Having a cluttered home can cause a lot of stress and getting rid of it can cause even more stress. How many times have you looked at that mess in the junk drawer and thought I should probably do something about that. Then when you actually get started it will paralyze you with anxiety and the junk drawer gets closed again.
The junk drawer is just a small part of your house that is cluttered. Think of all the time you would save if you didn’t have to worry about the clutter. Pushing it back in the corner when you have company over or how often you have to dig through to try and find something that is missing. If we have our clutter under control then we wouldn’t have to worry about “organizing” it before we have someone over.
Why your clutter is holding you back + what to do about it
Are you ready to make this year the best one yet? Well, you are in the right place!
I am doing a 7-day series to give you the tools to start the year off right and make it your year.
For day 6 we will get out clutter under control so that it no longer holds us back.
How to declutter
I know I keep saying that decluttering can be stressful but it is. That’s why you still have clutter. It’s stressful to have to go through your stuff. You’ll look at something and think what if I need this later. Or I got a great deal on it I’ll just let it sit here for a little while longer. When in reality you don’t need it!
Have a box
Allow yourself one box to keep things in that you don’t need but have serious sentimental value. It could be your wedding dress or the keys to your first home. Don’t put things in there that you only have a temporary attachment too, as in the scarf one of you ex-boyfriends gave you.
You don’t have to limit the size of the box. It can be as big as you want it! But you do have to limit how many boxes you have. (One, you can have one.) When the box gets full go through it and see if you really need to all of the things in your box. You might find that the time has come for you to get rid of a few things.
Pick one area to start
If your whole house is cluttered and you are feeling overwhelmed on where to even start. Pick one area of your house and just focus on that spot. Make it a little spot, like one shelf then only focus on one thing at a time from the shelf. That way you are only focusing on one thing at a time and not the enchilada (that’s what causes you to be overwhelmed).
When you have decided to get rid of or keep that one thing from the one area you are working. Pick something else up and just focus on that one thing. Soon enough the whole shelf will be decluttered and you can move to the next one.
Set a timer
Setting a timer works for just about everything especially when it comes to decluttering your house. Sometimes when you know that you only have to this hard thing for a short period of time it doesn’t seem so daunting.
Set a timer for 15-30minutes then take a break, but not too long of a break. If it’s too long then you are not likely to get back to it. After you take your break set it again for another 15-30 minutes and you’ll get into a groove and it will seem like time is going faster.
Ask these questions
If you are stuck on something and don’t know if you should keep it or not ask yourself these questions:
Have I used this/worn this in the past year?
Am I keeping this for “just in case”?
If I was shopping right now would I buy this?
Is it broken? Can it be fixed?
Can something else I own do the same job?
Is there strong sentimental value behind it?
Could someone else use this more than me?
It’s time to get rid of it when you can’t answer these questions correctly.
Get a decluttering buddy
Just like a gym buddy, have someone who you feel comfortable with to help you declutter. This will keep you motivated and accountable to your new project. It should be someone who is unbiased about your things (probably shouldn’t be your kids, sorry). They can help you get the right answers to those questions from above we were asking ourselves.
Sometimes you get stuck on memory lane going through your stuff and they can bring you back. Or they can help you not feel so overwhelmed about starting to declutter. A declutter buddy is someone who will help you get free from all of your stuff! And you can help them declutter as well, it’s a win-win.
Let the light in
You should let in natural light when you start to declutter. When you let the natural light in you will truly see how cluttered everything is. So open all the shades and the curtains. You will find that it not only shows you how cluttered everything is but it will give you the energy to tackle it.
There are those times when you get this burst of energy at 11 pm to clean out the pantry. Great! But turn the lights on. Don’t try and keep everything in dark because chances are you are going to get tired halfway through and give up or the pantry will get organized and decluttered because everything gets moved to the counter in the kitchen, only to be pushed aside again.
Let the light in and you find how much easier it will be to declutter.
Only bring home what you need
Don’t get rid of a whole bunch of stuff just to let more stuff in! When you go to the store you should bring a list and don’t derail from the list. A lot of times we will see the word SALE and get it just because we think we will get a good deal on it.
What really is happening is your spending more money and bringing something home that you will likely be getting rid of it within the next few months. You’re basically throwing your money away.
This goes for online shopping as well. Don’t just buy something offline because it looks cool and there’s the convenience of it being shipped to your house. This will only clutter your house more and take the funds away from doing something that you have always wanted to do (like that trip to Hawaii you’ve always talked about).
The next time you go to the store go with a minimalist mindset. Only get the things you absolutely need and nothing more.
To Finish it off
After today, day 6 of 7 days to the best year yet, you are a master declutterer (is that even a thing? It is now!) you’re home is going to look great! But what about your finances? Are they working for you or are they all over the place? For Day 7 we will go over how to get your finances in order so that you aren’t strapped for cash this year.
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