Home Organizing

What is Minimalism?

by Christine Platt
July 10, 2022
for The Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed: Minimalism is about more than downsizing. It’s about living with intention

Every so often, I smile as I reflect on the random Saturday morning when I found myself faced with a common clutter conundrum: Do I need more baskets and bins? I had to laugh as I asked myself: Are you really about to buy more stuff to hide all the stuff you don’t even use?

That was the day I first acknowledged that storing things, OK, hiding things, so they’d be out of sight and out of mind wasn’t a solution to my overconsumption. It was time for a change. It was time for me to change. Every online search that day centered on how to live with less stuff, and they all yielded the same results: become a minimalist.

If there were a contest for the woman least likely to succeed as a minimalist, I surely would have won. Much like my piles of clothing, home goods and knickknacks, the odds were stacked against me.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Fridge

The end of the summer is a perfect time to declutter your fridge. All those impromptu barbecues, ice cream parties, late night fast food runs, TikTok recipe experiments, and leftover vacation foods have probably filled your refrigerator with all kinds of random items. If a funky, unidentifiable odor is emitted each time you open the fridge door, it’s definitely time to do some clearing out. Follow our step-by-step guide and in a few hours, your fridge will feel spacious, clean, and fresh. Just in time for the busy holiday season that is just around the corner!

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7 Must-Do’s for an Organized Home Office

Your home office should be a space where you can get a lot of work done. That “work” may be for your job, for your household, or both. In any case, you’ll want to work in an area that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. However, if your home office is chaotic and disorganized, then read on for these must-do’s to get your work space decluttered, comfortable, and calm.  

1. Organize your paperwork

Set up a paper organization system so your paperwork isn’t in multiple piles that are impossible to find anything in. Get a filing cabinet system, or a desktop paper organizer—and tackle those piles. Color code when you can, use that label maker, and shred/recycle as needed. Not sure what to keep and what to let go? Our Paper Retention Guide will help you out. Imagine how much easier it will be to find what you’re looking for once you’ve got this set up!

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Top 8 Ways Decluttering Saves You Money

You may have heard that decluttering is beneficial to your mental and emotional health. An extra bonus of decluttering is that it can actually save you money, and in some cases, even earn you some. All that extra stuff in your cabinets and closets, counters, shelves, hallways, garage, attic, and storage unit is potentially money in your pocket. Read on and feel inspired to save by paring down your things and getting organized.

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How Cleaning and Organizing Can Benefit Your Mind and Body

by Elizabeth Bacharach
April 7, 2022
from Shape.com

Dusting, disinfecting, and decluttering on a regular basis can boost your mood, increase your focus, and double as low-intensity cardio. Read on to learn the secret to scoring these perks.

There’s nothing quite like coming home (or maybe just closing your laptop) after a long day of work and…cleaning.

Yes, you read that right.

While some people may exercise to destress or turn to meditation when feeling overwhelmed, I channel my inner Monica Geller and get to work dusting, discarding, disinfecting, and reorganizing my apartment. But I don’t need to be in a mental funk to start reorganizing my kitchen drawers with enthusiasm. I’ve actually been very into cleaning and organizing since an embarrassingly young age. Only now as an adult, however, have I realized that it’s actually my favorite form of self-care.

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How to Prep Your Home for a Remodel

Your designs are finalized, all the paperwork is signed, everything is ordered and arriving on time (fingers crossed), and you’ve got a start date with your contractor. Congratulations, you’ve got the first part of your remodeling project done! Home renovations are a major undertaking and can be quite disruptive to you and your family’s regular lives. With some thoughtful planning and preparations, you can minimize the chaos and the stress by prepping your home for the remodel. 

Before you do anything, don’t forget to take “Before” photos of the areas to be renovated. These will be a wonderful record of how your home looked before you did any work on it. 

1. Clean, Declutter, and Box Up.

Work in the areas that will be renovated, and begin by going through all the items in these spaces. You will need to take everything out, including items inside cabinets and drawers, on shelves, or on the counter. Unused and unneeded things can go right into a “donations” box—anything you won’t want or need after the remodel, get rid of it now. Broken, stained, or expired items should be tossed or recycled.

