When you outgrow your space
Mark is a very talented acting coach and audition coordinator - meaning he puts actors on tape for their big time auditions. Before calling TidyFairy, he had his taping equipment set up in the living room - but as clients started piling up, he realized he needed a waiting room. Because Mark is a can-do kinda guy, he built a Murphy bed and began to use his bedroom for taping. But this collision of office and bedroom left him needing help!
Mark had recently decluttered his clothing. All we needed to do in his closet was cull a few pairs of shoes and that "shoe rack" of plywood. LOL.
What's your "thing"?
Because he was so streamlined with his clothes and personal items, Mark considered himself someone without much "stuff." And he is - to an extent. But it turns out that Mark's "thing" is Books and Papers!
He had soooooo many!
Let's turn to the other side of the room!
He had banker's boxes full of:
His books consisted of:
Some people categorize things too much, and some people not enough. For example, Mark's categories were so broad that some of those banker's boxes were stuffed full and some were almost empty! He was keeping everything that came to him without regard to use!
When categories are too broad, it can help to Divide and Conquer in order to see them more clearly.
What is yours? What is for looks vs. what is for use? What is personal and what is business? They certainly should be separated, maybe even by a whole room! While it is fine to store like things together, they do not have to be!
Mark really only had two folders of papers he wanted for himself - what amounted to our "Keep Permanently" and "Keep Semi-Permanently" folders that we recommend. The third possible folder is an "Action" folder. I personally don't have an 'Action" folder - I have a space beside a bookend where I slip actionable papers, or into my planner. They are in my face. Mark has a similar system for himself. This is a great way to work because papers can't accumulate long!
We recycled or marked for shredding at least two trash bags of papers! His largest category of saved papers were teaching materials. We decided he would sort those and store them in binders.
We used the same Divide and Conquer strategy with his books:
We separated his books into those for his students and books for himself, and found a place for each. One box of books went in his car for easy access when on the road and one small grouping stayed in the office.
We only had a tiny bit of miscellany to sort - a few picture frames, odds and ends electronics, pet supplies, and props for audition tapes.
We discarded so much that I decided to get rid of one of the bookcases! His papers now easily fit in new and improved storage boxes. We were able to display the books based on personal or work, and even had room for some childhood memorabilia. Odds and ends found their little places!