What about sentimental items?

When Marie Kondo came on the scene a few years ago, lots of people were talking about her decluttering mantra: “Keep only things that spark joy.” It makes sense. Why hang on to things that aren’t making you happy (or serving a practical purpose in your life)? It seems like a straightforward concept until you get to those boxes in the attic full of childhood toys and memorabilia. The wedding album tucked away in the closet. Your great grandmother’s jewelry, passed down through the generations. Marie’s “joy” principle becomes a little more challenging once items have sentimental meaning attached.

Keepsakes, photographs, family heirlooms, and gifted items are harder for people to let go due to the emotions and memories that go along with them.

Does that mean those things are immune to decluttering? Apologies in advance to anyone who isn’t ready to hear this, but the answer is NO. Just because an item has a happy feeling attached to it doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever. (The same applies to items that have been gifted to you.) Eventually, those items fill up boxes and dusty corners of the basement, only to get looked at once every few years. Sure, you may feel happy when you do decide to take those items out, but are those few moments of joy worth all the wasted space they are occupying?

A few tips for anyone who has trouble letting go of sentimental items:

  • Keep only the things that are really important to you.
  • Take pictures and document the rest. The memories are what often holds meaning, not the physical item itself.
  • Transfer photos/papers to digital files. You can still hang on to them this way, but they won’t take up as much physical space.
  • Donate items to other family members who may want them. (This way, you can still keep things within the family, but can take the responsibility off yourself.)
  • Don’t feel guilty. At the end of the day, it’s just stuff. You are not obligated to hang on to every item that comes across your path. Getting rid of something doesn’t mean you love a person, event, or memory any less.

The Magic of Mindset

Last week I had the pleasure of helping a client get their overly cluttered walk-in closet in order. After day two we had a few large garbage bags of items to discard and several boxes to donate. When we were done, my client pointed out several things on her now-organized shelves and said “Oh, I forgot about those!” It was exciting for her to finally be able to access things that brought her joy and not have them lost among clutter anymore.

You’re probably thinking,“Why didn’t she just get rid of all that extra stuff sooner?”

There are a number of things that hold people back from making changes in their lives, even if they are positive changes. The big one (as was the case with my client) is mindset. You can have the desire, the time, and the resources to do something, but without the right mindset, you’ll never make it happen.

You’re mindset plays a huge role in everything that you do. If you’re constantly telling yourself, “I could never do that,” “I’ll never get it all done,” or “I’m not good/smart/motivated/whatever enough for that,” you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Even just by saying “Oh, I’ll never find the time to organize,” you’ve already convinced yourself that you aren’t capable of doing it, thus making it likely that you’ll never even give it a shot.

This week, I launched a new branch of my business: clutter coaching. There is more to organizing than simply put objects away and keeping your home tidy. Having the right mindset, letting go of the things holding you back, and truly understanding the reason for chronic disorganization are some of the things I want to help my clients work on. Through clutter coaching, we can work on those things together. Creating an entirely new mindset and new (better) habits might be seem daunting, but it will 100% be worth it in the end.

I’m so excited to be sharing this new venture with you all! 🙂


Ready to learn more about clutter coaching? Click the button below and let’s get started!

Managing Motivation

So, you’ve finally decided to do a deep decluttering of your closet. It’s been a long time coming. It’s time to finally say goodbye to those 90’s platform shoes and fringed leather jackets! (Although, by the time I finish writing this both will probably be back in style, but I digress…) You made sure to keep your entire Sunday free so you can get it all done and start Monday off with a well-organized bang.

Then the day actually arrives and you just aren’t feeling it.

Maybe you stayed up late the night before. Maybe you’re just tired from the million and one other things you’ve been keeping up with. Maybe it’s a cloudy, rainy day and you’re lacking energy. Maybe the whole thing feels too daunting, so you keep procrastinating. We’ve all been there.

It can be incredibly frustrating when we want to achieve things, but lack the motivation to actually do them. Here are a few things I tell my clients to keep in mind, when they find that the Motivation Monster claims you as its victim:

  • Do a little at a time – Starting off small and focusing on just one corner, drawer, section, etc. will feel way more manageable than trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Telling yourself “I only have to get through this little bit,” will be way less intimidating and leave you less likely to put it off entirely.
  • Visualize the outcome you want – Remember to stay focused on the bigger picture. Keep reminding yourself what your space will feel like when you finally get more organized. Remind yourself of the extra time you’ll have and what you’ll do with it. Remind yourself the positive impact your efforts will have. Giving yourself something to work toward can really help give you that extra push.
  • Eliminate distractions – This can be a tough one, even for me. With constant reminders on our phones, kids & pets running around, and various chores on our radar, it can be difficult to remain on task. Eliminating the distractions to the best of your ability is important when you want to stay motivated. Doing just a little at a time also plays a role here, as it’s much easier to ask for thirty minutes of alone time, versus three hours. Turn off your phone notifications and put on some music that will help drown out the background noise. Do not let yourself do other chores until you’ve finished your task. Commit to doing this for a given amount of time (whatever is most reasonable for you) and stay in the zone. You’ll get way more done this way, I promise.
  • Make it fun! – There’s no reason organizing can’t be fun. Put on your favorite music or podcast and drink your favorite beverage while you work. If you can get other family members to help, turn it into a game. Find little ways to make the task more enjoyable and feel less like “work.”

