Top 5 Decluttering Tips

If you’re setting out to declutter and organize your home, your office or your life, I want to help you avoid some pitfalls or mistakes that may foil your progress. Take a look at these five decluttering mistakes so you can head them off at the pass.

Plowing ahead without a plan.

Be sure to think about what your goals are and how you’d like to feel in your newly organized space and what you think it will look like. When you have a plan, it makes it much easier to determine what should stay in the space and what needs to take a hike. If an item doesn’t match your goals for the space, then you have to decide if you want to donate it, trash it if it’s beyond repair, or move it to another room.

Not having a goal date.

Every good goal has an end date. Saying you want to organize the garage someday is not an end date. Saying you want to have the garage organized by August 1st is an end date. If you don’t have a solid date set, it’s so easy to let other tasks get in the way and suddenly time has slipped away with no progress. Get out your calendar and make a commitment to yourself and your garage.

Going it alone.

If you make a commitment to organize your garage by yourself, are you going to do it? When no one knows what you’re up to, it’s easy to get out of it. And face it, we all have 50 other things we could be doing. And 49 of those are probably more fun than organizing the garage. Get someone to work alongside you for accountability, to keep you on track and to make it more fun. I am a ton of fun.

Not staying focused.

Please see, ‘Going it alone’ above. If you’re working alone, it’s sooooo easy to get caught up looking at the stuff in the box for too long, looking at photos or leaving the room altogether and working on another area of your home. If you don’t stay focused, the area you’re decluttering and organizing will remain cluttered.

Working too long.

I love it when I give a presentation on decluttering and people leave all motivated and ready to tackle their piles. I love to be a cheerleader! But, sometimes they get a little carried away after the rustle of my pom poms die down and work so many hours decluttering that they burn themselves out. If you burn yourself out in one day, the chances are good you’re going to take a break which is actually called: stopping altogether. Pace yourself my friend. Work for two or three hours and then come back to it another day. You know the saying ‘slow and steady wins the race?’ Do that.

I’m a little bit sassy today so I will wrap it up here.  Just keep these five points in mind so you can enjoy success in your decluttering and organizing endeavors!

Courtesy of my Efficient Organization column in the Lake Stevens Ledger.

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