FROM SHAME TO PRIDE: What is Virtual Organizing and why it became my favorite working method?

Just as the world got familiar with the industry of “professional organizing” and we don’t have to explain what we do nearly as much as we used to, a new working method has emerged and taken the world by storm – Virtual Organizing.

I became a Certified Virtual Organizing Professional ™ after I followed an intensive training in autumn of 2023. Ever since I am growing more and more fond of this work method as I am noticing the important changes that are happening under the surface with my clients.

So, what is my experience with virtual organizing, and how can you understand the ultimate benefits of taking this work to the video based working realm?


The biggest benefit of functional home organization and clutter-free space is unseen by the eye, making our popular “Before & After pictures” of little relevance. The most important change is what happens inside our clients – their emotions, their mental focus, their selftalk…

So let me start explaining the benefits of virtual organizing by sharing the “Before & After” of the inner landscape of my two virtual clients.

Client 1 (Married, mid-age woman with passion for many hobies and responsibility for caring for her elderly mother’s household)

Client 2 (Single mother of a 3 y. o. with autism spectrum and addictive history)

What these two stories have strongly in common is what lies in the core of virtual organizing process. It is the learning, the confidence, the feeling of pride my clients have achieved. It is the recognition that they gained the tools and the understanding of how to create an organized and clutter-free home, and the motivation to keep it so.

Even though it is my goal during my in-person sessions to arrive at the similiar result of learning, it doesn’t always happen. With virtual organizing, such learning is almost inevitable and that is what makes me extremely excited!

I can spot the most obvious difference in the feedback I get. Going from “Look what an amaizng work you/we did Lucie” and “I will have to call you in again” that I hear so often during an in-person projects, to “I am proud of myself and what I achieved” and “I feel motivated to keep going” after a virtual project.


During my training my teacher was well aware of this hidden benefit, so in our studies, we focused on understanding the key principles of virtual organizing success. HOW TO MOVE FROM SHAME TO PRIDE. Here is an extremly simplified version of how such process takes root…

  1. Neuroplasticity
    We now understand that our brains can change anytime, rewiring and forming new habits. If we consistently practice a new habit over the old one, the brain will eventually wire the new way of being as the default one. This applies to everything, including tidying your home. During our sessions, we will be re-training that the “overwhelming,” “boring,” and “paralyzing” tasks can be approached—we move into action.
  2. Accountability
    The consistency of our meetings repeats that action. I will hold you accountable for showing up, doing your in-between work, and calling you on any attempts to slide into your old patterns. Action, when repeated often enough and for long enough, forms new ways of habitual being. As in each process, there are good changes for backsliding, but our regular appointments will bring you back on track.
  3. Internal motivation
    How does one ensure you can keep the action going beyond the external motivation of being held accountable? The body’s best motivator is our brain – the brain that rewards us with motivating hormones each time we taste success. With every discarded bag of clutter, every meter of reclaimed space, every day that’s been efficient, and every look at your own before and after photos, your internal reward system ensures you get supplied with new motivation to keep going.
  4. Self-efficacy and confidence
    After frequent repetitions – taking action, forming new habits, being held accountable, and experiencing internal surges of motivation – you will reach a state where you have made significant changes in how you run your household. Those shifts start changing the way my clients feel about themselves. They regain a sense of control and self-efficacy and move from shame to pride.
  5. Joyful pride
    Once guilt and shame stop punishing you, a wave of energy releases. That’s because under an attack (even if self-directed), we hold the operations of our nervous system on a survival level – fighting or paralyzed- and our ways of operation won’t be efficient. Once (modest and joyful) pride, self-trust, and self-acceptance enter the game, our brain can move into a more efficient way of learning and executing – experienced as less procrastinative behaviors, more energy, and more internal motivation, resulting in more long-term and successful habits.


As you can see, I am talking a lot about “change,” and that is exactly what virtual organizing is best suited for. So, if you have been looking to change your habits around clutter and organization in your home (or your workplace), consider looking into working with me virtually.

If you want to give this a taste, here is what you need to know about virtual organizing work:
You’re on the right place if…

  • You want to change how you run your household and are ready to start a change process.
  •  You think you can do it independently (although you have not) and don’t need someone beside you.
  •  You want guidance, accountability, and knowledge. You have the capacity to execute the work physically during and between the sessions.
  •  You may not have the finances, time, or energy to spend on an in-person project with a professional organizer.
  •  You have stable internet and understand the basics of technology and video calling.
  •  You can articulate and describe what is going on.

From Winter to Summer and Back: Mastering the Seasonal Wardrobe Switching in 6 Clear Steps

Today I brought my last suitcase (I mean the second one) to the basement with freshly washed winter coats. It is the last week of May, which marks your last chance to prepare and switch your wardrobe for the summer season. Well….of course, only if it is for you! What are the benefits of that, and in what situations does it not make sense? Read my previous article to find out.

Now, if you know that a seasonal clothing switch is something for you because you wish to save space or renew your excitement for your clothing, it helps if you are clear on what to do each time.

I always start switching in May, as I can finally be sure it won’t start randomly snowing (Dutch weather can be very unpredictable), and then back around October. Although this time, I experiment with a “spring collection” to see how that goes.

