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Editing 101

May 16, 20234 min read

My fellow organizers and I talk about it all the time - the categories our clients just have too many of. We don’t mean it in a judging way, more from a practical point. These are things people often struggle with editing to a manageable number but are taking up too much mental space in our minds and physical space in our cabinets. Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer.

1. Coffee Mugs.

I get it, so many of them were gifts or remind you of a trip you took but the cabinet is busting out at the seams with mugs. Consider these things: Coffee or Tea daily use. Frequency of dishwasher runs. Mugs for guests only. We suggest choosing 8 mugs and just your favorites. If you have a set you like for guests, place those on the top shelf for that occasion. Donate the rest.

2. Sports Water Bottles.

We all have them, the free-bee’s, the give-away’s, the gifted bottles with logos. They don’t stack. They fall over. The lids don’t match. Keep this one simple. Choose two favorite bottles for each family member and donate the rest. Make sure there is a matching lid for each.

3. Food Storage Containers.

Our team fondly calls this “The Matching Game”. Find the matching lid for each container. If there is no match, the container or lid goes away. Ideally you are mostly using glass containers (safer/healthier) and only keeping plastics for the give-away foods from your family events.

4. Plastic Retail/Reusable Bags.

Oh the bag of bags! Reusable bags are great for taking things from here to there or bringing home the groceries and being earth friendly. Choose 5 bags that are sturdy and fold nicely. Donate the rest. For the plastic retail bags, choose 8-10. The rest can go in your car for the next grocery store visit to be recycled.

5. Spices. Spices do expire.

They lose their potency and flavor. Check the expiration dates. If they expired more than a year ago, we say toss it. Within a year of expiration, there may be some usefulness. Toss those old spices and wait for the next recipe to replace it.

6. Books. Let’s be honest.

Are you going to read it again? Probably not. So consider this: Keep the few hard-back books that look awesome on your bookshelf. Lend your latest reads to your girlfriends. Donate the rest to your local library or school.

7. Grooming Products.

All the lotions, potions and makeup we purchase but don’t always continue using can begin to overrun the drawer space in the bathroom. These products do expire so be sure to toss anything past expiration or if you just hate the color.

8. Toys.

If your kiddos have outgrown a toy or they just don’t play with it anymore, let’s pay it forward to the nearest donation center. You will brighten a kids day and clear out space for your own kids to enjoy.

9. Holiday Decor.

The best time to edit is when you are decorating for the season or when you are putting it all away for another year. Rule of thumb: if you haven’t put it out in the last two years, you probably never will. Donate so someone else can deck their halls.

10. T-Shirts.

Husbands take heed. If you are holding on to t-shirts for nostalgia, let’s either make a t-shirt quilt or bin them up for the basement. Get rid of the free-bee’s you don’t care about, keep the shirts you love and wear, and maybe one or two for outdoor yard work.

11. Electronic Cords.

Everyone has one, the container with cords we don’t know what they go to or the device has died. Why do we keep these? If you are concerned you may need the cord, consider the cost of replacing it. Our friends at Amazon can help you out.

12. Paper.

Most papers are not necessary. Keep vital documents, relevant tax information and policies. Anything you can access via a portal or website should be recycled or shredded.

Free your space from things you no longer need, use or like. You’ll be freeing your mind as well. Happy Editing!

Editing 101
Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients.

Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

Karen Swart

Karen has been a professional organizer in Kansas City since 2015. With her experience in sales & marketing, complemented by a lifelong side gig as a fitness instructor, she discovered that maintaining organization is her method of cultivating tranquility in her life and thoughts. Her frequent family relocations were managed with ease thanks to her organizational prowess, a talent she now imparts to her clients. Karen's enthusiasm is rooted in devising systems, overseeing projects, and utilizing her meticulous attention to detail to craft spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. As her enterprise flourishes, so does her team—comprising only the most professional, efficient, and discreet organizers. She's selective, ensuring her team exemplifies their high standard of service. For her, organization transcends the mere purchase of attractive storage solutions; it's about equipping individuals with the means to alter their habits and revolutionize their lives.

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“I cannot recommend Karen Swart and her team enough! We were in the Kansas City area for a full summer, filming “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning,” and Karen and her team were our behind the scenes death-cleaner helpers! They helped our Death Cleaners move quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly through people’s homes - and they did it with heart. Thank you, Karen! Stay Gentle!”

— J.J. DUNCAN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “THE GENTLE ART OF SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING”