It’s cold, it’s dark by 4, and the thermostat does not summon much enthusiasm for the outdoors.  What better time to start clearing out those over-stuffed closets and treacherous basements?

Often clients approach us to help with redesigning a basement or laundry room, but in fact aren’t really sure what their needs are.  Why? Because they don’t have a handle on what kind of space arrangements they need.  In other words, they have more ‘stuff’ than space.  Enter one of our very favourite things: stripping and reorganizing the contents of that storage space.

I know what you’re thinking: “UGH.  That dreaded pile.  It’s insurmountable.  It has no end and no beginning and only misery between the twoâ€Â.  But it doesn’t have to be so daunting.  No matter the closet, basement, garage, every space has the potential to be uncluttered, orderly, and even attractive. No, really, it’s true.

Now, if you don’t want to hire someone to tackle this for you, (although I will tell you, this is not for the faint of heart), here are some tips for getting started:

  1. Start small.  Many people get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the project, but remember, you don’t leap up and run a marathon tomorrow, you start with short runs, and this is no different.  Start with the smallest cluttered space; the bathroom vanity cabinet, or the front hall cupboard. From there, start by just tackling one aspect of the space; toss all the ‘single’ mittens or the expired medications[i], for instance.  You’ll be amazed at how small the pile gets already.
  2. Be ruthless.  Damaged, ripped, torn, stained or simply ‘doesn’t work’ is not worth hanging on to.  Let’s face it, if you haven’t fixed it yet, you’re not going to.
  3. “When was the last time you used it� This rule applies to just about everything from clothes to tools to appliances to dishware.  The only difference is the timeline,  A basic guideline is:
Category Timeline
Clothes/shoes/accessories This/last season
Tools One year
Dishware One year
Appliances Six Months
Cosmetics 3-4 months


4. Reduce, re-use, recycle.  This part is crucial; your purge should not be the burden of your local  landfill. Charity shops, enviro-depots, soup-kitchens and daycares are all great places in need of your cast-aways.  And if you’re really ambitious, nothing kicks off a weekend like a garage sale!

Still skeptical?  Here’s what some of our clients have said about our home organizing services:

 “I always thought the problem was not having enough storage – but now that everything is organized, I have more space than ever!  Thanks Kathryn!” – AT

“It was so liberating to be freed from all that clutter!  Now I just stare in wonderment at my organized cupboards!” – KJM



[i] Consult your local pharmacy for instructions on how to properly dispose of expired meds and needles