Follow these six simple steps, and try beating my 90mins switch time. I look forward to reading how long it took you in the comments.

  1. Clear space (on your bed)
    Begin by creating a designated area where you can sort through your clothing. This will help you stay organized and focused throughout the process. Have some sturdy shopping bags ready for donations and your hamper nearby.
  2. Sort and decide
    Bring out each piece of clothing, one by one, and go through the decision-making process, which divides them into four distinct piles:
    • Pile 1: Store away winter items: Place all the clothing that belongs to the current winter season in this pile.
    • Pile 2: Declutter and let go: Place the clothes that you no longer want or need in this pile – right into the donation bag!
    • Pile 3: Stay for the following season: Some items such as basic t-shirts fit any season. If you wish to keep some items in your wardrobe for the next season, place them into a distinct pile on the bed.
    • Pile 4: Sentimental items: Set aside any sentimental pieces that don’t quite fit into the other piles.
  3. Time to dust off!
    Take advantage of the empty space and give your wardrobe a quick clean. Dust off the shelves, vacuum the drawers and ensure everything is fresh and ready for the new season.
  4. Welcome the new season in
    Open your new season storage—whether it’s a box, bag, or suitcase—and carefully go through each piece of clothing again, repeating the decision-making process:
    • Put in the wardrobe what’s ready to be worn in the new season (in this case spring/summer).
    • Declutter any items that no longer bring you joy by adding them to your donation bag.
    • If you experiment with multiple seasons, some pieces might still stay in for a couple more months
    • Look for any pieces that need ironing and put them in a separate pile.
  5. Review the stay items from the previous season
    So that is the pile nr. 3 that you chose to keep in your wardrobe. Is it still relevant, now, that your have pulled out your new season’s favorites? Sometimes I wish to keep certain pieces from the old season in the new one, only to realize that after doing step 4, I am no longer excited about it = This step allows you to reconsider those pieces in light of your new choices, ensuring that you’re not keeping what you won’t use in the coming season.
  6. Pack away the old-season clothing
    Gather all the clothing from the previous season (pile 1 and reviewed pile 3), and pack them in a box or suitcase. I know, not all items may be washed and ready to be stored, and some are in the laundry process at the moment. Just take the time over the next week or two to wash or dry clean your coats, wool sweaters, and any remaining winter pieces. In my case, I will have 1 suitcase ready right away, while the second one stays around as I am slowly filling it in after each wash.

    Store and look forward
    Finally, bring your old-season suitcase to a basement or storage area, eagerly anticipating the day when you’ll open it again in a few months’ time. 🙂

Do you have more questions than answers? You might ask “What do I do with the sentimental items pile?”, “Where and how do I donate my old clothing?” or “How do I start organizing my clothing switch if this is my first time?” Don’t worry, I got you covered. Let’s have a look at what I do…

How do you establish a seasonal clothing switch system from the start?

You will still go through most of the steps above, leaving out 4 and 5 (since you don’t have these established yet). Obviously, the quantity of stuff will be bigger, so you might need to prepare more space, and more donation bags, and it’s good to start with some temporary crates or boxes, to begin with to make clear distinctions between the categories.

Notice that I do not encourage you to run to the shop for boxes or bags right away. Why? Because you ALWAYS want to declutter and sort first. Only then, when clear on the quantity, shapes, and size of the piles you need to store, as well as the space available, can you go and purchase new storage organizers (this time, the ones you exactly need!)

Now modify step 2, “Sort and Decide”. You’ll still have your declutter pile and your sentimental pile, plus all the season piles you wish to establish (be it 2 for the summer/winter switch or 4 for all seasons). The next season’s pile returns to the closet, and the other ones get packed.

This switch should vacant a great deal of space in your wardrobe which might offer you some top shelves to use as seasonal storage. Search your home or closet for the most suitable space to store your seasonal clothing. Then find, repurpose, or buy your organizers that tick both requirements: the space available + the quantity needed to store. I have repurposed 2 big travel suitcases that I rarely use. Before moving to my new home, I used to have them on top of my wardrobe. These days I store them in the basement.

“What do you do with the sentimental pile?”

I understand that some pieces are clear-cut sentimentals! Even as a decluttering professional, I have my weak spots. Such as the dress my mum made as a teenager, the great-grandma’s hand-made sweater, or some tailored pieces I got when I lived in Asia. I don’t suppose I will wear any of these any time soon/ever, but it is too close to my heart to let those go.

I keep a small zipper organizer dedicated to this category and simply allow myself to keep those treasures. Together with those sentimental pieces, I also store the very occasional dresses, costumes, or anything used about once a year. This zipper bag is kept at the top shelf of my closet, easily pulled out for those occasional days.

“What to do with decluttered clothing?”

I personally organize clothing swaps with a big group of friends. It happens 2-3 times a year, and after a 2-year tradition, we all look forward to it! There’s nothing better than seeing your friends appreciate your pre-loved pieces! Many times each of us gets the perfect exciting pieces we were looking for – all for free and sustainable! Those events are win-Win-WIN!

