Is the saying “out of sight, out of mind” actually true when it comes to clutter? Not in my world. For me, physical clutter causes mental clutter and mental clutter means stress. Depending on where you are starting de-cluttering may seem overwhelming but remember the age old question: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Together we are going to begin tackling de-cluttering “one bite at a time”. Are you ready?
1. Do one thing at a time! Too much can become overwhelming making it easy to give up so choose one drawer or shelf, cupboard or surface and focus on that.
2. Get ready! Gather your four bags, boxes or containers. These should be labeled, “Give Away”, “Throw Away”, “Sell It” or “Recycle”. (Personally I only label three as the “throw away” one is my waste basket.) Bring these containers to the place you will be working.
3. Empty out your work space! Completely remove everything from the space you are de-cluttering and wipe it clean.
4. Start sorting! Throw away things that are broken or of no use. Give away things you don’t use but think others could. Sell things on Craigslist or online garage sales if they are worth it. Be honest with yourself though, if you probably won’t take the time to sell it then just give it away.
5. Separate what is left! It is important to keep like things together. A utensil drawer should just be utensils, a shelf with cleaning supplies should just have cleaning supplies, etc. so separate what is left into categories.
6. Give this space purpose! Decide the purpose for this space and return only things that fit that purpose and do it in an orderly fashion. It usually is not necessary to purchase organizers or containers. Use what you already have, glass jelly jars, plastic leftover food containers, etc. but make it organized.
7. Give the other items a home! Find a home right away for everything that is left. It may be a place that is still cluttered but that is alright. Remember, “one bite at a time”!
8. Keep it de-cluttered! Once it is de-cluttered, keep it that way. Don’t just toss things into a drawer or shove them in a closet; return them to their proper place. If this is not your habit it may take some time to get use to but don’t give up! In the end you’ll be glad!
9. Smile! Good job friend! Now keep a mental diary of how freeing this feels! Don’t beat yourself up over how much you still have to do but rather take a moment to look at your accomplishment, enjoy it and smile!
Here is the challenge: For the next 30 days choose one space a day and de-clutter it! Save the bigger, more cluttered spaces for days you have more time and the smaller ones for the days you have less but choose one a day and you will be on your way to a freer, less stressful life! Happy de-cluttering!