Resolution 2019: Get Organized!

Just some of the dozens of bins that were emptied during a 2-room decluttering project.

The average American household is said to contain over 300,000 items. Having worked to clean out a few of those houses, I’d say that number is a conservative guess. Many household items are always where you expect to find them, but some go missing in the chaos of our busy lives. In a study of 3,000 adults, esure, a British home insurance company, found that people spend an average of 10 minutes a day looking for lost items. That adds up to about 3,680 hours—a staggering 153 days—over a lifetime!

No wonder people feel like they need to get organized. A weekend spent cleaning up the recent mail, newspapers and partially emptied shopping bags only takes a day to undo as new mail, newspapers and shopping come through the door. Add to that, the bargains that were purchased in bulk and now need to be stored before using. Add to that, the new things you bought because you were out of the old ones, only to find a stash of the very same things tucked away. It all adds up to overflowing shelves, closets, drawers and countertops.

A popular solution to this problem is the plastic storage bin.  A glorious creation that comes in all sizes and colors, making it easy to use for organization. This solution is, however, part of the problem. In house-after-house, our team members find storage bins full of forgotten items. Big storage bins of clothing that no longer fits. Small storage bins of pens and pencils. Medium storage bins of papers to be filed. (A memorable 2018 find: an envelope labeled in pencil “Current Papers 2/1/78 to Date.”) Plastic storage bins as a solution is, in my opinion, the biggest myth in the organization industry.

May I suggest you revise your Organize More! resolution to “Declutter More! Organize Less!” Shift your Container Store mindset from thinking that a bin, box, cupboard, cabinet or shelf system will solve the clutter problem in your home to a mindset that recognizes that you may actually have too much. Or at the very least, enough.

Take back those wasted 10 minutes a day and spend them decluttering. Start by shopping less. Ignore the bulk bargains for things you don’t consume quickly. Then, choose one shelf, or a drawer, or a counter top—anywhere the clutter collects, and resolve to remove the unnecessary contents. Start a donation box and plan a drop off or pick up time to give it to the charity of your choice within 30 days. Hey, you might even be able to put the donations in one of those large plastic bins!

If your clutter project is too overwhelming, give us a call and we can help you get started or, even do it all for you.  Smooth Transitions Delaware can be reached at (302) 273-0303 or email me at, to find a senior move manager in another area please go to the National Association of Senior Move Managers at