What remains out of the clothing exchange is donated to charity either directly or via the textile containers. You can also try selling your clothing if it’s worth your time and money. There are many ways to dispose of your clothing! Read my old article on “How to dispose of textiles in the Netherlands” or get our Clutter Disposal Manual – a resource for disposing of, re-selling, or re-cycling just about anything in the Netherlands!


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!

Is Seasonal Clothing Switch for You? The 4 Reasons Why It’s a Game-Changer (and 3 Reasons Why It Wouldn’t Be for You)

I just did my seasonal wardrobe switch yesterday. It took me about 90mins to go through most of my clothing, part with the pieces that didn’t spark joy, and reunite with pieces I hadn’t seen for months.

I had a fresh wave of excitement and inspiration this morning when I got dressed! All those pieces I hadn’t seen were appreciated again, and now I can’t wait to get dressed each morning!

Originally, my seasonal clothing switch was a space-saving strategy. Now, after four years, I found multiple psychological benefits to it!



    It started as a space-saving solution as I have a relatively small wardrobe: 50cm of hanging rod and five drawers for the rest of the folded clothing + some accessory space. I am not crazy about following fashion trends, but I like to feel good and have fun in what I wear, and I generally love clothing.

    To fit 100% of my clothes in my wardrobe would be impossible! Yes, I could buy a bigger wardrobe, but why would I infringe on my living space to store something I don’t wear?

    Rotating between seasons reduces about 40% of my wardrobe, making it more spacious and airy, with better visibility. There’s no fighting in trying to “stuff” things where they don’t want to fit. The whole clothing process is just much more pleasant.


    Beyond the physical, there’re great mental benefits.

    Each time we choose what to wear, we are decision-making. To make a decision, we need to go through our options. And the more options we have, the more mental effort it takes. Not only consciously, but also subconsciously: When standing in front of your wardrobe, you’ll automatically block half of the stuff that isn’t season-appropriate. All the blocking of unnecessary stuff still takes mental energy!

    The less you have in your wardrobe, the faster and more efficiently you can make your morning decisions. By pre-choosing (in this case, removing all that’s not appropriate during the switch) you’ve already saved yourself some mental capacity!

    Of course, it’s up to everyone to figure out the right amount of clothing that keeps one and yet not overwhelmed.


    The novelty and excitement are possibly the best part of this whole thing. When something hangs in your wardrobe all year, I can understand that it “gets old,” and you’re gradually less excited about it. We crave novelty – we notice novelty better – so the feeling that you want to go shopping cause there’re no exciting combinations to wear is real.

    When you limit yourself to fewer options for a certain period of time, it forces you to be more creative with the options you do have. Once you get bored of your current wardrobe style, you can look forward to soon switch. The old/new pieces you bring in during the switch are suddenly much more exciting, appreciated, and worn. Your passion for fashion is rekindled. In my opinion, the simplest economic and ecological fashion crisis solution!


    As a passionate and professional declutterer, I believe this is the simplest way to keep your wardrobe in check for unnecessary clutter. Most of my clients that called in for wardrobe remakes didn’t have the habit of regular decluttering. Thus as a part of our maintenance strategies, we advise decluttering your clothing 1-4x a year (depending on the frequency of clothing influx).

    Making the seasonal switch is the best opportunity for decluttering. Not only because you’re handling all the items individually but also because of the mental clarity this process brings!

    Because of the smaller number of items each season, I have a better overview of what I haven’t worn. At the beginning of winter, when setting up my winter wardrobe, I was convincing myself to use this long-sleeve lounge t-shirt. And yet, it sat precisely in the same spot untouched for the whole season. This time, I had no doubts about the lost purpose of it, and I decluttered it.


    Similarly, with the upcoming season pile I get much more clear on my thoughts and emotions. I notice the internal excitement and inspiration when pulling some pieces and the disappointment that comes over me when unpacking others. Sometimes I couldn’t believe why I held onto an item the last time around!

    Here’s what I observed: Sometimes, we’re simply not ready to part with certain pieces even though we don’t wear them, or they aren’t even that sentimental. It could just be that we’re so used to having them in our wardrobe that we can’t imagine parting with them.

    Not seeing certain pieces of clothing for a period of time allows for much more objectivity in how we feel. It allows us to check in with ourselves at the point of life we’re in. And I found that it makes the decluttering process way easier!


If something has pros, they’re likely to be cons as well. Do I establish a seasonal switch in 100% of my clients’ houses? NO. So for objectivity, I’d like to add when and why I don’t set up people’s wardrobes to switch seasons.

For any of the below cases, even though you don’t shift your clothing seasonally, I would still recommend decluttering your wardrobe 1-2x a year!


If you have a walk-in closet, a huge wardrobe, and no shortage of space, go ahead and save yourself the work by skipping the switch.

I advise establishing a part of the wardrobe for the cold months’ clothing and part of the wardrobe for warm months’ clothing. Using a part of the wardrobe for a given season, you can still experience the mental benefits: Not having to block tons of unused and irrelevant stuff, appreciating novelty, etc. You can work with sides of the wardrobe or different levels (the out season higher up or less accessible).


When we work with anyone who is chronically disorganized, be it because of neurodiversity, chronic fatigue, or difficult life situations, it’s better to keep things as simple as possible! Adding a switch to one’s calendar might be too much to ask – and there’s absolutely no shame in that!

