Eliminating Excess: It’s About the Process, Not Buying More

Eliminating Excess: It's About the Process, Not Buying More

Eliminating Excess: It’s About the Process,

Not Buying More

I was recently contacted by someone asking me to look at his home and tell him exactly what storage products are needed and the total cost of these products.  He believed that buying new storage products will get him organized.  He kept focusing on the storage products and not the process.  In my vast experience of organizing homes, eliminating the excess is the first and most important step to getting organized.  If you have too many items that you don’t use, buying more containers to hide them will not get you organized.

3 Simple Steps to Getting Organized

1. Eliminate Excess

Eliminating Excess, purging and sorting your belongings will make the most impact in decluttering and organizing your home.  I urge all of my organizing clients to not buy storage products until the space has been sorted and excess eliminated.  At that point, we will know that the items that remain are important and useful.

Excess items are donated, recycled, sold, given to friends and family, or tossed, depending on the item.  After those things are gone, empty containers or organizing supplies usually remain.  These empty storage products can then be repurposed to organize the remaining belongings.

2. Determine Storage Product Needs

Once remaining items are sorted by category, purpose and frequency of use, and storage products already owned have been repurposed, then the discussion of buying new storage products can begin.

The storage products needed depend on the size of the space, the amount of items to be contained, and where the items will be accessed and used.  Storage supply selection also depends on the home owner’s organizing style and taste.  Some people prefer clear containers, others want baskets, while others like fabric bins.  Some people prefer to hide things away in cabinets or drawers, and others prefer to have items in view on open shelves or countertops.

3. Select & Shop for Storage Products

Storage product selection also depends on your budget.  Some homeowners would like to spend nothing on products and just repurpose shoeboxes, others shop at Wal-Mart, while others shop at Pottery Barn.  Your personal decorative style, budget and organizing methods also help to determine which products are right for you.  The finishing touch is to put the new storage products in place and label as needed.

Shopping for new storage products is one of the last steps in getting organized.  Just buying the products will not get you organized, you need to go through the process of eliminating excess and determining your storage needs first.  The next time you see a display of organizing supplies in a store, hold off on buying them until you know what you need.

By | 2018-01-29T18:39:55+00:00 February 21st, 2018|declutter, organizing, Organizing supplies, repurpose, storage|2 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy Haworth is a Professional Organizer and Owner of On Task Organizing, LLC in Raleigh, North Carolina. She assists residential clients throughout the area in organizing homes, decluttering, moving, and managing time. She has been a member of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals since 2011.


  1. Janet Barclay February 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Someone less ethical might have just done the consult and charged him for the information he was asking for. Your great advice shows you to be a true professional. I hope he saw that too!

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