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Harness the Power of the Maybe Pile

Harness the Power of the Maybe Pile.

Alright everybody, let's hear it for spring! The signs are all there: the weather's getting warmer. The days, longer. And, the ‘Maybe Pile’ in my living room is getting taller than a toddler.

You’ve heard of ‘Maybe Piles,’ right? The accumulation of things that will ‘maybe” be used someday for something. That pile of good intentions for organizing and decluttering that somehow turned into a towering mountain of indecision that's blocking out the TV.

We can't even watch Netflix without having to climb up Mount Trashmore first!

Seriously, it's like the eclipse is always happening at my house and the couch is in the path of totality.

Decluttering can feel soul crushing with closets, drawers and basements bursting at the seems with junk. Collections of clothes, toys, Tupperware lids, bread makers, an adult-size beaver costumes, etc. can really build up over the years. Yes, life is messy and letting go is hard. However, it can be very rewarding to create a calm and organized space.

If you are feeling the urge to purge, the Maybe Pile can be super helpful if there’s a few ground rules in play to keep it from turning into a Maybe Mountain Range (yes, we have piles in different rooms back at the house.) Here are some decluttering tips to help you get started.

Embrace the power of "maybe"

When decluttering, create a "maybe" pile for items you're unsure about. Set a time limit - a week or month - to make a decision and stick to it. Come back to it later with fresh eyes or donate it if remains unused, after a designated time.

Make a plan

Think about the kind of home you want to live in to help guide you in deciding what to keep and what to pitch.

Start small

Tackle one drawer, one shelf, one closet, one area, whatever, at a time and bask in completing a manageable task. Hold onto all those good feels to stay motivated and keep going.

Use the "spark joy" method …

As you go through your belongings, channel your inner Marie Kondo ask yourself: "Does this spark joy?" If not, say goodbye.

… and be ruthless

Be honest with yourself about what you truly need. If an item doesn’t ‘spark joy,’ you haven’t used it in a long time, it no longer serves a purpose in your life or you just forgot you had it, it’s probably time to let go.

Donate to charity

Give unwanted items a second life and support a good cause. Look for local charities and organizations. In the Design District, the Habitat for Humanity Restore welcomes donations of new or gently used home goods, including clothing, housewares, furniture and other goods or can arrange a pickup.

Invest in smart storage solutions

Keep things contained with stylish baskets, organizers, ottomans with hidden compartments and other storage solutions to keep your space calm and organized. Need some inspiration for storage solutions and organizational tools? Check out the Design District: There are a variety of businesses, from cabinet makers, interior designers and furniture shops, that are ready to help you take your home from your dreams to reality.

We call it spring cleaning, but it takes time to sort through a lifetime’s worth of stuff and to find a way of organizing that works for you. Celebrate the small wins and remember to set a time limit for revisiting the pile and be honest with yourself about what you truly need and use.

Now, spring to it!