In highly or chronically disorganized households, we aim to simplify. Both in quantity (decluttering) and difficulty (organization). We ensure the space is big enough to hold the content most simply – avoiding any fiddly or perfectionistic strategies for organization.


Maybe fashion isn’t your thing. You like to keep things practical, shop only when necessary, and have a modest and simple way of dealing with your clothing. You don’t get the sense of needing novelty or any real excitement from the pieces you own.

That’s fine! In such a case, you probably don’t need to think of regular decluttering. Establishing a simple system that doesn’t take more than it gives is the way to go.

Don’t forget organization is relative to each individual, and we all have different needs! I switch and declutter my clothing 3x a year as I get super excited about wearing the new season. On the other hand, my partner has a year-long minimal wardrobe and only gets rid of things when they break. 😉

This part of the article covered the big WHY of doing a seasonal clothing switch. If you think this is something for you, in the upcoming article (next week), I will cover the WHEN and the HOW of the process so you can do it yourself!


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!

5 Insights That Will Help Your Kids to Keep Their Room Organized

For years, I used to spend 40mins EVERY EVENING tidying up toys! I was an au-pair, so I just thought of it as a part of my work, but I wondered how it must be for parents without daily help to split themselves between family time, work, and all the household chores. Especially if their kids have a lot of toys… 

As the kids grew older, I knew it was important to educate them on how to tidy up after themselves. I had to find out what would motivate them: With trial and error, I kept re-organizing their playrooms and exercising different negotiation strategies. Some with more, some with less success. 

Eventually, I saw that having fewer toys makes a huge difference in the tidying-up process while not at all decreasing fun and play for the kids! My decluttering path had slowly started back there. That was five years ago, and ever since, I have practiced the skill of reducing possessions with other people until it became my full-time job. 

Undoubtedly freeing as decluttering is, there always lingers the question,

Not only from my work with the kids but also by observing dozens of parents facing this dilemma, I noticed one clear pattern: WE LACK THE KIDS’ PERSPECTIVE.

Through my playful au-pair eyes, I had the chance to find my answers to this. Remembering what is important to kids, I discovered five main objections we should consider. And this is how I overcome them to bridge the gap between kids and adults when organizing playrooms. 

I. “It is too much work!”

Big tasks aren’t the strongest point for kids and their shorter attention span. If they pull out piles of toys, it will be way too overwhelming to tidy them afterward.

I can’t stress enough that the minimalist and Montessori approaches of “Less is More” are righteous here: The fewer toys, less clutter, and less visual noise, the more you simplify the whole process of tidying. 

You may choose to either reduce the number of toys you own (I have written an article on decluttering with kids just a few weeks ago) or introduce a rotation system. 

II. “It is too hard!”

The #1 mistake I see in most playrooms organization is inaccessibility & difficulty. Remember: if it is difficult or impossible for the kid to tidy up, he won’t do it. Avoid complex or fiddly organization at all times if you want to get this right!

1) Ensure furniture and toys are at the right height for kids to access.

2) Avoid anything fiddly: Remove complicated molds from game boxes that don’t need them, and avoid having toys that need to be completed before tidying (such as open puzzles or jigsaws)

3) Don’t overfill their toy storage: You might fit everything in with some effort and time, but your kid won’t. Leave enough space, so it is EASY to put things back!

4) Avoid obstructions: That extra move and effort your kid will have to execute to move things around to get to the correct storage will decrease the chances of success.

= The 0 effort strategy: Open shelves or baskets that aren’t overfilled, clearly defined “homes” for things, and no extra effort is your way to win!

III. “It is my best game.”

I remember the sad faces at the end of the day when we said we must break down the forts we created. Kids are excited about their games and often care about the idea of resuming their building or play projects the next day. To not create resistance or aversion to tidying up, it is important to compromise a bit. 

I suggest creating a designated space (in a corner, in a play tent, on a play table, etc.) for their open projects to leave their toys ready until the next day safely. One open project policy and a certain total time limit will help you manage this: E.g., you keep only this LEGO battle project out and tidy it up after a week. 

IV. “Why do I have to do it?”

Kids don’t have the same natural incentive to have a tidy room. Instead of just motivating them by what you want/need from them, explain the benefits. 

1) Tidy playroom where all toys have their home is a ready playroom. “You can find your toy in no time and play right away when you come home from school!”

2) Respecting other people – I noticed kids understand when you say, “The cleaner needs to mop the floor. Could you help him by putting your toys away?” Having a regular cleaning day in their room holds them accountable to have their room completely tidied on that day (usually once a week), plus it teaches them respect towards other people’s needs. 

V. “I still want to have fun.”

After a play session, tidying up might seem very boring. Make tidying up fun and something not to be resisted with some of these tips:

1) Keep it short: Put a timer to 5-10mins each day to make it an easy and fast routine.

2) Offer your presence or helping hand: having someone around keeps kids more focused and motivated and holds them accountable to finish the task.

3) Gamify it: Choose a song that will lift the mood, make it a race (how many toys can you tidy in 5 minutes?), or play the “putting toys to sleep”.

