One activity I have heard a lot about while we are “social distancing” has been decluttering and purging. I’ll admit, I am so all about this right now. While I am definitely not a minimalist, I do prefer an environment that is clutter free and organized. This is not always easy when there are different personalities living together in one place. I have been fortunate, and over the years our little family has found some happy mediums….some!
Decluttering right now may actually be a great activity to undertake while we have a lot of time at home. An article that was published in 2018 by Psychology today talks about the six benefits of decluttering and organizing. You can read the article here. According to the article cleaning up and decluttering your space gives you a sense of self efficacy and confidence, it’s energizing, helps to reduce anxiety, involves physical and mental activity, can help with family tension, and you may find things you either forgot about, or had thought were lost forever.
The big question is where do you start. The big answer…there is no right answer to that question. This could be a good thing, and a bad thing, but in a nutshell, you are free to start wherever you want! Here are a few tips to help you figure out where to start.
Start With The Obvious
When I say obvious, this is referring to a space that you see all the time. Maybe it’s the dining room table, a space next to the front door, or a laundry room that is also your primary entry. Your obvious space may even be a lot smaller, like a pile of mail, or a bunch of toys in your family room. The point here is that it’s the area where you find yourself saying you would clean it up if you just had the time.
Clothes, Clothes and More Clothes
If you find yourself overwhelmed with clothes, but you either never wear half of them, or you can never find anything to wear. Then starting with clothing and shoes may be a great starting point for you. Most of us have tons of clothes, and if you are like most people, you don’t get rid of older clothing when new clothing is acquired.
Starting with clothing and shoes, in my opinion, will probably yield the largest and quickest results because you would be surprised how much you can actually do without.
One Room at a Time
So maybe you have the dream of a perfectly uncluttered home. A good option for you may be to start one room at a time. If this is your plan of attack, decide where you are going to start – the room you spend the most time in, the cluttered up guest room that you would like to use, or your home office. I like this method because it can be a Spring Cleaning exercise. You can declutter, deep clean, and then when you are done you get to stand back and see big results. Right now, this is the method I’m using.
A Little at a Time
This is a great way to declutter when you want to do it in small chunks of time. With this plan of attack, you can spend 15-30 minutes each day and make some real progress. With just a few minutes you can clean out a junk drawer, a kitchen cabinet, or a bedside table. Just be careful that you don’t declutter one space by moving items to another space that you will have to tackle later on.
How you plan to complete your decluttering mission is completely up to you. Since I am working on one room at a time (I’ll confess, right now I’m working on two!), I have made a list of all the rooms in my house. This way I can track my progress…and checking something off a list has a very positive effect on my overall psyche. If you need a little extra motivation to keep you going on your decluttering project, take before and after photos…and if you are really brave, share them with friends. You never know, you might inspire someone else to take on their own decluttering project.
This post on picking your starting point is the first in a three part series on Decluttering. Part two will give tips to help you with the actual decluttering, and part three will give some suggestions for getting rid of what you declutter, and how to stay clutter free in the future.