One: Make a Plan and Stick to It!
You need a plan for decluttering your home or it won’t happen. It is only with a plan that your intentions turn into actions.
“Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.”
There is something magical that happens when you begin to write down a plan of action. I like to call it a plan of attack because you are indeed in a battle with clutter. I kept a special notebook that contained my plans. I liked having everything all in one notebook since I had a problem with misplacing papers.
Remember to focus on a tiny area at a time, not the big picture! This will help with any overwhelmed feelings you may have.
Two: Make it A Priority
“If you don’t have time for things that matter, stop doing things that don’t.”
I like the above quote because it reminds me of what I had to do to finally win my war with chaos in my home and create and begin my systematic plan of action.
And a clutter-free, serene home mattered to me. I was so tired of dealing with clutter. I had to figure out why I was procrastinating on something this important to me.
I did find out why— it was because I was allowing myself to be overwhelmed, and I did not know how to attack my clutter systematically!
I had to drop some things that did not matter to create time for the things that did.
I was overbusy, and I had to face the fact that I was escaping from things that needed to be done and were not being done. Until I dropped some things out of my life, I would never find the time to declutter.
Write down some specific goals and set some realistic deadlines.
I often hear people say: “I don’t have enough time!” But you do have enough time, you just need to stop and take some time to organize it!
I was so frustrated with not being able to find things, not having space for the things I was currently using, and feeling like I was losing a neverending battle.
I finally realized that decluttering and downsizing my home had to be a priority and that my future self would thank me for all the time I invested in getting a serene, clutter-free environment.
THREE: Have a system for decluttering – here is mine.
STEP 1: GET A TIMER AND WORK IN INCREMENTS
I discovered a timer was just the tool I need to really focus and stay motivated on the task at hand. I also learned that 20 minutes was the perfect increment for concentrating. I could take a break and get back to it when I was ready. I found that even one 20 minute slot a day to declutter could make a considerable dent in my overall goals.I usually keep going for one or two hours, setting the timer as I went.
STEP 2: GET SOMETHING TO PUT IT IN
I had to have a method and be very strict with myself. I sorted things into three categories : Give Away/Sell, Store, Put Away.
I had to ask myself 3 important questions while sorting through my things (these questions are in Kathy Lipp’s book, Clutter Free):
Do I currently use it?
Do I really love it?
Would I buy it again?
STEP 3: KEEP IN MIND SOME STORAGE PRINCIPLES
- Everything needs a well-defined and confined place.
- Most containers needed a label.
- Stackable closed containers works for some things while open bins works better for other things.