What strategies do you use to overcome your kids’ objections?


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!

How to get past the overwhelm in Marie Kondo’s KOMONO category & finally organize your whole house!

Many of us discovered “The life-changing magic of tidying up” from Marie Kondo and felt this is the final answer to our home organization. 

Perhaps you devoured the book, watched the Netflix series, and started with the practice: Decluttering your possessions by recognizing what sparks the inner feeling of “joy” vs. what no longer makes you happy.

When Marie Kondo guides us through the decluttering and organization of her first three categories (1. clothing; 2. books; 3. papers), we get hugely excited about the neat wardrobes, bookcases, and office tables. Triumphant and invincible, we imagine our whole house perfectly tidy… Until we discover the 4th category: KOMONO – simply translated as MISCELLANEOUS!

Past Komono, there is only one category left which is sentimental items.  And so we are left to declutter over 50% of our possessions in that one category that doesn’t seem to cover everything.

This is the point where many people get discouraged: “I lost momentum. There are the kids’ toys, boxes of wires, an overflowing pantry… Where shall I start?”

I have been figuring out this answer for years after being contacted by the many Konmari fans who run into the “Komono wall.” 

Ultimately, everyone has a different lifestyle coming with different stuff, but after dozens and dozens of houses, I FINALLY identified, categorized, decluttered, and ORGANIZED KOMONO. 

Instead of 1 enormous category, these are the eight manageable categories I tend to go for. Go through them one-by-one in your own time, just like you would with the other Konmari categories.

1) Kitchen – Food, food-prep, food-serving, food storage, and kitchen paraphernalia. 

2) Bathroom – Hair products, body products, face products, make-up, accessories, kids care, textile, self-care & health

3) Kids – Toys, board & e-games, (activity) books, arts & crafts, school-related items, “treasures,” and baby stuff

4) Electronics – CDs/DVDs (or other older formats), appliances & gadgets, manuals, wires & cables,

5) Household maintenance – Batteries & lightbulbs, tools, building materials (like spare tiles, paint, but also screws, etc.), house cleaning, gardening, car, and other open house projects

6) Aesthetics – Art & photography, seasonal decor (such as Chżristmas, Easter props, etc.), candles & decor, valuables & collectibles, display souvenirs & sentimental

7) Free-time activities – Adult games (e-gaming, social, outdoor…), sports (winter, summer, all-year, indoors), crafting, gifts & wrapping, outdoors (camping, picnic, etc.), special hobbies, interests & personal projects, pets

8) Work-related items – Home office, professional props, equipment, etc.

If there’re any categories you’re missing, feel free to let us know in the comments and co-create the list together!


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!

Article by Lucie Krobova
Founder of Your SPACE by Lucie
Professional Organizer
Amsterdam, NL

WHEN and HOW to include your kids in decluttering their toys!

Previous to my organizing career, I worked as an au-pair for one family for four years. Living in big houses with big playrooms, we had an abundance of toys to play with, an ever-growing collection that was harder and harder to tame. It took me an hour to tidy up after playtime!

I knew it was important to educate the kids on how to tidy up after themselves and let go of old toys they no longer played with. But there would be no decluttering – every piece of plastic seemed important to them.

We moved houses almost every year, which seemed like the best opportunity to eliminate some overflow. With each new playroom, I tried different strategies of working with (or without) the kids to keep their room tidy.

After our 4th move to our 4th house, with a playroom size one-fifth of the first one, it looked like I figured it out. With 1/5 of the original furniture and space, we still managed to fit!

We had all our favorite toys and just the same amount of fun and play as we always had. And tidying up never took longer than 10 minutes…

What did I learn from setting up five different playrooms that grew increasingly smaller while still working with the same kids?

I. First of all – Consider their age.

Naturally, smaller kids are most interested in what they see at the moment. Whether it’s an expensive toy or a stick on the floor, it will be THE most interesting object just because it’s there. They have less concept of the things that aren’t in the here & now. So if you pick a toy and wave it in front of their face saying, “Let’s give this away because you haven’t played with it for a while,” you’ll probably fail.

So in the age of less reason, I found it easiest to declutter alone. I put away what I knew was unplayed with and took it away from the playroom for a couple of months to see if someone asked for it. Once they did not notice its absence for a long time, it was safe to pass it on. If they asked, I put it back in their space.

As parents, You know the best when you want to include your kids in your decluttering projects. I noticed that past the age of 6, I could start reasoning with the kids and had better success including them with their playroom re-organization.

II. Once you include them, understand them.

Their world is like ours, only condensed to a much smaller area. The adult world is huge – the personal history, the places we’ve been, the social contacts, the mental realm of ideas, a whole house of stuff – all to hold onto.

Our kid’s worlds are still growing, just getting past their room, home, school… It is natural that they, too, hold onto and put meaning to the things occupying their world. The rock from the neighborhood might have the same sentimental meaning to them as your souvenir from Australia to you.

Though reasonable, be compassionate when handling their “trash” not to develop an aversion to decluttering.

Make sure there’s a bin in their room that’s open and easily accessible so they can throw away stuff regularly when they are done treasuring it.

Observe what they play with and make donation suggestions for the less-used items.

