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As I wrote about last week, I recently organized my storage unit it. It was big. It was bad. It was ugly.

Going through the process of a big organization project of my own really got me thinking of all the things that still apply to me, even as a professional organizer who has done this many times.

Here are some things I learned:

It’s hard to get rid of some things. I still can’t bring myself to get rid of the CDs I spent all my money on as a teenager. I never listen to them. I never look at them. I don’t really have the space to keep them. But I just can’t let go. Not yet.

Organizing is physically exhausting. By the end of it, I was sore. My back hurt. I was incredibly sweaty. I pinched my finger and got a gross blister. I hauled loads of Goodwill donations, garbage and other things all over my building.

Most organizing projects won’t leave your home looking Pinterest perfect. Sure, I can walk into the storage unit and find things now, but it is far from perfection. It may never reach perfection, and that’s okay, since this is an area of my home that I don’t spend much time in (especially since it’s on a separate floor!)  Function is the key with this space.

It’s ridiculous how long I have kept some things. The decorations left over from my coworker’s baby shower five years ago went without an issue, as did the seat covers that fit my car that got totaled eight months ago.

There were also screens from before my condo’s windows got replaced five years ago, and old dirty blinds from the same previous windows. These were buried in the back – I had forgotten that they were even there!

It’s also ridiculous how long this project has been weighing on me. Every week I have said to my sweetie “We have to clean out the storage unit.” This was even more evident yesterday when I thought we might have an extra fan (Seattle is having a record heat wave right now) and I couldn’t even walk into the storage unit and locate it. It’s a project I’ve needed to do for a very long time, and maybe one I should do more often.

Decluttering feels REALLY good. I do lots of small-time decluttering at my home here and there – but a big project like this has left me feeling much, much lighter. In addition to the storage unit, I filled two garbage bags with stuff from my condo that I no longer needed.

Maintenance is required. I’ve actually organized this storage unit in the past year. You’d think it would have stayed that way, but no – even organizers need to do constant maintenance and updates!

There is still more to be done. In the next five years or so I hope to have children with my partner. Even after this massive decluttering session, our home has exactly enough stuff for two people. Adding a third (and eventually a fourth) person to our family will call for even more intense decluttering.

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