Helpful Tips On How To Organize Your Way Out Of A Junk Room

Helpful Tips On How To Organize Your Way Out Of A Junk Room

“Sarah is a self-proclaimed curator of all things ‘practical’ that eventually find their way into her living space. It all began innocently enough with a single junk drawer—an innocent repository for stray buttons, forgotten receipts, and an array of pens that had seen better days. But as life unfolded, so did the clutter. The drawer soon multiplied into a junk closet, where shoes danced with old photo albums, and kitchen gadgets jostled for space with abandoned craft supplies. Before Sarah could blink, her spare room had become a sprawling junk haven of forgotten possessions.”

A smiling, middle-aged woman

Confronting the chaos that leads from a single junk drawer to an overwhelming junk room can feel like an insurmountable task. Fear not! It is possible to reclaim your space with an organizational guru. You can channel your inner guru OR you can bring in a professional organizer (hint: me!). But even a professional organizer has to start somewhere.

True Confessions of a Professional Organizer

In my early twenties, before I was a professional organizer, I had a junk room and it came about a lot like Sarah’s did. Keeping a little too much here and a little too much there led to an “office” that was a catch-all for paperwork, boxes, and LOTS of “miscellaneous”. The desk was piled high and the floor was piled even higher. Not surprisingly, the door was ALWAYS kept shut so no one could see my embarrassing mess.

A woman's hands opening a file cabinet drawer

When the time came to move, my junk room had to be dealt with. I dreaded it, but I got started. In my case, I was dealing with a lot of paperwork so I began to sort it into broad categories (financial, medical, home maintenance, etc.) Then, I took each pile, one by one, and sorted it into subcategories (‘financial’ was sorted into banking, insurance, and investments while ‘medical’ was sorted into one pile for me and one pile for my husband). As I sorted, I discarded anything I no longer needed. It was amazing how little I really needed to keep—all the remaining paperwork fit in a 2-drawer file cabinet!

I sorted the items that weren’t paperwork into categories too. One corner of the room was for things that belonged in the garage, another corner was for things that belonged in the bedroom, and another corner was for things I was giving away. After this high-level sort, I could work in each corner very quickly because similar items had been grouped together.

Killing off my junk room didn’t require the 100 hours I felt like it was going to take. It was probably closer to 12 hours. How did a room piled high with junk over the space of a couple of years take such a small amount of time to declutter? The “divide and conquer” technique is a time-proven organizing tool.

Tips To Avoid Clutter

I have a number of other techniques I share with my organizing clients such as:

~ Using storage solutions like bins, shelves, and labels to maintain order

~ Scheduling regular decluttering sessions to prevent junk build-up

~ Using the ‘one in, one out’ rule for every new item

~ Adopting mindful consumption by reflecting before acquiring new possessions

Shelf with 6 organizing bins on it

Ready to become an organizational guru? If you are, time to get started! If you’re still not feeling it, call a professional organizer who knows what she’s doing because she’s helped hundreds of others (including herself!) get rid of their junk drawers, junk closets, and junk rooms.

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