From Pack-Rat to Organized

Do you consider yourself a  pack rat?  Generally, pack rats hate to get rid of anything because they think they might need it someday.  They also see value in almost everything.

Pack rats typically live in clutter and never know where to put stuff, so it sits around in random places around the house.  They think if they leave it out then it won’t get lost or forgotten.

If you think this sounds like you, to get rid of your pack rat tendencies you’ll need to learn how to be more organized.  Being organized doesn’t  necessarily mean you have to get rid of everything, but it does mean keeping things in an organized way so that when you need your stuff, you’ll be able to find it.

Some people are organized pack rats.  Organized pack rats usually find places to store and “organize” their stuff, but it ends up being too much.   Cupboards, cabinets, closets and drawers tend to be overfilled, which can be frustrating to deal with on a daily basis.  This can wear down on them after years of shoving and stuffing things into drawers and cupboards.  Even if your items have a home, if the drawer is too full, you either need more storage space or need to purge. It’s important that we limit our belongings to the amount of space we have, otherwise we’ll spend all of our hours sorting, organizing and tidying.

Tips for Going from Pack Rat to Organized:

  1. Keep only what you truly love and regularly use.
  2. At the beginning of decluttering, purge daily.  Then, purge weekly until you’ve reached your organizing goal.  Once you reached your goal, plan to purge monthly or quarterly.
  3. Look through magazines or ideas on websites like Pinterest to decide what you’d like your rooms to look like.  Limit this time to no more than 30 minutes a day, otherwise you’ll be spending hours dreaming, but not actually decluttering and purging!
  4. Break down large tasks into smaller pieces and slowly work through them.  This helps you to get started and also prevents procrastination.
  5. Try a task management app for your phone, and set reminders to do small chores and projects throughout the week.
  6. If you’d like to earn some money from your possessions, decide what resources you’re going to use ahead of time, e.g. Facebook group yard sales, Craigslist, Phone App sell site, Consignment Store, eBay, Yard Sale?  Make a list and write down what sells best and where so that it doesn’t hold you up.  Get professional help to get your stuff out, if needed.
  7. If your neighborhood has an annual community yard sale, put it on the calendar so that you can participate to try to get rid of some of the larger items,

It can be hard to make permanent changes, especially if you’ve lived this way for a long time, so if you begin to see more things creeping in (especially after working very hard to get rid of a lot of stuff), create a follow-up plan to stay on top of the clutter so that you don’t end up back where you started.

Photo: © Jacquie Ross of CastAway the Clutter!


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2 Responses to From Pack-Rat to Organized

  1. Bablofil says:

    Thanks, great article.