Five Kick-Starting Tips to Start De-cluttering
Your clutter is a daily message to yourself, “I am overwhelmed”.
What’s your vision for your space? Ready to de-clutter and simplify, but not sure where to begin? Many people know in their hearts that living a de-cluttered life will help them spend more time on things that are truly important to them. They want to do it and have possibly tried before, but feel they failed and feel frustrated.
There are so many benefits to de-cluttering: the less stuff you have, the less you need to keep track of, insure, find places to stash it, organize, clean, stumble over. De-cluttering reduces stress and opens up the space physically and emotionally to new beginnings.
These tips will help you pare down, consign, sell, donate and discard. See which ones work best for you and commit to shifting your habits to support your goal of clearing the space and clearing your mind.
Take Before and After photos:
Purpose — Take pictures of your “before and afters” to motivate yourself and congratulate yourself every step of the way as you make progress!
Takes breaks and drink lots of water. This old stuff is dusty!
1. Create an In/Out Station: Purpose — Launch Pad for things on the way out now that you’ve determined where they will go next. (See labels in bold)
One of the best places for this “station” is near the garage door going into your house. Set up deep shelving like Metro Shelving on wheels. It’s metal shelving to hold items you’re going to take out of your home. I like using wheels for testing out best location.
Create 4-6 large bins (I like Sterilite brand with latching handles for sturdiness)
Label bins: Donate to Charity – Consign – Take Back – Sell on ebay or Craigslist
Other categories might be: Shred – Batteries (used) – Light bulbs (recycle)
2. Group Like-Kind: Purpose — Keep random items from living wherever they landed.
Select one “group” of items that have been bugging you, such as photographs, or children’s artwork spreading into various rooms. Some people have thousands of photos stashed all over the house. Group them by doing a “walk-about” and consolidating them all in one place. I like using the Sterilite bins for this too. Grouping like-kind of everything will help you reorganize your entire household. It will keep you from buying duplicates of what you already own.
3. Bite-Sized Pieces: Purpose — Break any project into small pieces.
Now that you know what and where “like-kind” items are, decide how far you want to go with this project: You might want to commit 30 minutes every week to sort. Maybe make an appointment with yourself for a 4-hour session
One client put 6 bins of family photos into her car and drove to her summer home where she had solitude, time and space to do this project. She invested (and enjoyed) five hours per week, grouped them by year, stored them into archival acid-free boxes and that worked for her. You might consider having them scanned.
4. Closet give-away basket: Purpose — Keep one basket or large shopping bag in your closet just for give-aways/consigns. Scan your closet monthly for clothes you know in your heart you’ll never wear again, because you never liked the way you felt in them. Consign the designer items if you’re so inclined. Determine if the time is worth it.
Going forward: If you buy one new; give away two.
The “you love it” test. Challenge yourself to reevaluate why you’re keeping stuff.
– Do you love it (luxurious black silk top)? Keep
– Do you love the way you feel when you wear it (even though you’ve not worn it for awhile)? Keep
– Does it make you look frumpy (formless sweats)? Donate
– Does it aggravate you (shoes that kill your feet like the ones above)? Consign
5. Buy a good shredder or hire a monthly shredding service: Purpose — Privacy and security for your identity
You’ll be more inclined to get rid of worthless documents knowing you can do it safely. You’ll amaze yourself once you get momentum for getting rid of unneeded documents. What documents can you shred? Get a list from your accountant or CPA of documents you need to retain and use the list as your guide.
By de-cluttering your home and office, you will open up to many new opportunities you might have missed if you had stayed in the abyss of your excessive stuff.