Melissa's Decluttered Entry Console Table

Welcome to The De-Cluttered Home

Uncle Bob’s Self Storage is pleased to introduce a new resource on de-cluttering and organizing you home. We’re especially pleased to announce Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room as the contributor to this column. You can learn more about Melissa below.

For the past five and a half years, I’ve run a business and a blog called The Inspired Room. As a part of my business and my own personal passion of the subject, I think a lot about creating a comfortable organized home and how that impacts our lives.

How My De-Cluttering Journey Began

Earlier this year, I decided to embark on a journey of my own to alter the way we lived in our new home. We had been in this house for over three years, but most of that time we were extremely busy with other things in life. Organization took a back burner to surviving the day to day, paying the bills, establishing our businesses, feeding the kids, dealing with the dogs, and simply trying to keep our heads above water. Sound familiar?

While I have enjoyed working on my home a little bit here and there over the years, I decided that this year was going to be the year of more radical change. I wanted to really feel at home here. I wanted to create better function for the demanding needs of our day-to-day life. I knew that wasn’t going to be an overnight fix, but I was up for the challenge!

We had downsized from a 4,700 square foot home to a more modest 2,500 square foot home. While we had gotten rid of at least half our belongings prior to the move, I still felt overwhelmed by too much stuff in our new home. And as you probably have discovered, stuff tends to multiply. For every thing you get rid of something new wants to come in and fill up its space.

Organizing Our Space

While I don’t think we would qualify for an episode of Hoarders, we were in desperate need of a better plan for our space and our belongings. Our house felt too small, but the reality is, we had too much stuff and needed to reevaluate how we used the space we had.

As I began thinking about a plan for how our home could function better for us, I asked myself a key question designed to motivate me to get my house in order and to help me find solutions that made sense for our goals..

The Question

Perhaps pondering this question will be helpful to you as well in your own journey to better organization and living the life you want at home!

What are our desires and expectations for life in our home?1. We want our home to be our escape from the outside world. Both my husband and I run businesses and organizations out of our home. After three years of hard work in establishing our life here, it was becoming clear that our work was taking over all of the available space in our home. We needed to find a way to recapture our sense of home being our oasis, rather than an office and storage building.

2. We love entertaining and inviting people over. We wanted to create a home that was comfortable and welcoming for guests as well as orderly enough that we could invite people over without feeling overwhelmed at the thought.

3. We want our home to inspire and motivate us to be effective in all the things we want and need to accomplish in life. We didn’t want to be overwhelmed by our home or a slave to organizing unnecessary possessions; we wanted to be surrounded by what we loved and organize only what was truly needed for day-to-day life.

When a home doesn’t function well or is clearly disorganized, it actually can distract from the life you want to live. Without a plan, the upkeep and management of stuff can consume more time and energy than you want to devote to it. Conversely, when things that bring you peace and energy surround you, your home can inspire your life in greater ways.

By reorganizing how we used our space and what we were surrounded with in our home, we hoped to find greater contentment with our home and more energy for the life we wanted to live. While we are still in process of overhauling how we live in our home, we’ve made a lot of progress and have already noticed a big improvement in many areas! It’s been a rewarding journey.

Stay tuned for upcoming practical tips and inspiration to get your life in order and find greater contentment with the home you have!


  • Sissy

    Oh my word! Do I ever need help!

  • Bill

    I would like to see how to de-clutter garage and attic.

  • Bill

    Please advise.

  • Krys72599

    I will be addicted to this blog, I can tell! I am feeling so weighed down by all the “stuff” I really want to toss it all and just start all over. While that’s a wee bit impractical, I really want to get rid of what we don’t need/use/want, but as much of a pack rat as I admittedly am, I am married to a guy who says, “Save it, we’ll have a garage sale.” I don’t want to have a garage sale, I want to live a clutter-free, calm, beautiful home. And I can’t do that with all our “stuff.”

