Recently, I asked people in my Facebook organizing group to share words about how clutter makes them feel. Many people shared the same words. Here are some of the common words I read: overwhelmed, claustrophobic, paralyzed, debilitating, scary and suffocating. Now, that’s not a good way to feel in your environment. I want people to feel just the opposite in their homes; I want them to feel safe, in control and relaxed.
So, how do you go from feeling like this to getting a handle on your clutter and excess belongings? How do you declutter your home? Here are eight decluttering tips to get you started.
Decluttering Tip # 1
Don’t beat yourself up for the piles that have accumulated. You’re ready for change, you’re taking the steps to declutter your home and that’s all good news. You can do it!
Decluttering Tip # 2
Choose one area of your home and start there. Just pick a place to start and stick with that area until it’s done. Don’t jump from room to room, project to project or nothing will get done.
Decluttering Tip # 3
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Either choose one small area to work on that you know you can finish in one session or set a timer for the amount of time you feel you are willing to work. You will get to the bottom of things, even if you tackle just one shelf or drawer at a time. As long as you are consistent, you will see progress.
Decluttering Tip # 4
Do not bring new items into the area that you’re decluttering. Things should be moving out right now, not moving in.
Decluttering Tip # 5
Bring in labeled bags or boxes appropriate for your project. Examples of labels you may need-Garbage, Donation, Recycle, Shred. As you go through your belongings, place the items you are ready to part with into the bags or boxes. Having large, clear labels will make it easier to know which bag to place items into quickly.
Decluttering Tip # 6
As you go through your belongings, ask yourself:
- Do I still love this item?
- Do I still use this item?
- If I make a mistake in parting with something, could I buy or borrow another one?
- Is this item relevant to my life now?
Make sure that the items you keep still have meaning to you, you still use them and you have space to store them.
Decluttering Tip # 7
Store the belongings that you choose to keep in labeled bins, baskets or containers. Be sure to measure your space before you go shopping for your new organizing products.
Decluttering Tip # 8
Get items that you are done with out of the house by having a donation truck come for a pick up or load up your car and drop it all off. I certainly don’t want you to clutter your space back up with bags or boxes of things that you’re done with.
When you declutter your home, you can enjoy the belongings that do have meaning to you and you can breathe easier too!
Courtesy of my Efficient Organization column in the Lake Stevens Ledger.