You may look around your home and have a feeling of anxiety. Clutter can make you feel as though you’re smothering in the things you once loved. However, our tastes change and what we once loved may soon become a useless knickknack.
Decluttering your home for the first time though can be very overwhelming. You may not even know where to start. The good news is you can get started decluttering even when you feel overwhelmed. Let’s take a closer look.
Focus on One Area
First things first. Instead of going from room to room and never getting a room done, start with one room. It doesn’t matter which room you start with, but starting with a room that is the least cluttered will give you the motivation to declutter other rooms. This can also make it easier to just get started and feel less overwhelmed.
When I went through my entire house last year, I started with the most public rooms (like my family room and then kitchen). That way, once it was done, I would see how great it looked all day long and be motivated to continue (even when I got to the last jobs that hadn’t been touched in years!).
Once you’ve chosen a room to work in, choose a small area to focus on. For example, if you’re working on decluttering your kitchen, start with the junk drawer. Once you have that area decluttered and organized, you can move on to another area. Focusing on one area until it’s finished ensures the job gets done.
When I decluttered my entire house last year, I went room by room. Then, within each room, I picked one thing to work on that day (like a drawer or cabinet). I set a timer for 15 minutes to an hour (depending on how much time I had) and worked straight through. When the timer went off, I was done with that area for the day. If I needed to continue work on it the next day, I would until it was done.
There was no stress, because it was just a series of small projects! It took me several months to go through everything, but that was ok because I wasn’t overwhelmed by trying to do everything in one weekend!
Have Three Bins for Sorting
As you work in each area, have three bins close by. One bin should be Keep, another Toss, and another Donate. Put each item into a bin and when you get finished, toss the items that need to be tossed and put the stuff that needs to be donated in your car. If you want to REALLY purge, go through your Keep bin one more time and try to remove another 25% of the items.
Use the Touch It Once Rule
As you’re sorting items, touch each item once before it goes into a bin. Once it goes into a bin, leave it there. Don’t let your sentimental side take over. Be ruthless and quick. It even helps to give yourself a time limit so that you sort the items without second guessing each item.
Let It Go
Last, but not least, once you have a box of items ready to be donated, take them off ASAP. The last thing you want to do is give yourself time to second guess yourself. Take the items to the thrift store and move on. Plus, you don’t want your decluttered items to turn into a box of clutter in another room (or your car)!
The thoughts of tackling an entire home can be overwhelming. However, you can get started decluttering your home. Remember, choose one area and start small.
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