Where Do You Begin When It’s Time to Declutter?
a place at the table to eat,
or a counter to prepare a meal on?
Do your “things” seem to be getting the best of you?
It sounds like it might be a good time to do some decluttering.
Some people are natural organizers or minimalists, so for them keeping their home free from clutter is a relatively easy job, it’s just part of who they are.
But for all the rest of us it’s more of a challenge, something we have to work at, and oftentimes it feels so overwhelming and stressful, we don’t know where to start.
Beginning the decluttering process…
The best place to begin your decluttering project is to develop a plan, it doesn’t have to be complex or complicated, you just need an approach.
These are a couple of plan ideas to help you get the ball rolling:
- Fill a bag: A simple technique for decluttering would be to start with a large trash bag, decide what you’re going to fill it with, items to donate, items to keep, items to put away, or items to throw away. Then see how fast you can fill it and take care of its contents. If you do this at least once a week (once a day would be great!), you’ll soon start seeing a difference in your home.
- An important part of this step is to follow through and take care of the contents, don’t just set the bag down somewhere and walk away. If you do, you’ll have a whole new decluttering issue.
- Set a time limit: Some of us can tackle a job like decluttering and just do it full steam until the project is complete, some of us need to work at it for smaller periods of time. So set a reasonable amount of time that you will or can work on your project (again either weekly or daily), set a timer and start clearing things out until your time is up.
- Keep, Donate, Trash: When you begin your decluttering project, set up 3 boxes or plastic bins in the room you are going to work on, label them “Keep, Donate, or Trash”, then begin to thoughtfully fill them. As with the trash bag in the first plan idea, the job isn’t finished until everything in each of the bins is distributed to its new home.
- The 12-12-12 Challenge: You could actually use any number you want, but 12 seems to work really well…locate 12 items that you want to donate, 12 items you want to trash, and 12 items you want to keep and put away, then disperse the items as planned. This is a good challenge for everyone in your household to participate in, you’ll get the house decluttered in no time.
- Pick a room, any room: Organize your project by rooms, stay focused on that room. It’s too overwhelming and minimally productive to tackle your entire house all at once…”eat your elephant one bite at a time”
The key to successful decluttering…
One thing you need to avoid in order to be successful, is trying to do too much at one time. That’s why the plan ideas above are so good, they break it down into smaller, easier portions that won’t overwhelm you or wear you out. Doing it that way will help you get the job done.
The folks at Smooth Transitions are decluttering professionals. We would love to help you make your decluttering dreams come true without the stress of doing it yourself.