How to Declutter Like a Pro
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With a busy lifestyle, clutter doesn’t take long to pile up. If you are like me, once they start piling up, it can be so overwhelming just to figure out where to start.
Dealing with the clutter has primarily been the focus of my spring cleaning projects lately. Remember the picture of my storage room?
Everyone in my family had a part in this, but because it was so cluttered in the first place it became even more of a dumping grounds for everyone.
While it is best to keep things from getting this out of control, at times, life just happens and this kind of clutter multiplies and can take over before we can get to it.
In my home this has happened in nearly every room and closet at one time or another. Maybe it has happened in your home, too.
So, what to do when the clutter invades and overwhelms? Having a series of steps to follow always keeps me from feeling completely overwhelmed. Having an action plan to put in motion without having to give it much thought gives me a starting point. Otherwise, it is too easy to dwell in feelings of not knowing where to start and then not starting at all.
Here are the steps of action that I take:
- Determine which area needs to be done first. If there is no need for an area to get done first, decide which area bothers you the most and start there.
- Start in a corner, and work your way to the other corner collecting whatever clutter you come across and putting it in a pile in the center of the room.
- When you have only one pile to work with, break down that pile into like items. Books go in one pile, medications go in one pile, and things that don’t belong in the area that you are working in go in another pile, just for example.
- Once you have your piles of like items, determine where to put those items. If you are working in the living room and have random smaller items like remote controls, using a basket or container to keep them together all in the same place helps. Likewise, if you are working in the bathroom, keeping extra toothpaste in a storage container also would make logical sense.
- Double check that your system of storage makes sense. Just because you have been keeping something one way forever, doesn’t mean that it is necessarily the best place for that thing. Reevaulate your method for maximizing space and function. This may mean buying some new containers, baskets, or even book shelves, but often these can be found at garage sales. You could also do what I did when I made money redecorating. I completely revamped the way I store the games and the puzzles in my house, too.
- In addressing your pile of things that don’t belong in that room, don’t get sidetracked putting those things away. Take your pile of things that don’t belong in the room you are working in, divide it up into piles of the places they need to go, and then bring them there. Just leave them there out of the way. I am so guilty of getting sidetracked in putting things away in other places that I don’t end up getting done with my original area or project.
- I like to complete an area by dusting and vacuuming or washing the floor and wiping down the area that I am working in. This way, it is not only clutter free and organized, but it is actually clean as well.
When the clutter seems to overwhelm, sometimes all we need is a plan to follow to get us on our way. My hope is that you find this series of steps as helpful as I do. Knowing where to start and how to work in bite sized pieces while making sure that our system works as well as it should and the importance of staying on task works us through the process that will bring us the organized results we desire.
Do you have a system when decluttering?