What are some things you do when you need a little extra motivation? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! 🙂

Budget Organizing Hacks!

Professional organizers hear many different excuses for clients’ clutter and messy habits, but mostly, we hear the same two over and over again: “I don’t have time” and “I can’t afford it.” Since I frequently harp on the subject of creating time (even just fifteen minutes!) to organize, I thought I’d switch gears today.

What do you do when you want to become more organized, but are on a tight budget?

There’s lots you can do! Believe it or not, organizing doesn’t have to be about pretty, expensive baskets and sets of matching bins. With a little creativity, you can come up with all sorts of clever home hacks and dollar store ideas that will make your home feel more put together. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Command hooks/strips – There is SO much you can do with command hooks/strips: Put a few hooks on the wall to keep your necklaces from tangling or use them to keep cords in place. Stick some hooks on the back of cabinet doors to arrange utensils, pot holders, and dish towels. Put command strips on the back of clothespins to hang recipe cards and spice packets. The possibilities are endless.
  • Wire baskets – Mount cheap wire baskets on the backs of cabinet doors to hold cleaning supplies, cutting boards, mail, and hair styling tools
  • Cheap drawer organizers – Use small, plastic organizers from the dollar store to keep cords, pens, keys, jewelry, cosmetics, and other small items from shifting around in drawers. Silverware organizers are great for this purpose, also!
  • Shoe organizer (over the door) – Those over-the-door shoe organizers are good for more than just shoes! Use them to organize extra towels/linens, medicine cabinet supplies, clothing, and children’s toys.
  • Clothespins – Mount clothespins on wire, with magnets, or command hooks and use them to hang towels, jewelry, photos, mail, hair ties, belts, etc.
  • Mason jars – I love using mason jars in the bathroom for cotton balls, Q-tips, hair ties, etc. They’re also great for storing arts & craft supplies, cords, and dry goods in the pantry (just make sure you get ones that are food safe).

A great place to find cheap organizing supplies is Target. (Anyone else obsessed with Target? lol) Check out some of the cute dollar section trays I spotted at Target recently. These would be great for stashing all kinds of small items around the house!

Challenge Wrap Up

It’s hard to believe that this is the last day of the New Year, New Habits Challenge already! The first weeks of the year have flown by quickly. Whether you took part in the challenge or just made the decision to start your own organizing journey this year, I am proud of you. The decision to make important life changes and those first few (scary) steps are HUGE. Even if you tried the challenge and it didn’t quite go as planned, I hope you give yourself a pat on the back for even trying.

I am pleased to report that my own challenge to do the dishes every night before bed went extremely well. I will be one hundred percent transparent with you: As someone who worked in the culinary field for several years, I loathe doing dishes. I have often viewed dishes as a “chore” and would avoid doing them for a few days at a time. When multiple people live within your household, however, ignoring the dishes for a couple of days can add up and create a lot of visual clutter in the kitchen. Going into this challenge, I decided that even on days where I really didn’t want to do the dishes, I would force myself to do them anyway.

And you know what?

It wasn’t that bad! Doing the dishes every single night was actually way easier to maintain than doing them every other day. By keeping up with them more regularly, I cut down on the amount of time I would normally spend washing dishes. As I’ve mentioned before, getting in the habit of doing something for just fifteen minutes a day can make a huge impact on your day-to-day routine. The best part of the challenge was waking up every morning to a completely clean, empty sink!

I have loved receiving pictures and hearing about your own organizing challenges! If you haven’t done so already, leave me a comment or send me a message on social media to share your own challenges with me! 🙂

Stylish Home Organization Tips

Recently, I came across a comment left by someone in a Facebook group that confused me. This particular person said they didn’t want to hire a professional organizer because they don’t want all those “ugly plastic bins” in their home. Clearly, this person needs to scroll through Pinterest more often, for there is an entire world of classy and stylish home organization awaiting them.

