It seems that everyone battles clutter in at least one part of their house, may it be the kitchen, a bedroom, the garage, a bookshelf, or a pantry. Once the clutter has built itself up, it is sometimes hard for a person to gain motivation to tackle it back down. And when the clutter is finally gone, it it then required to make an effort every day to make sure it’s gone for good. But the hardest part is starting and sticking with this process.
Step 1: Devise your plan! This means figuring out where you are going to start and where you are going to finish. Are you going to start in your bedroom? Or out in the living room? Be specific, though. If you are starting in your bedroom, are you starting underneath your bed? Or in the closet?
Step 2: Gather your materials. You’ll need plenty of boxes, trash bags, a large black marker or two, and some tape. Label one box as “trash” (line this one with a trash bag), one box as “donate”, one box as “unsure”, and one box as “keep”. You can even break the “keep” stuff into two more boxes; one as “store” and one as “put away”. Now you are ready to start.
Step 3: Set realistic time frames! You don’t need to declutter all day long. That might make you more susceptible to quiting. Try 60, 30, or even 10 minutes a day working on the current area. It also helps to do this around the same time everyday.
Step 4: Question everything. When you look at an item, does it make you happy? Does it have a purpose in your house? Don’t feel bad when you don’t like a gift or a item that was passed down from family. If it doesn’t make you happy, then it shouldn’t stay in your home.
Step 5: When you have circled the entire house, or at least the cluttered areas, you have to work on keeping it in it’s decluttered state. Every night, go through the house and put everything in it’s proper area, or even just the proper room. If you can at least get the items in the correct room, it will be easier to put them all the way where they belong.
Tips: Buying those fancy (and sometimes expensive) bins and totes, won’t necessarily fix the problem. After you have decluttered everything, then you can chose if you want any. Maybe a few paper organizers or some bins to separate the different types of toys. When you get to the closets, anything that hasn’t been worn in a year, get rid it! Of course, there are a few exceptions. Like a party dress – not everyone goes to a party every year. If you get to clothes that you want to keep for future children, or maybe even grandchildren, put them in your “store” box/boxes, but don’t leave them in your closets. Also, for difficult items that you don’t use, but want to keep “just in case”, imagine if a clutterful friend of yours was using that excuse. If you imagine yourself thinking “Yeah, right…” about your friend’s reasoning, then you should probably get rid of that item as well.
Decluttering can often be a difficult process. But just make a conscious decision to stick with these steps, and eventually your clutter will be clutter no more!