycling bins, bicycles, lawn care, tools, etc., you need to zone out the various areas and no exceed the size of the garage. You need to be able to easily navigate throught out the space so try your best to avoid filling the center of the room with items. Think vertically and use storage options that help keep your possessions around the perimeter of the room, instead.  

Whether it is something as small as a clothes hamper or as large as a garage, pay attention to its boundaries and let them be your guide as to how much space you have in which to store your items.

If you need guidance or assistance in determining how to maximize the space you have or wish to utilize, don't hesitate to contact A Better Space. I am here for you!

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:36 am   |  Permalink   |  6 Comments  |  Email
Great tips, I find that the garage items need to be adjusted and organized at least once a week because, with a family of 4, it does become a dumping ground.
Posted by Sabrina Quairoli on 10/16/2017 - 10:02 AM
I make sure that I spend time with all of the family members when organizing an area such as a garage for a client so that everyone understands that they all need to participate in order to keep it neat and organized. This helps in decreasing the "dumping ground".
Posted by Audrey Cupo on 10/16/2017 - 11:36 AM
Nothing good ever comes from a lack of boundaries whether personal or with physical possessions. I have seen clients push the boundaries of their clothes closets and drawers to the point where they cannot even be accessed. Broken drawers, bowing closet rods, etc. add to the organizing issue. You offer your readers excellent ideas on how they can create boundaries with their 'stuff.'
Posted by Stacey Agin Murray on 10/16/2017 - 12:35 PM
It is amazing how boundaries can change things. What a stress reliever when you can do such simple things as open a drawer or be able to move your clothing back and forth on a rod! Thank you for your feedback.
Posted by Audrey Cupo on 10/16/2017 - 01:03 PM
Most of us need some sort of boundary to know when we have "enough." Even something simple like one shopping bag that holds the rest can be a visual tool to help you be less anxious about getting rid of the overflow. I liked Stacey's comment too, about the broken drawers contributing to the problem. I often think of my grandmother's closet, which was TINY. Yet she always looked nice... something to think about!
Posted by Seana Turner on 10/16/2017 - 01:33 PM
I believe everyone needs boundaries but some find it easier to visualize than others so tools for setting boundaries are helpful.
Posted by Audrey Cupo on 10/16/2017 - 02:53 PM

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