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  • Bob Barnett

Audit, Edit, Clean: 3 steps to simplicity

Updated: Apr 29


Let’s face it…you’ve likely got too much stuff in your home, and are likely not even aware of everything that you have.

AUDIT: If a full-house audit seems insurmountable, then you are way overdue for one. Doing rooms or parts of rooms in increments does not address issue of having multiple (and similar) items all over the house. The Edit and Clean steps can be done over time, but the Audit step itself should be a marathon operation. Open up every closet, every drawer and take out all of your belongings and organize them. Have one room for bath & bedroom linens, one room (or two) for clothes, kitchen/dining for the items in those rooms, the garage for outdoor items, etc. Mudrooms are a great way to keep items organized and handy. This mudroom (left) in Summit was built by JMOC Builders, Peter Rymwid photography.


Behold! With all like items in the same place, you will likely be surprised by

  • how many of the same items you will likely have, often spread out in many locations. When I did this with my mom, we found 19 bibles - enough to stock a motel!

  • finding things that you had lost or didn’t know you had

  • finding outdated technology, keys that you have no idea where they go to, random chargers and chords for things that you don’t have anymore.

EDIT: While time may not allow you to edit all at once, by doing this in one fell swoop it forces you to prioritize things more efficiently and exhaustively. A few ways to think about editing:

  1. Pretend that you didn’t have ANY of this anymore….what would you buy today?

  2. What have you used in the last year?

  3. What will you absolutely use in the next 12 months.

  4. What is absolutely precious in terms of memories that you would put in a box and take with you if the house was on fire?

For any items that don’t pass at least one of these tests, get rid of it. Donate, swap, recycle, barter, repurpose, etc. Try not to just throw everything in the dumpster, but GET RID OF IT.

CLEAN - Really…Scrub and Clean. Then put the items back in a way that will enable you to have visibility to the items and know exactly what you have and where it is.


Breathe and enjoy your new home - it feels larger already, doesn't it?

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