shifting thingsThere have been times while working with a client, that they want me to put something someplace just for now. We will be working in a room and find an item that belongs elsewhere but doesn’t have an assigned home.  That’s when I’m asked to put something someplace just for now.  What they would have me do is actually shifting things around.

When this happens, I take the opportunity to discuss the item with the client.  The act of shifting things around is not organizing, it’s postponing making decisions. It may free up space in the room or area where you are currently working but could clutter up another area.

If this item is really needed, used or loved, it deserves to have a home.  If not, it needs to be let go – donate, recycle, discard. By moving it to another area without an assigned home, you may need to move it again.  It then begins the dance of shifting things around. You haven’t made a decision about this item.

The concept of touching an item once is not always realistic, however, it is a good rule of thumb when you’re decluttering.  It means you’re making a decision about each item as you work your way around the area or room.

Another approach when facing decluttering indecision, is to defer making a decision at this time.  You don’t want to do this with every item, but you will probably find items you’re not sure about.  When this happens, put these items in a box marked with a future date; perhaps 3 or 6 months. Put the box away, but not so far away that you never see it again. When the expiration date arrives, look at these items to determine if you missed them. If not, make the decision to let them go.

Each component of the organizing process requires making decisions. In my experience, the keep or toss decisions seem to be the most difficult part of the process. Shifting things around may seem like a good idea at the time, but at some point, you will need to make decisions about these items.

My recommendation is either rip off the bandage and make a decision now, or use the deferred approach mentioned above. Whatever works for you to make these difficult decisions to keep your home clutter-free and organized.