Not too long ago, I wrote about 7 ways your clutter costing you , check it out, if you have not read it yet. In this post, we will take a look at a few ways to start decluttering, as it is often overwhelming to start, at least for me.
1. Start small, such as one drawer of dresser, or one small area near entrance or corner. Set a timer for ten minutes and clean as much as you can in those 10 minutes. (I can not remember where I have heard this 10 minutes tidy concept, if someone knows, let me know so I can give proper credit where it is due)
2. Involve your family: spouse, kids etc in it. Make it exciting as a game.
3. I usually get 5 large boxes/trash bags and label them, Keep box, Donate/sell Box, Throw away box, recycle box, and I keep one "maybe" box as well. I put that "maybe" box in one area for 2 weeks and If I do not miss it, out it goes in donate pile.
4. Start in one area/room and finish that area before moving on to other things. Sometimes, looking at old books/letters/photos can be distracting as I usually go back in time looking at old memories, keep those in "to-look-at later" box, when you finish with your 10 minutes tidy time.
5. Room will look messier and worse before it will start to look better, so do not worry. It will all come together at the end. Once you finish 10 minutes tidy time, and you think you want to continue, do so until you are ready to take a break.
6. If you have not used an item for 2 years, it should go in donate/sell pile. If you have an emotional attachment to it, see if it possible for you to keep a picture of it, or small piece of it, instead of whole thing. When in doubt, do not get rid of it, put in "may-be" box for awhile. It works for me usually.
7. Once you sort out items in area, find an appropriate storage place for all "keep box" items. Create appropriate storage area for incoming mail, outgoing mail, postage stamps, envelopes, etc in office space. Trash expired medicines, vitamins and makeup items. Also, throw away non repairable toys and electronic items.
8. Always recycle and reuse items first if you can. While you are purging your house, do not buy new gadgets or items for house, it will just defeat the cleaning process.
9. If it gets overwhelming, stop or work while you listen to upbeat music. Once you start to see small progress, it will encourage most of us to finish it all the way.
10. Show and teach spouse, kids and other family members where item should go, they will do it themselves next time. Maintaining is much easier once the process is in place.
Start it slow, everyday little time devoted to decluttering will make whole process easier. Once you have a cleaner house with less stuff or just enough stuff, everyone will be happier and finding things right away. Happy cleaning.
What are your decluttering methods? What works for your house?