Cas Aarssen's Best Tip For Getting Organized

If you get excited thinking about all the cute storage baskets and see-through containers you could buy to organize your house, stop right there! According to HGTV, Cas Aarssen, founder of Clutterbug and the host of HGTV's Hot Mess House, says that's not where organizing starts. Shopping for storage containers may be fun but bringing them into your home just creates a bigger problem for you, according to Aarssen. You can't neatly organize your belongings if there are just too many things that are no longer being used, taking up storage space. The hard work begins first with decluttering, which requires removing things from your home. 

Aarssen says that people get stuck by placing too much sentimental value on items that were either inherited or made by their children. You may have things in your house that your grandmother didn't throw away, and your mother brought them into her house until they got passed to you. If those items are not truly sentimental to you, don't keep them even if someone in your family enjoyed them at one time. Holding on to them just leaves them as a problem for the next person to have to deal with in the future. To identify what you can get rid of, Aarssen suggests asking yourself whether you would buy the item again if you didn't currently own it. If the answer is no, then let it go to someone else.

It's easy to organize once you've cut out the clutter

Cas Aarssen identifies four main areas that generate clutter: the landing zone, the command center, the clothing clutter, and the toy clutter. The landing zone is where you enter your home and dump whatever it is you're carrying, whether it belongs there or not. Command center is where you need to take some action on important papers or phone calls, like paying a bill or responding to an invitation. Clothing clutter is a result of holding on to clothes that might fit someday and are taking up space that could hold the clothes you actually wear. Finally, Aarssen says that if you have kids, you're going to have toy clutter. 

The Clutterbug system that Aarssen developed helps people identify the organizing style that will work best for the way they want to store and use items in their homes. A quick quiz can help anyone identify which of the four categories describes them as either a ladybug, butterfly, cricket, or bee. Aarssen says she was a chronically disorganized person until she figured out the system after much trial and error. Once you take the quiz, Aarssen offers specific steps based on your organizing style and goals. As a reward for decluttering and making room for the things you actual use and want to keep, you can go out and buy those cute storage containers!