Tips for Organizing Your Home from Peter Walsh of TLC's "Clean Sweep"

Clean Sweep Organizer Peter Walsh
Clean Sweep Organizer Peter Walsh. TLC

TLC has granted permission to publish the following.

Is your home a cluttered mess? Now is the perfect time to clean sweep your space. Sometimes the toughest part is getting started, so "Clean Sweep" organizer Peter Walsh provides ten tips on creating a fresh and organized home.

Peter Walsh's Tips

  • Start slow.
    It’s taken months for your house to become cluttered so it’s not realistic to try and organize everything in one day or even a weekend. Instead, start small – one room or section of a room at a time. Make a commitment every day to CLEAN SWEEP another part of your home until it’s done.
  • Find a de-cluttering buddy.
    An honest friend will help you put things in perspective and help you part with that neon jumpsuit from 1982.
  • Hold a neighborhood garage sale!
    Turn trash into cash by selling the items you no longer need in your home. Consider donating the funds to a local charity.
  • Use the ratio rule.
    For every four items you keep throw away one. Challenge yourself and try to lower the ratio to three to one or if you are really brave, two to one.
  • Understand and honor your treasured collections.
    Items stored in a trash bag in the attic aren’t collections. If you truly treasure those items display them proudly and properly in your home, otherwise get rid of them.
  • Make your bed.
    Your mother was right. Making your bed everyday is an instant quick fix that makes any room look neater.
  • Design a place for paperwork.
    It’s one of the biggest clutter issues in the home. Have a filing center system for bills, important files and magazines. This cuts down on clutter being strewn around your home.
  • Try the clothes hanger trick.
    At the start of summer reverse the way your clothes are hung in your closet. When you wear and return an item, replace the hanger the correct way around. At the end of the summer you can clearly see what you haven’t worn and, most likely, what you can live without!
  • Organize your monthly receipts.
    Use an inexpensive 12-month accordian file to quickly and easily organize your monthly receipts and even paid bills. At the end of 12 months discard the oldest bills and receipts. This is a simple solution to that messy paperwork that can really get out of hand.
  • Understand that it’s not always about ‘the stuff’.
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Recognize that the clutter is often a reflection of something deeper that might be troubling you. Dealing with the clutter can open up not only the physical space in your life, but also your emotional, psychological and spiritual space as well!

    Peter Walsh's Bio
    Peter Walsh characterizes himself as part-contractor, part-therapist. He has been an organizational consultant for the past 12 years and his clients have included numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as scores of harried and disorganized individuals who want to de-mystify, de-clutter and re-organize their personal spaces. Peter holds a masters degree with a specialty in educational psychology and has been president and CEO of an international training and development company. When not wading through clutter and large-scale disorganization on CLEAN SWEEP, Peter lives in Los Angeles – a long way from the small country town outside Melbourne, Australia where he grew up.