III. Explain decluttering as a positive thing

1) Change the language and make it a winning game instead of a losing game

–> Forcing them to choose the losers and using the “getting rid of” or “throw-away” can be met with resistance. Turn it around. Empty the basket with toys and let them “choose their favorites” and “who’s gonna live in the robot basket” instead. It encourages more positive emotions.

2) Let them know where their toys go

–> Explain the process of decluttering: What isn’t identified as a “keeper” goes to [….] – ideally your smaller friend, smaller cousin, kids that shop in the charity store.

Tip: Kids love the feeling of growing bigger, so identifying toys for smaller children can be an easy trick. However, avoid manipulating them to get rid of things by making them feel like babies if they wish to hold onto their early toys!

3) Let them have their fair exchange

–> Living in the Netherlands, King’s day is in our favor! Encourage your kids to sell their old toys in May and celebrate their first own earnings.

IV. The last but most important lesson: Lead by example and with a relaxed attitude!

Walk your talk, and start with your personal decluttering. Make letting go a visible, regular, and normal part of life. Avoid dramatizing decluttering into either extreme (the “have to get rid of everything now” and the “have to keep everything forever”) if you can.

Your RELAXED ATTITUDE and normalization of decluttering will teach them the most… sooner or later, your kids will pick up on it and copy you.

In my professional experience, the most cluttered rooms were a mere reflection of the rest of the house.

Do you include your kids in the toy-decluttering process? At what age did you start?


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!


When Laura even thought about decluttering the messiest room in her house, she found it hard to breathe. It was her 3rd attempt and this time, she has to put it all in order.

“Why is it so difficult? How did I get to the place where I can barely see the floor in what was supposed to be the guest room? I wish there’d be a magic wand making it just all disappear!”.

She quickly found a few things to get rid of it, packed it in a donation bag, and brought it down to the entryway; Contemplating whether to return upstairs to the guest room.

This time the procrastination voice said, “You’ve done enough, got rid of some stuff; Let’s not go back. Don’t you have MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO?”.

35mins in she aborted the project, attending to the urgent tasks… But the inner nagging of her unfinished task had set the tone for the day: yet another defeat. “Is it even possible to NOT GIVE UP? Will this room even be the guest room I wish for?”

Luckily Laura invited me over to help her. And today, Laura keeps the door to this room open. With a victorious smile on her face, she can see the guest beds ready to welcome her family over, and the familiar feeling of shame is exchanged with pride.

How did we end up tackling this task she gave up 3 times over? Those are the 5 important shifts that made it happen.

1) Get realistic
You won’t declutter 10 years of stuff in one day!
To conquer the feeling of defeat, you need to set realistic goals that will make you feel like a “win” day every time you go to do the work. Account for who you are, how fast/slow you tend to work, how long is your attention span, and how sentimental you are over your possessions. Decluttering is not a matter of handling stuff, but a matter of handling your personal history and your emotions. Allow yourself more time and divide this project into realistic chunks. It took Laura 3x4hrs and helping hands to tackle her room.

2) From non-urgent to important
You might have 10 more urgent things to do and a hotel to put up your guests so it’s crucial to get clear on the importance of this task.
What will you GAIN out of having this task finally done?
If you experience the ever-nagging feeling at the back of your mind that behind that closed door is a big to-do, the frequent thoughts of “I am so disorganized”, or even feelings of shame you might consider this important. All the time you spend thinking about it, dealing with it, or loathing in negative thoughts you lose time, and focus, and set your emotional baseline for the day chronically low.
When the important tasks get done, you will have more energy, mental space, and time to do the urgent tasks with more ease.

3) Be held accountable
It’s super important that you are held accountable and motivated! Having real people helping (like professionals) you or at least making you company (like friends or family) oftentimes helps.
If your level of discomfort is too high, you might want to come up with a DYI strategy for your own accountability: PLAN your sessions as if you’d have an actual appointment with a person, put aside the time, and schedule it in your agenda.
Remind yourself of the IMPORTANCE and the WHY you want to show up ready. Set up a checklist for your appointments and mark them done to celebrate each step. Take before and after pictures of your progress to motivate you further.

4) Help your brain to make decisions easier
Those rooms are usually a catch-all situation with stuff from different times and chapters of life; Most likely unused and unseen for a while.
It takes a lot of executive power to skip from object to object, recognize it, and make a decision over keeping vs. letting go, especially if you haven’t seen that stuff for so long that it oftentimes triggers sentiment.

Such cognitive and emotional rollercoaster oftentimes results in overwhelm. To beat this, help your brain a bit!

Start your first session by CATEGORISING ONLY and spend your executive power on grouping like-items together (the sentimental, the practical, the seasonal, the ones that don’t belong to you, etc.). Not only it will be less mental gymnastics in your next session because the stuff is already categorized, but you might be less sentimental about seeing those long-lost treasures for a second time over.

5) Done better than perfect
When you face paralysis, it often times stems from perfectionism. We want to do it all and do it well. We want to think through how it’s all gonna look like in the end, and end up getting stuck in the planning and the fantasies.
Remember, that if you don’t start it will never reach perfection. “Just start” with decluttering and space-making and leave the organizing decisions and final touches for when you’re done with the hard part.
It will come more naturally when the room is free of unnecessary clutter.

