Most of us are familiar with the overwhelming feeling that stems from the disorganized state of our homes. And even though it sometimes feels easier to simply throw your hands up and walk out of the room, this only ever seems to compound the issue down the line.
Jane Stoller, also known as Organized Jane, is a life-biz organizer, speaker and author known for helping people find the motivation and inspiration they need to declutter their spaces and get organized. With two books, workshops and a selection of helpful products, Jane’s ultimate aim is to help people organize their physical spaces so they can find greater clarity and reduce stress. Rather than try to turn her client’s homes into a magazine-perfect image, she works with each client to individually understand their life to help develop a customized organization plan.
And while each person’s game plan will differ, there are steps everyone can take to help them achieve their decluttering goals. Read on to learn about helpful tips and products as well as how the right storage setup can help you declutter your home and get organized.
First Off, Understand the Why Behind Your Decluttering
Whether you’re feeling stressed and living in a cluttered environment or you’re moving and want to get rid of items before making the change, understanding your priorities is essential. This clarity can help you assess what needs to be done to both achieve and sustain your decluttering and organizational goals.
For Jane, the ultimate aim of decluttering can’t just be about achieving some vague notion of “minimalism”; it has to be a more meaningful pursuit than that. “For me, minimalism means being more conscious and mindful of my purchases, and taking a hard look at how the items I already own impact me on a daily basis”, she says. Regardless of your intentions, having greater awareness of the things you own and the ultimate purpose they serve is an excellent starting point from which to commit to your newfound organized, decluttered life.
Next, Find a Good Resource to Get Started
Jane’s most recent book, Decluttering for Dummies, is about how modern life has resulted in too much clutter. People often have an excess amount of clothing, items and storage bins taking up unnecessary space in their homes. The book offers modern solutions for those who want to organize and declutter their lives, guiding them towards the kind of minimal lifestyle that suits their needs.
Storage is Not a Bad Word: Storage Companies Like Second Closet are Changing an Outdated Industry
Traditional self-storage lockers typically get a bad rap. And in most cases? It’s warranted. You pay for a big container whether you fill it or not. Your stuff then sits for months (or even years) before you might remember what’s in the container. And when you realize you actually need something, you spend precious hours searching through mounds of “stuff” before maybe, just maybe, locating it.
All that said, storage doesn’t have to be a bad word. You just need to find the right company. Second Closet flips the aggravating, overpriced, outdated self-storage model completely on its head. Forget having to haul everything to the locker yourself, wage a war on amassed clutter and overpay for an oversized unit — Second Closet's valet storage service will pick up, store and return your stuff whenever and wherever you need it.
From seasonal items that aren’t in use to extra furniture, books, clothes or keepsakes, you can store anything that’s keeping you from truly decluttering and reorganizing to your fullest potential. And with easy online booking, a personalized online portal, bespoke storage plans and rates that never change, Second Closet aims to make storage easier and more cost-effective than you ever thought possible.
Follow a Step-by-Step Decluttering and Organization Plan
Every meaningful and long-lasting decluttering session has to begin with a game plan. When considering where to start, it’s worth asking: which space in your home is most cluttered? Do you want to declutter the entire house or just one or two rooms? From there, you can properly prioritize and segment the work.
1. Take it Room by Room
Taking it one room at a time can help add some structure to your disorganized home. All you have to do is choose one room to start in and work through every corner of that room before moving onto the next one. By focusing on one part of the home at a time, you’ll be able to stay focused and refrain from getting overwhelmed or frustrated with the process.
2. Organize Everything Into Intuitive Piles or Boxes
A key part of any declutter routine involves having a seamless way of properly organizing your mess. By using Jane’s Declutter Boxes, you can divide your items into two categories: sell and donate, while also creating a separate pile for the items you want to keep and store. Not only are these boxes the perfect way to organize your mess, but they are also aesthetically pleasing and can be used for decor and storage around the home when you’re not busy purging and decluttering.
3. Sell and Donate
Items flagged for selling and donation can often be hard to distinguish from each other. Donation is a socially-responsible way of getting rid of items you no longer need anymore. Selling items can be appealing, but it's better to stick to just selling items like newer furniture or modern electronics while donating things like books, clothes you no longer wear, kitchenware and toys.
This pile is usually the easiest to organize. After long periods of time, an abundance of garbage, broken items and recyclables can pile up in your home. Bagging up garbage into the right bags may be time-consuming but it’s the most efficient way to get rid of these items. Don’t forget to research the correct procedures when discarding or throwing out different items.
As you finish going through all your items, the keep pile can often still seem alarmingly large. Begin by organizing and putting away clothing, toiletries, kitchenware, files and documents etc, in a way that works for you. For everything else that's season-specific, doesn’t seem to have an intuitive place or that's taking up space, it’s time to start thinking about external storage with Second Closet.
6. Track Your decluttering Progress to Stay Motivated
Whether you’re decluttering one room at a time or the entire house over an extended period of time, tracking your progress can help keep you motivated and inspired to keep going. Take photos before, during and after the decluttering work to see the results! You can even give yourself mini rewards every time you check something off your list.
Find a Way to Stay Focused on the Task at Hand
Distractions are everywhere — it’s an inevitable fact of our fast-paced, digitally-driven world. Once you begin the decluttering process, it’s essential to stay in the moment and give it the time and attention it deserves.
For those looking for a creative way to stay on task without using their phone, Jane’s Time Cube is an excellent solution. It’s the perfect way to boost productivity, reduce distractions and stay on track. This time-management tool has intervals of 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes that allow you to stay focused and motivated by blocking out even the most irresistible of distractions.
Start Decluttering and Organizing Your Home Today With Organized Jane and Second Closet!
Jane fully believes that focusing on and developing a new organization and decluttering system can help reduce stress, increase productivity and happiness. She also promotes intentional storage, storing items you will actually use, ensuring you know what is stored and having swift accessibility to them (just like with Second Closet's delivery service).
Storing items you can’t use, access or find is useless; intentional storage should be the new norm. Which is why there is no time like the present. But as we all know, the hardest part of decluttering, organizing and storing is actually starting. By following the advice above, taking advantage of Jane’s resources and storing your extra things with Second Closet, you can take meaningful steps towards living a more stress-free, uncluttered lifestyle.