GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Maybe your New Year’s resolution was to get your home organized. It can seem like a lot, but if you start small, you can make big changes.
“The hardest part is getting started,” Kate Wert from Moxie Life Organizing said. “I remind my clients that and when they call me, I let them know the hardest part is getting started. Even my workers and I will look at each other and be like, ‘The hardest part is getting started.'”
She said to avoid “decision fatigue” — wondering whether to keep or pitch, sell or donate — pick one project to get you going.
“We encourage people to start small,” Wert said. “And by starting small, we’re talking about maybe it is that junk drawer, maybe it’s the linen closet, or that Tupperware, because we know everybody’s got a thing with Tupperwares and the lids and all of that, but also starting in small increments. Because even 15 minutes a day can make a difference.”
Sometimes it’s a matter of how you approach the subject. Instead of thinking about “decluttering,” which can be stressful, set priorities.
“What I ask (clients) is, what’s most valuable to you? And that can be tangible or intangible. Maybe your family heirlooms are really important to you and your mother’s china. Maybe it doesn’t need to make sense to anybody else, but you want to store it in your basement but that’s important to you and that’s OK,” Wert said. “But it can also be casting a vision of, ‘I want to spend more time with my grandkids. I want to have people over to entertain. I want to be more focused in my office.’ So bringing it back to that why factor of, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And once you know what’s most important to you or valuable, you start to create a hierarchy.”
Wert said part of her job is reminding people that’s it’s OK to keep things that are valuable to them, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. She also said that if you are ready to get rid of some of those old keepsakes, that’s OK, too.
“…Letting them know that that’s OK to keep those items and then it’s important to process those memories and cherish them,” she said. “One thing that I have clients do is a ritual of a sendoff or taking a photo … and reminding them, ‘You’re not throwing away the memory, you’re not throwing away the person. If you throw away a greeting card, those memories are within you.’”
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing right off the bat.
“Don’t start with the tough stuff,” she said. “We’re not even going to talk about the greeting cards or the Christmas decorations. We’re not even going to go there. Let’s start a little bit smaller, some of those easier things.”
Sometimes extra help is needed.
“Oftentimes I see families butt heads. It’s not always the best setup. But if you’ve got a nonjudgmental friend, they can be your body double, hold you accountable. When you’re starting to feel stuck, they can walk you through that,” Wert said.