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Organize + Energize: What Does Your Stuff Mean to You?

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


With all of the natural disasters that took place in 2017, I started to wonder, what do people grab when they’re told they have to evacuate?

If you had to evacuate your home, aside from people and pets, what would you take with you? If your house is chaotic, would you find what you were looking for and how much of what's in your basement would you try to salvage?  If I told you that you have to grab 10 things right now, what would you grab and how quickly could you put your hands on them?

Here are 5 areas in your home that you may want to take a closer look at this year:

Attic. Some people use their attics for storage.  When was the last time you went into your attic? Have you just been throwing items up there every year and not really taking inventory? Mark this project on your calendar and figure out what you need to keep or toss. When was the last time you used any of the items that are stored in the attic?

Basement. What’s going on in your basement? What are you attached to down there? Are you holding on to items for family members? Stop using your basement as a dumping ground of things that don’t have a home in your living space. If you had to evacuate tomorrow and you lost your home, would you be sad about anything that you lost in the basement?  If you answered yes, it’s time to organize your basement!

Bedroom. We keep personal and sentimental items in our bedrooms. Most of these items are very important to us. If your bedroom is disorganized and cluttered, are those personal items mixed in with non-important items? If you answered yes, it’s time to declutter and get organized in this space!

Closets. Most people hide things in closets. Working with clients, I’ve found money, gift cards and other important items. They all forgot those things were there. If you think you’ve hidden items in closets, but haven’t gone back to look for them, it’s time to straighten out these closets!

Important files. If you have issues with paper management, you know that you have papers all over the home. Some are junk but others are important. Create a system for your important papers so that if something happens, you can grab the files and put them in a box and leave. How many of you would lose important papers because you don’t know where they are located? Would it take you hours to gather everything?

This article will make you think about what’s actually taking up space in your home. How much of it is random stuff and what is important to you? If you’re struggling to let go of items, this may help put things into perspective. Nobody wants to see people affected by natural disasters, but you should always be prepared, just in case.


Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: A 2018 Guide to Decluttering

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It’s holiday clean up time.

It’s a great time to get your kitchen back to normal after all of the holiday festivities.

Here are your spaces: Expired food, refrigerator, freezer, spices.

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Most of these items are found in the bathroom or linen closet. 

Most of these items get neglected. 

Put these items on your list this month: Makeup, linens, nail polish, under the bathroom sink.

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Spring will be here soon.

It’s a great time to check your first aid kits and get a head start on getting your closet organized.

Break up these tasks and it won’t be so overwhelming.

Expired meds, underwear, socks, jewelry.

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Get excited! It’s starting to get warmer outside!

Time to switch out your closet to spring/summer!

Tackle these areas next: Clothes, Shoes, belts, scarves, pocketbooks.

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Time to make room in the trunk for the beach chairs!

Bring new energy into the home. 

Dust off and declutter those old magazines.

Here are your spaces: Bathing suits, magazines, under the bed, trunk of car.

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How many of you had to park outside this winter and clean snow off of your car? 

This is the time to declutter and organize the garage!

The kids are home too! Get them involved in these spaces: Garage, kid’s books, kid’s clothes, kid’s toys.

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Is your email inbox exploding? Are your desk drawers overflowing?

Make a plan and mark these spaces on your calendar.

Here are your spaces:  Email, desk drawer, dust collectors, shed.

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Want more free space and an extra drawer in your home?

Wasting money on a storage unit every month? Do you even know what’s in there?

Here are your spaces:  Junk drawer, den, books, storage unit.

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If mail is one of your sore spots,  you may need to dedicate one month to focusing on it.

It’s ok, take it one step at a time and just start decluttering.

Don’t worry about organizing yet, just declutter.

Here are your spaces: Mail, TV console, hall closet, spare bedroom closet.

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Get your closets ready for fall. It’s time to rotate them again.

When was the last time you took a look around the basement and took inventory?

Here are your spaces: Clothes, basement, drawer at work, fall decorations.

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Get your home ready for guests this holiday season.

Tackle it now so you’re not running around stressing out at the last minute.

Here are your spaces: Fridge, freezer, food pantry, dining room.

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Get ready for the holidays and beyond!

Here are your spaces:  Fridge, freezer, holiday decorations, out with the old (your choice),  old taxes/papers.


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