I’ve dug today’s post out of the archives for those that might be new here or for those that simply may need a refresher. Decluttering is a big and necessary part of the organizing PROCESS. In fact it’s essential because organized clutter is still clutter. Not only is it important to purge out the stuff in our lives that we don’t use or love BUT let’s not forget about the stuff we simply don’t have the room to store. You can read more on that here.
Here’s the thing: Your piles of stuff and mountains of clutter aren’t going to go away on their own.
As much as we’d like it all to disappear overnight while we sleep, it’s not going to magically happen. Unless of course you happen to have an in with a clutter fairy. In that case, just sit back, relax and watch it all vanish before your very eyes. For the rest of us unlucky souls, it’s going to take a little more work. However, it’s the very thought of all that work involved that can stop us dead in our tracks.
Let’s face it…when the stuff gets to be too much, the thought of starting can simply be too overwhelming. Hopefully these 5 declutter help tactics, that you can implement today, will help you push past the barrier of overwhelm and make some lasting changes to your home and your peace of mind.
1. Set a Daily Goal
Goals are a terrific way to hold yourself accountable. Determine a reasonable amount of stuff you can purge each day based on the time you have available. You might want to start small and work your way up. Whatever number you decide on, whether it be one item or ten, don’t go to bed that evening until you’ve added that number of items to your donation station.
2. Set Up a Donation Station
This can be as simple as adding a cardboard box to your closet like I have. The idea here is to find somewhere to collect your purge pile each day. At the end of the week, cart that box off to the thrift store so you aren’t tempted to take some of your stuff back out. Set yourself up for success! I wrote more about this in a post titled How to Make Weekly Household Purges Happen.
3. Start with the Easy Stuff
Don’t overthink this process. Start with those items that are no-brainers. Broken toys, items that need mending but are still sitting there two years later, clothes that are too small, things you hate to dust, etc and work your way up to the harder items that will require more thought. Set a timer to help you stay on track. Here is more information on how to do a speed purge.
You’ll be surprised that as you take this journey and build your way up to some of those harder pieces, it won’t be as difficult as you originally thought. By this time you’ll be into a regular purging routine and will be rejoicing at how much lighter you feel. Hang on to that feeling!
4. Ask Yourself Some Simple Questions
As you go through each item and find yourself waffling over something, quickly ask yourself these basic questions:
- When was the last time I used it? If it’s been over a year, get rid of it!
- Do I love it?
- Do I have the room to store it without it affecting my efficiency and stress levels?
- Am I willing to give up something else to make room for it?
- Can I imagine myself or anyone else in my family ever loving it or using it in the foreseeable future? Be honest!
More information can be found here: How to Use Declutter Questions to Help You Make Purging Decisions
5. Let Go of the Guilt
With every purge pile comes a small (or large) amount of guilt. We beat ourselves up over the money spent and maybe even the unfulfilled dreams we had attached to it. What’s done is done. Those unfilled dreams you are hanging onto are keeping you from living right now in the present.
Instead of feeling guilty, decide instead to learn something from the experience. Use what you have learned to make more conscious decisions the next time you go shopping or say yes to a kind friend wanting to unload her stuff on you. Don’t get hung up on the past but instead look to your future. What do you see? Chaos and clutter or sanity and order? Only you can decide and make it happen. Read more at How to Combat Clutter Excuses.
So what are you waiting for? Go declutter something!!