We all know New Years is a time to evaluate our goals and of course, set a resolution. There are a large number of people who have made it their resolution to declutter but don’t know how to start and achieve lasting success.
Life is fast paced these days, and many feel so overwhelmed when their house is out of control. When I have my initial consultation with a client, the first words with an apologetic note are typically “I didn’t have time to clean up for your visit” and that is followed by:
“I don’t know where to start”
“I am just so overwhelmed”
“My house is out of control”
“My life is out of control”
“I can’t find anything”
“Clutter is taking over”
So, we know there is a desire to get organized. Here are 10 steps to help you de-clutter and organize and reduce stress.
- Recognize and remember throughout the process, the why behind the desire to de-clutter. It is because the clutter is causing you stress.
- Be realistic about what you want to achieve and set yourself up for success. This is critical so you don’t get discouraged.
- Start small with one certain area. I typically tell clients to start in an area they use the most so they can feel that wonderful sense of instant gratification. If you see and feel the benefits of de-cluttering you will want to keep going. I cleaned out my pantry yesterday and discarded old canned goods, expired vitamins, and dried cranberries that were a little too dried. It felt great!
- Carve out a designated time and be sure it is a sufficient amount of time. There is no quick fix. If you decide to start in your pantry, be sure you have enough time to pull everything (yes, everything) out, group like with like, clean the shelves and then put everything back. You don’t want to come home to chip bags and tomato sauce overtaking your floor! That is a recipe for disaster.
- Maybe it would be helpful to ask a friend or family member for help. Or, there is professional help. Check out our services.
- Ask yourself if you have used the item, love the item, and what purpose it serves.
- Sometimes you need to be ruthless. Be sure the reason you are keeping an item is not because someone gave it to you, you may use it some day, or you are storing it for someone else.
- Keep a donation box handy so you can fill it up throughout a period of time.
- Shop for solutions only after you know what is going to live in a specific area. For example, if your entryway is bothering you because coats and shoes are everywhere. Look for a solution that not only solves the shoe/coat issue but also ask yourself where does your incoming mail live; what about backpacks and pocketbooks; umbrellas; dog leashes etc.
- Educate your family members about the new expectations and how they can help keep the area organized.
- Now that everything has a home, be sure you take the few minutes every day to put things away.
- Set up a monthly maintenance plan.
- Celebrate the small successes along the way and congratulate yourself for a job well done.
I can’t tell you how many times I leave a client’s home and they later send me a note saying how motivated they were to keep going because they saw the benefit of what we had accomplished together.
Now is the time.
2019 is a great year to de-clutter and organize and you can do it! While it may be difficult, it is so worth it in the end.