One of the many things I love about home organizing is all the fun possibilities! Just as everyone’s home is different and unique, everyone’s organizing style is different and unique, also. There is no reason that your system can’t reflect your personality. Here are some ways you can maintain a chic look while creating a less cluttered life:

  • Matching baskets/fabric bins – Baskets and fabric bins are going to give you a more stylish look than plastic ones. Nowadays, you can find pretty much any color, shape, and size basket on the internet. They even make ones with pretty patterns, like these ones from Target, so you should easily be able to find something that matches the interior of your room.
  • Have a color scheme – Having a color scheme will help things look cohesive and be more aesthetically pleasing. Having tons of different colors will stand out much more and create visual clutter in a room. Personally, I am a big fan of white and neutral colors. Even if when have different types of products, sticking with this color palette still keeps things “clean” looking.
  • Trays – Organizing trays are a nice way to keep items together, while still looking cute and decorative.
  • Open shelving – Utilizing wall space with open shelving is a great way to display your items with style and intention. You can also incorporate decorative pieces or artwork to reflect your personality. Something that I really love about open shelving is that it pretty much forces you to keep things tidy since there are no doors to hide everything. The kitchen is particularly great spot for this type of shelving.
  • Find the right furniture – Find furniture that reflects your personal style and get creative with it! Instead of commercial drawers or shelving units, check vintage stores or find used furniture that you can repurpose. Take the drawers out of an old dresser, add some glass or plywood to make shelves, and paint it a fun color. Voila. You now have a fun kitchen hutch to display your dishes. (Recently, I took an antique magazine rack and turned it into a stand for my house plants.) The options are only as limited as your imagination. Another great option is to find furniture pieces that have hidden storage built into them!

2022. Let’s Do This.

Happy New Year! Here’s hoping for a year filled with happiness and positive things, no matter how big or small.

Don’t forget that today is the beginning of the New Year, New Habits Challenge. It’s a way to jumpstart the process of creating some new, better habits in your life that will help you be more organized.

My personal goal for the next 14 days is to go to bed every night with an empty sink. I do my best to keep up with the dishes, but I could definitely make some improvement in this area. Waking up to dirty dishes stresses me out, so hopefully this challenge to myself will make me a little less cranky in the mornings. 😉

What habits are you working on the next 14 days (or this year)? Whatever you decide to do, remember to have fun with it.


Don’t forget to share your progress pics on social media and tag @theremakestudio on Instagram!

Beginnings

Hello, friends! I hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Now that Christmas is over, talk of change is popping up everywhere. Normally, I don’t get all sappy and reminiscent this time of year. (Going into 2021, I was just grateful to be leaving a tumultuous year behind us.) Looking back at the past year, however, I realize how much has changed in my life. I got married, made a huge career change and launched my own business, decided to ditch some old habits, and finally started living a life that I actually enjoy. I have no idea what is waiting for us all in 2022, but whatever it is, I hope it’s a year filled with more of the things you love.

Lots of people will begin their decluttering journeys next year. Knowing where to begin the process can be a real challenge in the beginning. My advice to you is to start small. Look at the following list and pick just a few of these things to start with. You don’t need to start with every room. Just pick one and do a little at a time. The goal is to get rid of the things no longer serving you, not to create additional stress for yourself.

…and don’t forget to have some fun with it! 😉


Don’t forget to join the New Year, New Habits Challenge on social media if you want to really get a jumpstart on kicking those bad habits to the curb!

Join the Challenge!

Now that we’ve begun discussing habits, I invite you to join me in the “New Year, New Habits Challenge.” This is where we’ll jumpstart the process of turning our bad habits into better ones, ones that will help move you towards the life you want to have.

It doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Rather than try to tackle all of your bad habits at once, I encourage you to pick just one habit. One habit that’s adding clutter to your environment, such as:

  • Leaving dirty dishes in the sink every night
  • Letting bills and paper accumulate on your desk
  • Stuffing things in closets or under the bed instead of finding a proper place for them
  • Ignoring the laundry until it’s overflowing from your hamper
  • Leaving children’s toys all over the floor, rather than pick them up

Whatever bad habits you have that are creating stress and chaos in your life can be changed. (They didn’t become “habits” overnight.) Beginning January 1st, I challenge you to spend 14 days tackling one of those habits. Even if you only spend 10-15 minutes on it a day, I promise you’ll begin to notice a difference and it will become easier.

Don’t forget to spread the word and share your pictures on social media. Tag @TheRemakeStudio so others can join in and work on remaking their lives, too!

New Year, New Habits

Most human behavior is the result of habit. Setting your purse on the table when you get home, the way your husband leaves his shoes next to the bed, the way your kids leave their breakfast crumbs on the table…All habits. Even though you are completely unaware of it, many of the things you do on a day-to-day basis are the result of your brain signaling for you to repeat previous behaviors.

As we move into the new year, think about the habits you’ll be carrying with you. Think about the life you want to create for yourself. Are your habits supporting that life, or are they pushing you further away from it? If your goal is to be more organized and live with less clutter, stress, and frustration, that habit of letting dishes accumulate in the sink for days may not be serving your best interest.

This is the time to take action and change those habits, to move towards the life you want. “Why now?” you may ask. Why not now? You owe it to yourself to create a life of happiness. So let’s make it happen!