Editor's Note: Want to get organized this summer? Leah Friedman, owner of Raleigh Green Gables, offers some helpful reminders.
Myth #1: You have to go to the store and buy a ton of bins to organize your stuff.
False: You should not buy anything before you declutter. The reason you are in this state is because you have too much stuff. You don't want to go out and buy more and bring yet more stuff into the house.
Purge unwanted items first. Then see if there is any need for storage bins. Most of the time, you end up emptying out bins that you can use for other things.
Myth #2: Organizing will take days, if not weeks.
It Depends: If you do it by yourself and with children around, it can take a really long time. If you hire an expert, it just takes a few hours. I always equate hiring an organizer to hiring a personal trainer at the gym. You always get a better workout for less time when you have the trainer there with you. Same thing with an organizer.
Myth #3: Organizing means just moving your stuff around to different spaces in your house, like putting unused things in the attic or basement.
False: To really be organized, you need to purge, purge, purge. Sell items or donate them to a charity. You should be able to see the surface of your kitchen counters, the bottom of your closets and the floor of your garage.
Myth #4: You say: "I need to hold onto this [fill in the black item] because I may need it one day."
Mostly False: If you have not used it, you will not use it in the future. Maybe you will take a course in fondue cooking and use the pot you received 20 years ago for your wedding. But chances are you won't. Get rid of it. You can say this for a few items, but not 50 boxes sitting in the attic collecting dust.
Myth #5: You say: "I can't throw away any of my children's things because they will be really upset and never get over it."
False: Every time I have decluttered a playroom, the children have not missed one item that was donated because they have too much to begin with. I tell parents have the children call me if they do miss something. No one has.
If, on the rare occasion they miss something, and they are upset, I always say, it's OK to disappoint your children. Disappointment is part of life. Better they learn it now. Crying is OK, too. What a gift you are giving your children.
More importantly, with less stuff, they can breathe better and have less stress. I think that is more important than the remote possibility they will miss one of the 100 stuffed animals on their beds.
Leah Friedman is a mom of two, professional organizer and owner of Raleigh Green Gables.