by Susan Caplan McCarthy
Decluttering small spaces gives you a quick win. More important than the organized appearance of the space is your feeling of satisfaction and progress at becoming organized. So, why bother decluttering a hidden space?
Because, you know it’s there. I’ve met people with clean, organized homes … until you go into the basement and have to walk sideways through the maze of boxes. These individuals don’t feel organized because their attention is laser-pointed on the basement. And, worse, they feel like they’re living a lie every time someone standing in the immaculate living room or kitchen compliments them on being so organized.
So, even if you feel that cluttered, hidden spaces don’t make a difference, remember that it doesn’t matter whether the clutter is on the kitchen counter or shoved in a drawer, if you know it’s there, then it’s a task waiting for you. Obvious or hidden, decluttering a small space is all about your progress.
Under the Sink Decluttering
Each sink in your home – kitchen, bathroom, laundry room – is its own task. If you don’t have a cabinet beneath a sink, give a quick sort through items that have gathered around this spot. And, it isn’t necessary to organize beneath every cabinet in single day or even on consecutive days.
Why Declutter Under the Sink?
The cabinet (or other organizing tools) beneath your sink not only contains but also hides the items you have stored there, so you may not know what’s in this space. And, bonus, going through the items under the sink can save you money and time.
Money – If you have a lot of supplies beneath your sink – house-cleaning or toiletries – there’s a good chance you have duplicates. Maybe you notice that you’re running low on shampoo so the next time you go to the store you buy more.
Only, you forgot that you already bought a new bottle of shampoo when you saw it on sale a few weeks ago. But, the bottle of shampoo was squeezed in with a lot of other items under the sink and “disappeared.”
Time – Decluttering under the sink can save you time. One, you won’t waste time looking for the bottle of glass cleaner that you’re certain is stored in a particular space. Also, you won’t spend time shopping for supplies that you don’t need. And, after decluttering and organizing, you’ll have an easier time maintaining order (putting things away).
How to Declutter Under a Sink
Don’t focus on the visual appearance of the space – a pretty “after” picture is less important than how you retrieve and then put away the items stored under the sink.
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by Susan McCarthy
Do you have so many things in your medicine cabinet that items tumble out when you open the door? Can you never find what you’re looking for, go out and purchase the item, only to find that, yes indeed, you did have it squeezed onto the shelves of your medicine cabinet?
This is a fairly quick task that can create moments of calm in the morning and evening when you open the medicine cabinet. And, finding what you want in the cabinet can bolster your feeling of being an organized person.
How to Declutter the Medicine Cabinet
When You Need Other Options
If your medicine cabinet is still burgeoning with items that you need to keep in the bathroom, do you have space under the sink or in a corner of the room where you could keep caddies or drawers for each individual who used the bathroom? Limit the medicine cabinet to shared items like first aid supplies.
Another option could be to keep first aid supplies on a shelf in a kitchen cabinet (what I do) or in a case or bin stored in the linen closet. Make certain that everyone in the home knows where the items have been moved!
Key to decluttering and organizing your medicine cabinet is to consider what your expectation is for this small space. Limiting this space to essentials will make it easier to locate items (and can reduce your stress level when you need a bandage, aspirin, or eye drops).
Creating an organized medicine cabinet isn’t about straightening the items in the cabinet. It’s about helping you and others who store items in this small space to have a calmer experience at times of day when you and they may feel rushed, tired, or stressed. It’s about becoming organized.
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Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm a professional organizer-coach with 26 years' experience as a teacher. I believe that an organized home isn't your destination but a step on the path toward the life you want to create. I teach decluttering and organizing skills through articles; books; and speaking engagements; as well as virtual coaching sessions.