In yesterday’s blog post, I answered a bunch of the questions I’ve gotten about this weekend’s Organize-athon event. (If you haven’t had a chance to read that post, go here for the Organize-athon Q&A post.) Today I’m going to give you a little sneak peak into some of the exclusive content I’ll be sharing with Organize-athon participants. In my mind, this content is the icing on the Organize-athon cake. The “cake” is finishing or making progress on an organizing project this weekend while getting answers from a professional organizer as they come up!

The tips below are designed to help you let go of the tough stuff you might encounter while organizing. And whether you consider these ideas cake or icing, I hope you think they’re yummy. ;)

Decide where and how you will store your important items.

Isn’t it ironic that the items that have the strongest hold on us are stuffed in cardboard boxes on a top shelf in a storage area of our home? If you truly love it and want to hold onto the memory, consider a more honorable method of storing and preserving your memories. For example, I keep old cards and letters in an antique wooden box on a shelf in my family room. Important items from my dad’s home are on display on a bookshelf outside of my office. Deciding up front where and how you might like to store your keepsakes can provide a terrific filter for deciding what should make the cut. However, this isn’t imperative. If you aren’t sure, don’t let this idea stall your progress. Try a different strategy instead.

Talk it out.

If you struggle with decision-making, sometimes it helps just to have someone to talk through it with you. For example, when we organized our basement storage room, I was struggling with letting go of some of the art projects I had made as a child. My mom had saved them for me for many years, and they were little glimpses into who I used to be. Having Jay there to listen as I talked out loud about these items helped me decide to let most of them go. (I also snapped a few pictures, which take up a lot less space than the actual art projects!)

Collection of kids' artwork

If you were moving, would you pay to take it with you?

There’s something really liberating about moving into a new home. It’s the ultimate fresh start. As you’re going through your difficult items and start to get stuck, pretend you’re preparing to move. Would you pay money to move this item to a new home? Is this item worth the hassle of boxing up and unpacking once you move into your (imaginary) new home? This line of thinking can be very powerful for figuring out which items matter most to you.

If there are other things you struggle with while organizing (where to begin, what to do about the midstream mess, what type of containers to use, etc.) the Organize-athon is your chance to get expert advice for just $19! So clear some space on your calendar and let’s get organized together! See you online soon.

Happy organizing!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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