Declutter Your Home: Tips from an Expert Organizer
If there’s one thing we hate, it’s clutter. So much so, that clutter is one of the reasons why Good Buy Gear was created. To put an end to all that baby and kid stuff laying around the house, reduce consumerism, and of course—reinvent how parents shop for their children.
But consumerism and shopping habits aside, how bad is clutter for our well-being? We turned to an expert, Shauna Yule Brasseur, founder of home organizing, decluttering, and design service Lovely Life Home, for her insight.
Shauna spent two decades in publishing in New York before realizing that her passion was a career. “One of my dearest friends kept telling me that organizing professionally was a real thing and insisted on paying me. It was the most joyous process—for us both! She always jokes that she lost 15 lbs. once the project was done because she felt so much calmer and in control of her life,” Shauna explains.
Our Spaces Impact Our Moods
We’re all spending more time in our homes, and with our families, than ever before. The pandemic has shed light on our daily living spaces and the critical role our surroundings can have on our moods.
“Clients often describe their homes feeling heavy, as if their possessions have an actual psychic weight—and talk about being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start,” Shauna elaborates. I see everyday that our things and our spaces have a deep impact on the way that we, and our families, feel. Living with just the things we love and that are truly useful makes us feel calmer.”
For busy parents, it’s even harder to make time to organize. Stuff accumulates quickly and before you know it, you’re swimming in a sea of toys. That’s why we offer a contactless pick up service, so you can leave your baby and kid gear outside, we’ll pick it up, process it and post it—and you get paid as soon as it sells.
Kids & Clutter—Are They Also Impacted?
Speaking for the adults, it’s clear that a messy space impacts our moods. But what about our kids' moods?
Shauna weighed in with her expert opinion, “Kids are 100% impacted by clutter! When kids have too many things they don’t know what to love.”
“When I work with clients, the goal is to focus on the things that their kids really love to play with and let the rest go. Kids are overwhelmed when they have too many toys and games and it actually stops them from being creative and playing happily. That busy feeling we get when there are too many things? Kids are the same.”
Even for our kids, less is more.
Small Changes Add Up
It can seem daunting to know where to start, but just like climbing a mountain, Shuana recommends taking it one step at a time.
Here are Shauna’s tips to start the decluttering process today.
- The 20 minute fix: set your phone timer for 20 minutes, grab two bags (one for trash and one for donations—any gently used baby or kid gear you can drop off at Good Buy Gear and sit back while we do the heavy lifting). Do a sweep through your house, picking up things that you know you don't use or love. And keep asking that question: “do I love it or is it truly useful?” If it doesn’t tick one of those boxes, let it flow out to another family who will love it!
- When the timer goes off, keep going if you’re enjoying the process, or stop if you’ve had enough. And then do it the next day. Just 20 minutes can give you the momentum you need to start really decluttering. You can also try making it fun and getting your kids to join
- For clothes, put a hand-me-down or donation bag in your clothes closets. Then those things that you or your kids are no longer wearing have a place to go
- Don’t feel guilty about hiring someone to help you. If organization isn’t your strength, there is someone where you live who loves doing this
Long-Term Habits for Success & Happiness
20 minutes a day sounds doable. But long-term, it can be easy to fall back into old habits of buying more stuff, without upcycling.
“Buying less, and thinking about what we want to bring into our homes, is the easiest way to have a calmer space,” Shauna says.
“It’s really important to remember that organizing, and purging, is a process and has to keep happening. The seasons change and our kids get bigger.” And when they do, it’s time to say goodbye to their old kid gear.
As your littles ones grow, don’t get attached to their old possessions. By upcycling their gently used gear you’re not only giving it to another family to love—you’re also improving your entire family’s psyche and earning cash to put towards your kid’s next stage of essential gear. It’s a win-win.
More Organization Tips
It can be hard to stay motivated, we get it. That’s why we asked Shauna for her extra dose of organization inspiration, to keep you motivated to keep clutter abay.
- Add an organizer to your Instagram or Facebook feed for a daily dose of inspiration (you can find me at Lovely Life Home and I’d be so happy to see you
- If you’re in Denver, Dallas (and soon Houston) you can schedule a pick up or drop off with Good Buy Gear, so that you can let the things you don’t use find a new life with someone who really needs them. Not in one of these locations? You can send your gear in with a prepaid shipping label
- Remember, that the problem is generally not that you don’t have enough storage containers, it’s that you have too many things
- A great Instagram feed to follow is Go Green Hingham— inspiring us to live with less and get kids involved!
Do you feel lighter already? Learn More on how you can safely and quickly declutter.