Clutter can range from a few items out of place to the extremes that have made the TV show, “Hoarders” so popular. Some people are lucky enough to rarely have to worry about the thought of reducing clutter, while others find it a chore that is so intimidating they would rather have teeth pulled by the dentist.
Whether you have clutter in or around your house, at the office, or in your car, there are steps that can be taken to ease the pain of getting rid of the “stuff” that seems to clutter up our lives.
The 7 simple steps to uncluttering your life.
Set-up boxes or bins (you can make piles, too) and label them “KEEP,” “DONATE,” “TRASH.”
If you have multiple areas to organize and unclutter, choose one area to focus on at a time.
Give yourself a daily goal and a completion deadline. BE REALISTIC! If the task needs to be completed in a week, when the in-laws are coming for their yearly visit, then decide how much time you will need to devote each day to reaching your overall goal.
If your first thought of beginning this task is one of dread or anxiety, start small. Commit to your area of choice for at least 1 hour, each day. Even if you only move 5 items per day, that’s 5 more items than before you started. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time.
Do not keep stuff just because it is sentimental
There are special things that I will NEVER get rid of, such as my son’s first Halloween costume (he was such a cute baby dragon) or my first Mother’s Day card that he made me at school. But I have no use for every costume he has ever worn or the store bought Mother’s Day cards that he gave me.
If you want to keep the sentimentality, get your smart phone out or camera and take a picture of the item. Now, you have the item in picture form, but are still reducing clutter.
Donate or Yard Sale
As you are creating a “Donate” box or pile, consider whether or not it is worth your time to have a yard sale and make some extra money. If the donate pile is significant, it may definitely “pay” off to spend a few hours Saturday morning selling some of your items. Then whatever is left, you can still donate that. Remember, one man’s trash/donation is another man’s treasure!
If you haven’t used or needed it in a year, get rid of it!
If you say to yourself, I’m keeping this “Just in case,” get rid of it. If you forgot you had it, until you began this journey, get rid of it. If you are going back and forth on whether to keep it or get rid of it; GET RID OF IT!
The default…GET RID OF IT!
Begin to strive for 1 thing in; 1 thing out.
Once you have uncluttered your life and all your needs are met (I said NEEDS, not wants), try to intentionally reduce the household by one item each time you purchase a new item. You bought a new blouse, so which blouse hanging in your closet can you donate or give to someone? You bought a new wall hanging for the living room? The wall hanging this is replacing should not go in the attic for “when I use it again,” which will most likely never happen. Donate it or give it to a family member or friend that has always admired it.
Finally, if you are struggling with reducing the clutter in your home, office, car, etc. consider hiring a professional organizer to help you. The services they provide range from coming in and teaching you the steps to uncluttering your life, to bringing in their own crew to remove the clutter themselves (Hoarders).
Do you have suggestions or tips on reducing the clutter in your life? Have you tried any of the tips mentioned in this article? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.
And as always…
BE YOU…BE TRUE…BE AMAZING!