Are Vampires Lurking in Your Closet?

Last week a woman was giving me a tour of all the organizing challenges in her home and when we came to a closet upstairs, I asked her, “can I see what’s in here?” She said “Oh, I don’t want to show you that. It’s a DISASTER!” After explaining to her that I was in the disaster business, she let me have a look.

It was certainly nothing I hadn’t seen before. There were shoeboxes of photos, kids toys, some loose odds and ends taken from her last job, some kids crafts, including the styrofoam snowman, and some old kitchenware that her late mother loved, but the tour guide didn’t.

As I addressed these items one by one with the woman, pulling some of them out, it turns out she had a lot of answers about what to do with them, even though she was scared to look at them when the door was closed.

Clutter is like a vampire. Hidden in the dark it is dangerous and scary, but if you expose it to the light of day, it becomes vulnerable.

While we may overestimate our clutter’s scariness, we tend to underestimate our preparation in dealing with it. Here are some tips.

  1. Surface. Give yourself a clear surface for processing. Grab a folding table if necessary.
  2. Sorters. Equip yourself with some banker size boxes (10 x 12 x 15) for a quick sorting of major categories, especially if you are clearing a room. Label them with Post-Its to keep your categories clear. Otherwise, things can get confusing in a hurry.
  3. Exit Options. Make allowances for items to donate, sell, and reassign. It’s never as simple as just keep or toss.
  4. Quantity first. Choose your storage supplies based on the quantities you are keeping in each category. Don’t give your storage needs a prescription before you have made a diagnosis.

When you’re prepared like this, you have nothing to fear.  If you’re hidden clutter is like vampire, bite back!