If you’re like most of us, at some point you are likely to come to the conclusion that your life is too cluttered. At this moment you may be realizing that you own too much stuff; or that your schedule is overloaded to the point that you have too much to do and are not able to handle your schedule optimally.
The average person would probably be better off with at least a little decluttering – but where does one start? When you are under a pile of clutter, commitments, personal files, and a load of digital information, how do you even get started with decluttering?
Follow these tips for decluttering your life:
1. Simply get started. Pick a room, a closet, or a shelf and get started. Pick up each item once and with it in your hand ask yourself, “Do I use this regularly? Do I love this item?” If the answer to both questions is “no” then the item needs to be sold, donated, or given away. Have a box dedicated for each of those categories to put your discarded items in. Put away the items that you plan to keep in their proper place. If the items that you are keeping have a home, it is easier to keep your space organized and in order. If it doesn’t have a home, give it one.
If you have a lot of “stuff”, it might seem overwhelming. Try setting a timer and just work for 15 minutes at a time. Limit your decluttering to one small area for those 15 minutes; by doing this you’ll really be able to see some progress. Have a box or basket for items that live in a different room or area, so that you are not leaving the space you are working on.
Try not to get carried away by spending too much time. Working on decluttering for 15 minutes a day for a month is better than overloading yourself and quitting after 2 days.
2. Go a little further each day. Once you have started with your decluttering project, keep moving forward. Finish one area and then move on to the next. Your enemy is perfection; the space does not have to be Pinterest perfect. Simply do a good job in a reasonable amount of time. Any work you’re putting into this will result in progress, thus making it easy on yourself.
Get some help. Call in backup. Some of us really are pack rats and can’t seem to let go of anything. If that sounds like you, get a reasonable friend to help. This friend needs to be able to encourage you to let go of the things you do not need or do not use, compassionately but firmly helping you work through the letting go process. If you do not feel you have that resource in your network of friends, then seek help from a professional organizer. You can find a professional at https://pro.napo.net/.
Take the time to enjoy the new clutter-free spaces you’ve created in order to help keep the momentum going.
3. It’s important to include all who live in your home. If the other people in your home are not on the same page, decluttering will be much more challenging.
Focus on telling them about the benefits they’ll receive if the home is much less cluttered. Share the benefits of decluttering their space.
If there’s too much resistance, keep your focus on decluttering and maintaining your own space.
Throwing things out or donating them can be contagious. You’ll likely find that everyone else in your household will jump on the bandwagon when they see how great your personal space looks.
4. Declutter your calendar and digital life. Your living environment is only one aspect of your life. Simplifying how you spend your time and handle your digital life is important, too.
Decluttering your calendar is about learning to say “NO” to commitments that are not important to you. Make a list of commitments and put them in order from most important to least important. Keep the top few and remove the rest from your life.
Start decluttering your digital life. Prioritize the blogs, newsletters, social networks, emails, and so on. Only keep the things that really matter.
Decluttering your life is more beneficial than you probably realize. It’s not only easier to find things, but you will have adequate space to put everything away in its proper place. Clutter weighs on your mind 24/7, whether you realize it or not. Avoid letting it stress you out or take over your life.
You will be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel once the clutter is out of your life for good. Give it a try today!