Conquer Clutter | A Simple How-to Guide

packing boxes

If you have acknowledged that your stuff has a tight grip on you, it’s time to take action.

Good intentions are simply not enough. Like any good thing we want to happen, we need a plan. Not a complicated plan. Not a time consuming plan. But a plan that propels us forward in a steady, manageable way. A plan that gives us results.

A few notes before you start:

  1. Slow and steady is a comfortable approach for most people. It is particularly fitting for people decluttering solo and for those with a low threshold for disruption.
  2. Everyone comes to decluttering from a different place. Some of us have only a square inch of space left in our homes while others have clear surfaces with secret, chaotic stashes in basements, storage lockers, closets and cabinets, and others simply need a little tune-up.
  3. There is no best way for everyone to declutter. We each have different experiences and attachments to belongings, more or less time, varying amounts of energy, lots or little help.
  4. Sometimes things get worse before they get better. Hang in there! The process is  worth the results. Need some incentive – check out Clutter-busting Benefits | Making Room for MORE (and less!)

What to tackle

  1. EVERYTHING but not all at once. Leave nothing untouched.

How to tackle it

  1. Set a goal. Why are you decluttering? How will clearing clutter benefit you? What would you like things to look like or feel like when you are through? Name it and work toward that goal. Examples: I want all my clothes to fit comfortably into the closet. I want to get rid of enough stuff so that I don’t need to hide things before I invite company. I want to reach into my cupboards without struggling to get something out. I want to be ready to downsize.
  2. Schedule a commitment. Do you want to do something everyday, every week, or every month? Do you have more time and energy in the morning, afternoon or the evening? You want results so hold yourself accountable. Put decluttering on your calendar and keep the appointment.
  3. Start easy things first. What is easy for one person will be difficult for another. (Easy might be identifying 10 belongings you do not use and putting them in a bag for donation.)
  4. Tackle impactful things first. What are you going to notice the most? If you are like many people, clearing a cluttered surface can make a huge difference.
  5. Set up and label sorting stations or bins. Categories might include donate, sell and recycle. Another sorting category might be for things you have lots of which are scattered about: boxes to sort papers, pens, business cards or craft materials.
  6. Think about each item as you pick it up. How does it fit with your goal? Do you still need it? Like it? Use it? If you have multiples, can you give one or more up?
  7. Wait to handle small, time-consuming sorting until later in the process.
  8. Pare down now – pretty things up later.

Tips for mega-shoppers:

  1. Use up what you have before buying more.
  2. Loyalty and incentive cards are the devil to folks who overshop. Don’t shop just for points.
  3. Say “no” to freebies. Unless you would buy the item on offer take a pass.

Set a goal. Make a plan. Go.

Want more tips? Read 7 Ridiculously Simple Ways To Improve The Way You Declutter

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