I recently ran a promotion for my business, offering a free 1-hour consultation and 1-hour organization session for those who were interested in helping me build my portfolio. I was very lucky to have a number of people contact me asking for my help.
The following pictures are all from real homes and reflect approximately one hour of organization work.
Home #1: Kitchen
In my first client’s home, we decided to tackle the countertops and upper cabinets in the kitchen. My main goals for the one-hour session were to:
- Reorganize the cabinets by food type to make it easier to find things for various occassions
- Declutter any dish- or drinkware from cabinets to free up counter space
- Remove any items that were not being used frequently from the countertops or cabinets to free up storage space
As we worked, I employed my old organizing trick of using three containers to categorize things. Much more was added to these bins throughout the hour – and, to my client’s credit, items were mostly placed in the two bins to the right.
As you can see, in just one hour’s time, we were able to free up a large amount of counter space. Each cabinet shelf now houses like-items (pasta & sauce, rice & grains, baking products, cooking products, snacks, etc.). I also suggested that my client utilize vertical space (which is an organizational technique I’ll talk about in a later post) in the cabinet above the stove: it will help my client find certain spices faster for cooking, as well as create more storage space. Per my suggestion, my client afterwards also purchased a pot-top holder from a local store which secured her pot tops in an upper cabinet (shown below in the comparison photos).
(before: top, after: bottom)
I was incredibly proud of my client’s readiness and resolve to start to the decluttering journey. There is still much work to be done in this kitchen, but we were able to accomplish a lot in the hour we had together. It just goes to show that you can make a difference, no matter how bad of shape you think your home might be in.
Home #2: Garage
In my second client’s home, we decided to tackle the garage. My main goals for the one-hour session were to:
- Establish what was in each container / bag / box
- Declutter any items that weren’t essential and designate them to a “Donate” or “Trash” pile
- Reclassify essential items to containers with other like items
- Clear floor space so that cars could fit in the garage
In the picture above, you can see the growing donations / trash pile. The empty bins on the left were full in the Before picture, as well as the Staples box, Huggies diapers box, cardboard box laying behind the chairs on the right, and the “Merry Christmas” bag.
There were a lot of were Christmas ornaments among the different boxes, so I suggested to my client that they purchase a special ornament container to keep them all together and further cut down on containers in the future.
One other thing I would like to note for those of you following along at home: more containers is not necessarily helpful when it comes to decluttering. Just because you have empty containers now doesn’t mean they need to be filled with something else. When you say goodbye to excess, sometimes it means saying goodbye to containers, too.
After our one-hour session, we were able to clean out a good amount of random boxes and bags and reclassify like items together into proper storage bins. We were also able to clear off a good portion of the floor to make more room for the client’s cars.
(before: top, after: bottom)
There is still a good amount of work to do in this garage, but again, this is a fantastic start. The key to decluttering is don’t be afraid to start: It might look impossible right now to navigate, akin to facing what looks like an unscalable mountain. But with the right sherpa, even Mount Everest is conquerable.