UNITED STATES—I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: I hate totes! I know so many people utilize totes and storage containers to get organized, but in my honest opinion they only led to more clutter and chaos in the home. This weekend, we did a massive overhaul getting rid of things in our pantry, basement, garage and furnace rooms which were so chaotic you could barely get inside. In total, we had about 35-40 totes in the home.

Most with clothing that WILL NEVER BE WORN AGAIN, and a bunch of the totes just contained junk. The one thing about getting rid of things that will NEVER be used is someone always wants to keep something they haven’t thought about in years. Hmm, if you haven’t thought or even considered this item for the past 5-10 years, why all of a sudden is it an issue of importance?

That’s the point, it’s not. This was a constant argument I was having with family members so much to the point, I said screw it! Everything was going, unless it was a valuable possession or confidential paperwork with information that could not simply be tossed in the trash. I will admit we discovered plenty of brand new school supplies which came during a perfect timing as school just kicked back into gear. We discovered tools, brand new in a box, extension cords which we’ve been looking for, as well as brand spanking new purses, backpacks and a sleuth of other things.

The frustrating thing about de-cluttering a cluttered room is moving all of the materials from the room. After doing that, it boils down to digging through the totes and storage containers to discover what can be salvaged and what has to be tossed. My personal opinion is tossing EVERYTHING except those items that are important. I kept seeing family members want to keep items, which only led to more things being held and less being tossed. Too bad for them, I wasn’t having any of it. We had SO MUCH trash we had to have a dump truck to get rid of all the mess that was cluttering the house in ways that were slightly unimaginable. I mean our storage room in the laundry room looks like a new place.

The furnace is now walkable and appears more open, the closets are now free of unnecessary mess and can now be used to store shoes and coats for the winter. I mean the house looks 10x cleaner than what it was before and I’m simply ecstatic at seeing when you have team player-ship from all parties involved. Things get done a lot quicker. Of course, you have that one straggler who does nothing, but just sit and watch, so I decided to get rid of all his mess. If he cared about it, he would have put his lazy a** into motion to save it. Out of sight, out of mind people!

The most important thing to remember when it comes to spring cleaning or fall cleaning is to have a plan. Tackle one room at a time, DON’T try to do too much at once, if you do so it WILL burn you out and you will become frustrated. DO NOT be afraid to get rid of stuff! So many people get emotionally attached to items that it just makes the task of getting rid of clutter that much harder. Everything goes, especially those items you haven’t thought about for years. If it were important it would have come to your attention much sooner people. Utilize help. Ask people to pitch in and help out, the more bodies you have tackling the clutter the quicker things can get done.

Trust me after you have de-cluttered a room that was so cluttered you could not see inside, it will make you feel so free that you’ve accomplished something that you suspected to be impossible at first.