Banish Boxes, Bins, Bags, Blocks & Baskets

Banish Boxes, Bins, Bags, Blocks and Baskets

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Many times I want to banish the boxes, bins, bags, blocks, and baskets that clients have in their homes. I see hundreds of these clutter-collecting objects. They sabotage clients’ organizing attempts.

Often people, in an effort to get organized, go and buy organizing supplies. However, what often happens, is these boxes, bins, bags, blocks, and baskets become containers for holding clutter, not sources of true organizing. And, over time, people stack more clutter on the top surface of the bins, as if they are an additional table.

People have baskets sitting by the fireplace, next to the couch, in the bathroom, next to the bed, on the dining table.  These baskets hold magazines that the client is going to read, and yet, 3 years later, they are still there, unread.

People bring mail into the house and pile the envelopes and junk solicitations into a bin which might or might not get opened sometime during the month.

People throw things from the closet floor into a fabric block or box thinking they are organizing, but this isn’t organizing. True organizing would make sure like-is-with-like, then containerize properly, and label the outside to describe the content within. Throwing things haphazardly inside a box or bin is not organizing.

One of the principles that Professional Organizers follow is to purge before buying containers. There is no reason to purchase a bunch of boxes and bins before you ascertain how much you really need in the way of organizing supplies.

Before you purchase new boxes, bins, bags, blocks, and baskets, declutter first. After you declutter, it is best to have a systematic use for bins and boxes, not arbitrarily dump things inside.

Following this method, you will save time. You will be able to purchase the right size and amount of containers to fit your remaining items. You will label the bins and be able to locate the scotch tape or stapler easily.

Following this method, you will save money. When you declutter, you will clear out, open space, and locate items you have been looking for or forgot you had. You will also discover empty boxes, bins, bags, blocks or baskets that you can probably use for your project. For example, an empty shoe box is perfect to be reused as a cable and cord organizer. You will find storage problem solutions in your house by simply decluttering.

Following this systematic method, you will gain more freedom. If you are going to purchase new containers, owning less stuff will make it easier for you to organize. You will have more freedom to do other things when you have decluttered and use boxes consciously and wisely.

Do regular purges throughout the year so that you can maintain the items that you need and not pile up in baskets and blocks.

If you must buy new boxes, choose the square or rectangular containers with lids. They stack better and store more. Make sure that you know the dimensions of the storage containers that you need before shopping. Consider the space where you want to put them and measure the area.

In summary, do not purchase storage containers until you have purged. Watch the build-up of magazines, papers, envelopes and all other items in baskets and bins so they do not overflow with clutter. Use the boxes, bins, bags, blocks, and baskets properly and wisely – otherwise banish them (and clutter) from your home!

© Janet Fishman
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Professional Organizer

Janet Fishman, J.D., C.P.D.S., Professional Organizer, President of HOPE Organizers, Inc., obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern Law School, her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Cal State University Long Beach, and her Associate Arts degree in Police Science from Mount San Antonio Junior College. She is a member of both the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and NAPO’s Los Angeles Chapter as well as the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She is also a Certified Paper Document Specialist and Certified Home Inventory Consultant through Family Documap. Janet is also a member of AADMM - the American Association of Daily Money Managers through which she has been background checked.

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