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I know just how you feel, I had to stop saving stuff for a garage sale because I realized I didn’t want to go to all the work for that! It was easier to give it all away and let someone else enjoy it. The money I would have made wasn’t worth the stress of keeping it, sorting it and hosting the sale.

  • Caryn

    I need serious help organizing a home with two kids and no built in storage. I’m creating as I go, but k ow there has to be a better way!

  • TKraft Art & Interiors

    Great read. Looking forward to following your new blog… I find the best way to organize and de-clutter is to have lots of shelving in closest (or in a room/basement/garage/attic including free standing shelving like the ‘Metro’ system. This way things are not just put on the floor in a big pile. Against a blank wall I stack clear plastic tubs with large labels on each box with its contents listed on each. (Place all the labels in the same position on each box for neat and orderly look, keep list short; winter clothes/summer clothes/extension cords/car cleaning supplies/etc) ONLY KEEP WHAT YOU USE do not keep it more than two +/- years if you don’t use it… give it to someone who needs it rather than move it around from year to year. I use this same method in my design studio and workshop. Keep similar items stored together in grouping, which makes things easier to use if it’s found together. Tackle one corner at a time and purge through the piles… It’s liberating and fun when you come across a special treasure you haven’t seen in a while…

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Excellent advice!

  • Denise vander Werf

    I will definitely be reading your column because I’m one of “those” people. By that I mean, if I can visit your home and organize your kitchen while I’m pretending to just be having coffee and a chat, I will. Hehe
    There is something very liberating in chucking the junk and living with less. I wish you the best in your new venture!

  • Diann

    I love organizing! Unfortunately it is a constant battle with children in every age level. Looking forward to your organizational strategies. P.S. Love The Inspired Room Blog!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks Diann! I know how you feel with kids of all ages! My youngest is 12 but now we have two dogs, one who is really old and one who is a puppy so they keep us hopping! :-)

  • Wendy

    As an avid organizer, I look forward to reading your blog for additional tips and creative solutions to add to my repertoire.

  • JustMe

    Melissa, I love your new blog! My mom was a queen pack rat and I’m Pack Rat,Jr-ette (but have gotten better) the other is I do crafts and always think that would be good to use for a future craft, then I recycle. My mom came through the “Great Depression,” and learned to keep small things like the twist ties of the bread, when she died we found a gallon size zip lock bag full along with a lot of other useful treasures. Anytime we asked for something she go into a room and come back asking if this would work. So its in my gene’s, with one exception, I can’t always put my hands on what I’m looking for and many times have gone bought more only to find item of course when not looking for it! Looking forward to reading your blog and keeping you updated with your help on my progress.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thanks JustMe!

  • Marilyn

    I came over from The Inspired Room. I’m looking forward to reading more!

  • Angie

    I have a problem with sentimental stuff….furniture, etc passed down from family that is not my style, but feel guilty to just give it away. Help!

  • joan

    I, too, came over from the Inspired Room and am looking forward to your tips. I am working to clear the clutter and create my home as a place of peace. We are not hoarders but have areas in the home which are clutter-catchers. I have a plaque that states “create time to be still” This concept has found a place in my heart and I am slowly clearing out many places within our home where we are comfortable and able to “be still”.

  • Cathie

    I look forward to hearing you tips. I have four kids from 1-12 and feel like I cannot balance the need to create a sense of peace at home for my preteens with the need for a ton of toys still in the living space where I can keep an eye on my “adventurous” 18 month old! I will say though, that loving your Inspired Room Blog, it is obvious you are a wonderfully organized mind and I am curious if tips from a naturally organized brain can really be applied successfully by, well, those of us who fall into the “other than” category! Haha Here’s to hoping!

  • Living Room Furniture

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your site for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from New Mexico. Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic job!

  • http://TheInspiredRoom kristin

    Organization is my achilles heel! I am a COMPLETELY right-brained, creative, visual, spontaneous mom who can make anything look beautiful; but I cannot seem to figure out how to make my aesthetically gorgeous home more “organizationally” friendly for my family? I don’t even know where to begin????