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Filing Cabinets Don’t Work for ADHD Minds: Help for Paper Pilers

October 19, 2020
by Lisa Woodruff
from ADDitude.mag

Did you think we would still be dealing with paper in 2020? Me neither. I was sure that the “future would be digital,” yet here I sit with stacks of paper around me and more paper in every room. If you’re wondering how to organize paperwork, start with this management system.

Paper is a Hard Habit to Break

Ours is a paper-based society.

Paper-dependence starts with birth certificates and Social Security cards. In short order, kids become paper producers. From precious handprint turkeys to report cards, they bring home so much paper that is heart-wrenching to discard. Some you keep as memorabilia; some you save for a while to remind you of an action item — like an upcoming field trip or project.

When I realized I would never be paperless, I changed my goal from eliminating all paper to having less of it.

Read the rest on ADDitude.mag.

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Mental Health Benefits of Decluttering

by Dan Brennan, MD
October 5, 2021
from WebMD.com

If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce stress, decluttering your environment may be a good place to start. Getting rid of excess stuff can benefit your mental health by making you feel calmer, happier, and more in control. A tidier space can make for a more relaxed mind.

Benefits of Decluttering

Untidy environments often increase stress for most people. In one study, women who described their homes with positive language had a lower level of the stress hormone cortisol than women who described their homes as cluttered or unfinished. Still, the case for decluttering isn’t clear-cut. Another study found that, while orderly environments are more linked to healthy choices, disorderly environments promote creativity and fresh ideas. If you value creativity, you may want to allow yourself to be a little messy in certain areas of your life.For most people, decluttering can promote productivity and improvements in mental and physical health. Benefits of decluttering include:

Better focus. Clutter makes it difficult to find what you need. It may also distract you. Getting rid of visual clutter can help you focus better on any task at hand. 

Higher self-esteem. When you have trouble staying organized, you may feel out of control. Improving your living space can restore feelings of competency and pride.

Read the rest at WebMD.

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A Week in the Life of a Simplify Experts Organizer

Simplify Experts professional organizers handle a wide variety of situations. Decluttering and organizing, downsizing or upsizing homes, packing and/or unpacking a move, estate sale preparation, garages and garden sheds, businesses and home offices—you name it, and we’ve probably done it! To give you more insight into what our organizers do in a typical week, here are excerpts from our CRM. These entries are input by the organizers themselves, and all client names have been redacted. Keep in mind that these are mostly 3-hour sessions! We hope you’ll find it enlightening.

“Such a great day with 2 of us! We rocked through the whole kitchen and got the countertops cleared and made homes for everything so [client] can do the dishes and put them away. We moved the coffee station next to the fridge alongside the blender. Teas/coffees/accessories went in the drawers. Then all appliances went in the next drawer….We were such an efficient team that the kitchen took about 2.5 hours so for the last 25 minutes or so, I convinced [client] to let us at least get the recycling out of the garage so that there was more room. She consented to letting me do a recycling run….we helped break down boxes and I loaded my car with as many as I could fit.”

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How to Pare Down Your Books

Books are seriously one of the hardest things to part with! Even if you’ve only ever read it once, having your books within reach keeps you tied to the thoughts and feelings they evoked, to the far-off, magical adventures they took you on, to the breathtaking or heart-wrenching stories they told. We hold onto books that were passed down from a loved one, or purchased at a tiny bookshop in Cairo, or read during a particularly good or bad time of our lives. We also hold onto books that were gifts, or from your college days, or have been on your “to read” list for a long time. The reality is that books also create clutter, take up a lot of space, are hard to move, and collect an amazing amount of dust. Paring down your books doesn’t mean getting rid of all of them—it just means you’ll keep some of them. Our guide will help you get going!

Where are all your books?
  • Are they all on a couple of bookshelves in the family room?
  • Or do you have books in many places—your nightstand, your home office, the guest room?
  • Do you have books in boxes that are stored in the garage, the basement, or a storage unit?
  • Write down all the places where your books are kept, so you can go down the list and check each area off as you declutter it.
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