Sort everything into three piles: keep, donate and throw away.
Walsh recommends following what he calls “The Rule of 5,” where every five years you reevaluate everything you own and decide what’s really worth hanging onto for the next half-decade.
What we especially like about the way Walsh goes about this process is that he really respects and honors what he calls “the power” our stuff has over us. Unlike a lot of stricter home organizers we could think of, he’s not going to be the one to tell you to throw out your child’s homemade outfit or grandpa’s camera just because you’re not going to get “use” out of it. He respects the memories.
In fact, when Christina tears up when Walsh unearths a blanket that holds memories of her grandmother, he explains that possessions that mean that much deserve to be displayed with honor, not buried beneath a mountain of other stuff. Paying attention to how our things make us feel can help us determine what really matters and what we really need to keep, “useful” or not.
- Use vertical space.
Walsh points out that this tip is especially useful and important for smaller spaces. Don’t let a tiny room deter you from getting organized! He recommends using racks or shelving up the walls to get stuff off of the floors and maximize what space you do have.
In the case of Christina’s room, Walsh uses corner shelves and hangs things on the wall to display her mementos, achievements, and other memory-filled items.
- Maximize any storage space.
The secret to making the most of any small closet? According to Walsh, it’s cascading hangars! These simply-designed connected hangars allow you to hang multiple garments in the same space where you’d otherwise be able to only hang one.
And what about bulky out-of-season items? Walsh relies on a old standby we all know well: the under-the-bed storage container, of course!
These smart and simple steps can help any of us— even those of us with much smaller messes than Christina! To see how Peter Walsh manages to apply these tips to her room and to see the incredible transformation, check out the video from The Rachael Ray Show below. Seriously, you won’t believe it’s the same room!
What do you think of this bedroom transformation? Have you ever needed to clean out a room this overcrowded, or would you die before you let a room get this way? Do you have any of your own organizational tips to share?