How many times have You tried decluttering your worst room, and which one of the points have you missed to implement? Feel free to comment 👇


I offer virtual organizing sessions 1:1!
Check out how it works and sign up for a free call if you want tailored guidance, and accountability for your next home organizing or decluttering project!

BACK TO SCHOOL – Organizer’s checklist for parents

This one is for you, parents. I am not a parent myself, however, after four years of living as an au-pair in a family with two schoolboys, I do know the routine. 

Being ready for school isn’t just having the school bags ready. Have you thought of the shoe size for PE, or having a place in your home to hold all the incoming and processing papers that are always so many at the beginning?

Getting your home ready and supportive to efficient school rhythm is half of the win.

Your SPACE by Lucie checklist

For PDF version to download and print out:

How to recycle and dispose of electronics in the Netherlands?

In the third part of my blog series on recycling and disposal in the Netherlands, we’ll have a look at one of the trickiest topics. ELECTRONICS!

As a professional organizer, I see an incredible amount of cables, batteries, lights, and electronic gadgets. Usually, it lies in one big box: dusty, entangled and forgotten. With the great speed technology is evolving nowadays, we seem to have a hard time catching up with the disposal of our old stuff.

Confused about what cable belongs to which gadget, we are afraid to throw away any of them. “Maybe I could use it/ I might need it” or “I will ask my husband” are the common answers for electronic clutter. Frankly, most of those cables never get used.

“I just don’t have the heart to throw it into a bin”

The getting-rid-of part gets tricky as most people’s instinct is to NOT throw away those cables and gadgets to a normal bin. And I sense that that is actually the number one reason for electrical clutter in our households. Luckily, you do have some nice and eco-friendlier options!

How to dispose of electronics in the Netherlands?


Are your devices in working condition, and you think you can get worthwhile money for them? The value of old electronics is often a concern; hence I would encourage you to do some research. Check Marktplaats, FB, eBay, or any other platform where you wish to sell. Consider the condition of your offered piece and compare it with the same/similar products and their sold prices.

Feeling like you might make money on some vintage treasures? There are some impressive sums offered for old and original Apple products. For example, the original unopened 2007 iPhone model can be worth thousands of dollars (check the article)! The same might go for old pre-Millenial Apple computers. Of course, everything needs to be in working condition, so if you think of making money on vintage electronics, take them out of that dusty box and start researching.


As the company aims towards a more sustainable business model, Apple is offering a trade-in program. Owners of Apple products are encouraged to dispose of their old gadgets with the company itself to be refurbished or reused in parts for future products. The incentive is a credit for any new device you wish to buy. Check the trade-in prices on their web to see how much money you can save.

Since I am an Apple user, I only have experience with this type of trade-in. Do you wish to contribute to this article with other brands’ trade-in programs? I am more than happy to update this post!


If selling isn’t worth your time, but you feel sad to throw away your old but functioning device, you can always donate it to Kringloopwinkels (=second-hand stores). Here’s a list of (presumably) all the kringloopwinkels in the Netherlands. Search for the one nearby your place, and drop your donations off at the back of the store. It couldn’t be simpler! Make sure that your device is functioning, complete, and clean.


Finally, we’re coming to the point of responsibly disposing of the broken stuff that doesn’t make it to the categories above. So, where are those electronic bins?

1. In most shops such as AH, Jumbo, or Plus, there will be a bin for empty batteries and old lightbulbs. Most times, it will be by the entrance; sometimes, it is located next to a bottle return point.

2. For small electronic devices, go to your local hardware shop. Gamma, Karwei, or Praxis have proper recycling bins by their entrance to drop off cables, cameras, phones, LED lights, other lightbulbs, and batteries.

3. If you have large electronics such as TVs, computers, stereos, etc., you’ll have to make a trip to your local milleauplein. Your town hall website should have an ecology/waste disposal section and direct you to their recycling center/milleauplein.


Many companies take care of the digital data shredding before disposing of your computers and laptops. Such companies are perfect if you have larger quantities and want to make sure all your data are destroyed before deciding to pass your devices into the re-cycle. Google “computer recycling + your local area,” and you will get plenty of companies competing over your device.

Knowing how to get rid of things responsibly and economically is often the biggest block in people’s decluttering journey.

That is why we created the CLUTTER DISPOSAL MANUAL, with over a dozen pages on recycling, donating, or reselling just about anything in the Netherlands… With added bonus list of services that aid you in living a clutter-free life.

Solving the last piece of your declutterting puzzle with the Clutter Disposal Manual

Article by Lucie Krobova
Founder of Your SPACE by Lucie
Professional Organizer
Amsterdam, NL

How to recycle and dispose of books in the Netherlands?

In my last blog post, I mentioned doing a whole series of articles on recycling and re-using stuff in the Netherlands. I encourage homeowners to declutter responsibly, hence I am trying my best to answering your question

“How to get rid of all of this stuff without contributing to landfills?

