We’re about halfway through spring, and many of us haven’t even made a dent in our spring cleaning! Decluttering can be daunting, and it’s understandable why people put it off for so long… but it doesn’t have to that way. In this blog post, I’ll list my top tips for dealing with clutter, making decluttering enjoyable and enriching. I hope you’ll make use of them on a rainy day when you’re stuck at home, organizing really is worth it, I promise!
1. Go in with a Plan
Before getting started, take some time to decide what you want to accomplish and what spaces you want to tackle. Decide whether you want to throw things away, or relocate them, and decide whether you want to work for a set amount of time or if you’d rather work until you accomplish what you set out to do. Having an action plan helps you stay on task, and you’ll also see progress as you go. Whether your plan is just a mental to-do list or a detailed list on paper that you check as you go, having some sort of idea as to how you’ll go about your work will make things that much easier!
2. Don’t Be too Ambitious
Remember when I said decluttering can be overwhelming? If you feel like there’s too much to do, start small. Do small projects, such as clearing a desk or washing the dishes, and use that motivation to keep you going.
3. Focus on One Thing at a Time
Break down a space into several areas, and focus on one area at a time to make sure you maximize your productivity. If you jump from one area to another, you’re likely to get distracted and lose motivation because you don’t see a lot of progress. Focus on one area at a time, and make use of tools to help the decluttering process along; whether your tool is a garbage bag that you carry to throw trash in as you work, or boxes to separate items you want to keep from those you want to get rid of, make life easier for yourself and deal with one clutter zone at a time.
4. Start Happy
If you start decluttering when you’re in a foul mood, you’re probably not going to stick with it very long. Approach your decluttering day with positivity and happiness, you’re going to have a cleaner space afterwards and what’s not to like about that!
5. Stay Focused
It is way too easy to get distracted when you’re decluttering, but you have to make sure you stay focused to accomplish what you set out to do. Even if you only want to dedicate 15 minutes to decluttering, staying focused for those 15 minutes is more productive than losing a day to the process because you got distracted.
6. Don’t Think About It
Procrastination takes many forms, and one of the most common ones is spending time pondering whether you want to keep something or throw it away. It is easy to spend time reading through every letter, embracing the nostalgia you feel when you pick up every toy, but don’t give in– that all takes time away from decluttering! If you can’t decide whether or not you want to keep something, then you probably don’t want to keep it; similarly, if you haven’t seen or used something in more than 6 months, you probably don’t need it either. If you really can’t part with something because of the uncertainty, dedicate a small box or container to hold these in-between objects, and come back to them later. Just make sure it’s a small container, otherwise you risk dumping everything in there.
7. Boxes and Bags are Your Friends
Stash things in boxes or other containers while you work, and have plenty of bags handy for trash. Storing things in boxes or plastic bins helps you move them from place to place more easily, and decluttering is so much easier when you use tools to give yourself a hand.
8. Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t plan to finish an entire house in an hour, that’s a recipe for disappointment and dying motivation. Be realistic about your project, your own physical and mental state, and how much clutter you’ll have to go through. Maybe 15 minutes is enough time to do your dishes, maybe you need closer to an hour for whatever reason. Decluttering a space that hasn’t been touched in months is going to take far longer than an area that is cleared regularly. Don’t be too hard on yourself, just be realistic and do the best job that you can do..
9. Stay on the Clutter
After putting in so much to declutter the first time, try your best not to let things get cluttered again. Rather than waiting until everything is a mess before starting to declutter again, spend a few minutes every day to put things in order. Whether it’s taking out the trash, picking up clothes off the floor, or putting junk mail in the recycling bin, as long as you stay on top of things, you’ll have a much easier time with decluttering in the future.
10. Make Decluttering Fun
Decluttering doesn’t have to feel like a chore, find ways to make it fun. Whether it’s by putting on some fun music, listening to an audiobook while you work, or recruiting a friend to help you, you can find ways to get things done without feeling overwhelmed and bored.