By Caroline Bujold
Have you ever found yourself sitting on the floor, among a carpet of your possessions, completely paralyzed by what to do next? Decluttering can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t decide on some rules first.
It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of decluttering, start too many projects at the same time, try to tackle a huge area all at once or in too little time.
Remember, your clutter didn’t accumulate in one week, one month or probably not even over the course of a year. So expecting to get it all sorted out in one weekend is just crazy pants!
Next time you find yourself in a similar position, I offer you 7 Decluttering Rules to help you tackle any space.
7 Decluttering Rules
Rule No 1 | Don’t Buy Containers Before You Start
You will probably want to go buy cute organizing containers to get you motivated, but please resist the urge! You don’t know yet what you will need or how much. Reducing is always the first step, not buying more.
You may find that you have less to organize and therefore need less containers than you thought, once you’ve decluttered.
Rule No 2 | Respect the Space You Have
You can’t create space out of thin air, nor can you push walls from the inside. Get my drift?
But you can certainly make it feel more spacious, by decluttering.
Treat your space with respect, don’t go cramming every nook and cranny willy-nilly.
Rule No 3 | Make It Pretty Later
Decluttering and organizing doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty at first. As long as it’s simplifying your life, you’re doing it right.
Once you’ve reached the feel you want from a space, you can beautify; with matching containers worthy of a magazine display if you want.
Rule No 4 | Set Limits
Isn’t it amazing how much we can accomplish when we have a pressing deadline, right?
It’s the same with organizing; setting a time limit for your decluttering sessions, say 30 minutes, will have you focused on the task and help you be more efficient.
Limiting your space for certain type of items is also useful. For example, when my filing cabinet is overflowing and I’m having trouble filing papers away; I know It’s time to get rid of some old papers.
Rule No 5 | Just Start
Planning and finding inspiration on the web is fun (Oh, hello Pinterest), but at some point, taking action will make you feel way better than finding one more organizing how to.
Start small: declutter your junk drawer, your day bag, the top of your desk; but just start.
Rule No 6 | Sort The Emotional Stuff Last
Emotional belongings are the hardest category to declutter. Save yourself some trouble and leave photo albums, mementos and the like for later, when your decluttering muscle is fit and strong.
Start somewhere else: in the kitchen or in your pantry for example. In other words, start where it feels easy for you.
Rule No 7 | Keep Tending to Your Space
Being organized is rarely a one shot deal.
It really is just like tending a garden; regular weeding is a necessity.
Bonus Rule | Include Your Housemates in The Process
Have a discussion with your people and see if they’d be interested in joining you on your journey.
Sometimes they just need to understand your why and they’ll be willing to put in some efforts to assist you along the way.
What other rules do you use to get yourself motivated when you declutter? Leave a comment below.
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