Decluttering | General Organizing | Living Simply

The Best Way to Declutter the Storage Room

Laura Coufal

About Laura

I am a Southern California turned small town, Midwest Mom. I am wife to Bruce and mom to my three girls. Back when I first started my organizing journey in 2013, I had what I thought of as a dirty little secret.

I have ADHD and although I am organized, and enjoy the process of sorting, and tidying. I knew that there were many others with ADHD who really struggled with staying organized. I had a case of imposter syndrome and mostly kept the fact that I had ADHD to myself. That is until I learned that there are other successful professional organizers who have also learned to compensate for their ADHD.

I eventually realized that my need for order and simplicity actually stems from having ADHD as a way to compensate for my short attention span. So my gifts and my challenges are all ironically tied together to create who I am,  and I am able to relate to and help others as a result of this coping method that I have developed for myself.

I help women and moms with ADHD, but I also help those who struggle with clutter without having ADHD.  Because simplicity and less clutter are always at the heart of staying organized, there is much overlap when it comes to finding solutions to clutter and disorganization.

I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible and to helping others do the same by teaching them how to declutter their homes, simplify their lives, and manage their busy families better.

I have been helping others stay organized since 2013.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 

always have

something

beautiful 

in your space…

…but let it be

as simple

as a daisy

in a vase.

 

The Best Way To Declutter the Storage Room 

Deal With Storage Room Clutter Today not Tomorrow

A few years ago, I spent several days trying to declutter the storage room of a client. She was wanting to get her home ready for a future move. We were about two days in, with seemingly a long road ahead, when she sighed heavily and called out her warning to me.

“Whatever you do,” she said, “Do not wait forever to go through your storage room and declutter like I did!”

My client is not alone, a survey shows that 54% of Americans are overwhelmed with their clutter and don’t know what to do with it. This means that there are more people who struggle with clutter than those that don’t. Additionally, 1 in 11 U.S households rents some sort of off site storage space to hold their belongings.  

It’s Best Not To Put Off Decluttering Your Storage Room

My client’s large storage room was packed full with all of the beloved and not so beloved things of yesteryear. Her three adult children had moved out years ago. We had sorted piles of kids’ keepsakes, stuff to donate, stuff to give to her children, stuff to sell, and stuff to keep.

She told me that if she only could have known when she was younger what a burden all of her stuff would become, she would have done a better job of dealing with it then rather than letting it build up. 

Don’t Let Storage Room Clutter Build Up in the First Place

She pinpointed one of her downfalls to be stocking up on sale items that she couldn’t pass up because they were bargains. She loved to entertain, and in her head, she wanted to be ready for future parties and celebrations. She also wanted to be ready to decorate for the upcoming holidays.

As it turned out, many of those ‘great deals’ ended up being a waste of money because she never got around to actually using the supplies.  And she had multiple boxes of home decor and party supplies taking up space in her storage room. 

The Longer You Wait, To Declutter The Storage Room – The Bigger The Burden

She had also accumulated a mountain of stuff that fell into the ambiguous category of ‘No longer treasures, but not yet trash’. Including old furniture, home décor, and framed photos that no longer merited a place upstairs.

As the years went by, her storage room became a graveyard of things forgotten from yesterday. Her situation was not at all uncommon, many families struggle with the same issue, especially if they have lived in the same home for many years.

I commended my client for making the decision to deal with it now. Because this job is a physically and emotionally demanding one, it’s best not to wait until we are 90 to declutter the storage room. I also reminded her that some people leave the job undone forever, placing a giant burden on their adult children.

Decide to Decide Now When it Comes to Decluttering the Storage Room

Much of the clutter in storage rooms ultimately represents indecision, and it is tempting to put off all of those difficult decisions until tomorrow.  My client suggests that you make it your goal to thoroughly go through your clutter well before the last child leaves home. “Deal with clutter when you notice that it is starting to build up.” she says. 

Household Storage

Limit How Many Kid’s Keepsakes You Keep

What I have learned from years of organizing is that adult children want only a manageable amount of childhood memories, not a museum of their past. A couple of keepsake boxes and a handful of photo albums per child is sufficient. You would be surprised at how many parents of adult children are still holding on to multiple boxes of keepsakes that their children don’t want.

Take the following 5 steps to ensure that you never have to face a gaint decluttering job in the storage room:

1. Always have a donation box available for your family to drop things into and make sure everyone knows where it is kept at all times. Write DONATE on the side of the box for clarity.

2. Set up a twice-yearly routine to go through your storage room and get rid of the things you are no longer using. There is a constant influx of new stuff coming into our homes each year.  Make sure the same amount is going out.

3. Force yourself to make those tough decisions now rather than later. Be realistic, if an item has lost its shine or is not really useful anymore; be open to letting it go NOW. 

4. Only stock up on nonperishable essentials like toilet paper and paper towels. Avoid stocking up on things that, “you might use someday,” but have no immediate need for in the near future.

5. Limit keepsakes by going through them regularly. Be selective about what items you keep and take photos of the rest.

By taking away a bit of wisdom from my client and becoming more vigilant of what you park in your storage room today, you can save yourself the pain of having to face an overwhelming mountain of clutter tomorrow.   

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