Today we’re going to have a look at books. As a professional organizer, I am hearing some of my clients say, “I just don’t have the heart to throw away books into a bin.” Well, I don’t have the heart either, and the great news is that you don’t have to! So let’s have a look at alternatives…


Luckily for us, the Dutch are great at encouraging people to re-use books and get second-hand ones. If you live here, you couldn’t have missed all the mini-libraries on the streets. They are called a “minibieb” (from the Dutch word for library = de bibliotheek). It’s not exactly a library per se, rather a place where you bring your books if you no longer want them, with the option of taking something new. The good thing is that in the more international cities, you’ll find titles both in Dutch and English.

So if you do have any books in these languages, just bring them there! Here is a great website that has a locator of many mini-libraries. Type your postcode, your street name, or allow to track your location. The map is full of minibiebs, but if you find one that’s missing on the web, you can add it (preferably with a photo) and contribute to the website.

You can also check with your local school to see if they have a similar going system. I know that the International School Haarlem has a minibieb at the upper primary campus just at the entrance (check if it’s still available due to the covid measurements).


If you own and wish to declutter books in the less common languages, minibieb might not be the best home. *Although that depends a lot on the neighborhood. I’ve seen some places with German, Spanish, or Turkish books, so check first, and use your common sense.

What I advise is to turn to your mother tongue community on FB (or elsewhere). I am a part of at least five FB groups from the Czech and Slovakian nationalities, so I bet everyone will find some of their mother tongue groups there. Giving away your books to the same language community will higher the chances of them reading your books.

Of course, if you have friends, schools, or clubs that speak your language, FB isn’t your only option. 😉


Just as with the clothing, you might want to consider the pros and cons of selling. How much are you going to earn vs. the time and energy you’re going to spend dealing with the sale. Whichever platform you want to choose, check for how much books are sold there. And I am saying sold, not offered! Make sure that when putting a price, you maximize your sale change and minimize the rude comments and insults for a “too expensive” offer.

I’ve seen many people selling books on FB or Marktplaats for friendly prices around 1-5€/book. Usually, it makes sense to offer a selection of books with the possibility of selling all at once to minimize your effort. You may sell a series ( like HP, LOTR, etc…), books of the same author, genre, or age group/ (reading level for kids). It’s going to be much easier to deal with 1 buyer and get rid of 7 books rather than 7 buyers selling 7 books. Time efficiency is everything!

Another alternative to selling your books is The Book Exchange – a second-hand bookshop focused on English literature and social sciences. They’re based in Amsterdam center and happy to buy books from people. So if you have a big and valuable collection of books, and don’t want to waste it on the internet hassle, get in touch with them. You can either bring your books in person or send them a picture first. After reviewing which titles they need, they’ll send you an offer.
I don’t have any personal experience with this shop. However, it sounds and looks wonderful as far as their website tells. I’d welcome to hear your experiences to add to this article if you have any comments to share 🙂


I am happy I recently run into a FB post of someone asking about selling valuable antique books. The Netherlands is full of antique places and bookshops, so I can imagine the changes are quite high to sell something. I have no personal experience with antique books so far, but after researching the options for Amsterdammers, is buying old and rare books in good condition. Then they re-sell it online, shipping these rarities worldwide (with brilliant Google reviews).

If you have any personal experience with selling antique books (or other antiques), please comment below or message me to expand our common well of knowledge together.


Paper recycling will be obviously the simplest way to get rid of magazines, and yes, even if it has a slightly glossy cover, it’s said to be fine for recycling. (What you can not recycle in the paper container is photo paper, but magazine covers are good to go).

Don’t you have the heart to throw your magazines away? Could they be used by another pair of eyes? Sure! But first, let’s review what kind of magazine you have…

If you subscribe to the “latest news and gossips” kind of magazine, let’s face it. By the time you’d try passing it on, it’s mostly outdated. Try offering it to a friend or a neighbor, and if you’re not successful there, part with it by the recycling bin.

However, magazines with more “durable” information, interesting content, and beautiful images can have a second life! Many people still appreciate a year-old National Geographic, Vogue, House & Garden, and similar.

Here are few ideas on how to pass it on:
Kringloop – check with your local second-hand store if they have a magazine section because many of them do!
Waiting Rooms – when visiting a dentist, doctor, or waiting for a haircut, keep your eyes open for the collection of magazines lying around…start a conversation with the people at the desk and ask them if they’d be interested to get few of your latest numbers.
Shelters – there are many shelters in the Netherlands for victims of domestic abuse, refugees, or homeless people. If you know any of these, and have some Dutch inspiring magazines, try giving them away in there.
(Art) Schools – magazines with beautiful pictures are the best source of collage making, or fun colourful art. If you have magazines with child-appropriate content, ask your school whether they’re interested to take in some of your pieces as their crafts materials.

Knowing how to get rid of things responsibly and economically is often the biggest block in people’s decluttering journey.

That is why we created the CLUTTER DISPOSAL MANUAL, with over a dozen pages on recycling, donating, or reselling just about anything in the Netherlands… With added bonus list of services that aid you in living a clutter-free life.

Solving the last piece of your declutterting puzzle with the Clutter Disposal Manual

Article by Lucie Krobova
Founder of Your SPACE by Lucie
Professional Organizer
Amsterdam, NL