Raise your hand if you’ve ever said:
“I want to declutter and get organized,
but I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know where to start.“
I get it friend, we’ve all been there.
The good news is, you just need a few rules and principles to get you started
and I’ve got just the plan for you.
Here Are 7 Tips to Start Decluttering
1. Identify your long term goals
Why do you want to do this? What are the main reasons you want to simplify your life?
You want to downsize, or maybe get rid of your debt, or you simply want more free time from cleaning and maintaining all your stuff?
Write the reasons down and post them somewhere you can see them regularly. When you get discouraged, go back to your why, it will put things back into focus.
2. Don’t start by organizing, reduce first
We’ve all done that.
We get all excited about decluttering and organizing and the first thing we do is start organizing our stuff.
Na huh, no. Not this time.
The point is to reduce BEFORE you start organizing. Otherwise you’ll still end up with the same amount of stuff you’ll need to take care of. It’ll just be in cute bins and boxes.
So declutter first.
3. Start with an easy category
Decluttering doesn’t come easy to many of us. If you start with what pulls at your heart, you’re bound to get overwhelmed and discouraged.
Begin with something easy, that you have no attachment to, like maybe kitchen utensils … unless you have a sentimental attachment to those, then start somewhere else.
Leave the sentimental items for when you have a bit more practice.
4. Set a sustainable pace
Whatever floats your boat, go with that. Some people prefer a little bit at a time, others are more successful with a big makeover that eats up, lets say, a week.
Decluttering is like a muscle. If you haven’t exercised it in a long time, you will need time to get going.
If you don’t know what works for you, experiment. Start small and if you feel like that’s not enough, go for it.
5. Decide in advance what you’re going to do with your extra stuff
You could sell some online – This is more for big ticket items and brand new stuff.
You could have a garage sale – If you have the time and the energy, but make sure you donate anything that doesn’t sell … don’t bring it back in.
Or you could simply donate to the charity shop of your choice – Pick this if you want to have the extra stuff gone FAST.
6. Follow a few simple rules
Get rid of multiples: you don’t need five sets of sheets for one bed, one or two is enough.
Corral similar items together: just like you put all your forks in one spot, do the same for other types of items. It will help you see the amount you really have.
When you start in a small area, like a junk drawer for example, start with a clean slate, empty the content first, clean the inside of the drawer and then declutter. Only put back what you’re keeping.
Read my 7 Decluttering Rules
7. Focus on your own stuff
One last advice, if you live with other people, focus on your stuff only. It’s easy to see other people’s clutter, but harder to see our own. Concentrate your efforts on your own clutter.
Preach by example; your housemates might just follow in your footsteps.
Need ideas to get you going? Start here with these 20 Things to Declutter Today.