Holidays are a great time to take stock of your belongings. What do you need to keep and what can you give away? Many of my clients spend this time of year taking inventory of clothing, toys, books, and sports equipment, so they know what items to put on a holiday list for loving aunts, uncles and grandparents, or what to do with the excess once all those new gifts come creeping in the house.
When you are ready to declutter, you need to remember to stay focused and know your energy levels.
Here are a few ideas for attacking the gremlins.
- Allocate Time Blocks – Schedule decluttering time blocks on your calendar.
- Respect The Calendar – Honor those appointments where you have designated time to roll your sleeves up and dive into decluttering.
- Come Prepared – Make sure you have your bags or boxes labeled for Give Away, Toss, Recycle, Repair, or Move to Another Room.
- Make It Fun – Turn up your favorite music, light a candle or get the diffuser set up with your favorite oil. Open the blinds or turn on the lights. Make your space bright and inviting, motivating you to spend a couple of hours in a spot where you would rather pay money to be anywhere else.
- Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – If you cannot decide on an item, leave it for a rainy day and move on to the things that do not require too much brain power. Would you really rather spend all of your dedicated decluttering time making a decision about keeping one of hundreds of duplicate pictures, or might it be wiser to move on with the task at hand? Hmm. I know you know what I am talking about.
- How Will It Live – Know how you will honor the keepers. Make sure your treasures and essential belongings are placed in an area/zone that makes sense to your lifestyle and functional needs.
- Lock The Door (figuratively) – Do not allow yourself to leave the zone you have assigned to your clutter control time slot. If you let yourself out of the working area, say for instance, the mud room, you might end up going into the kitchen to look for the missing boot to match the solo boot in the mud room. Lo and behold, before you get back to the mud room without the boot that has gone MIA, you decide to take the trash out, then water the plants and of course, put the dishes away. So much for your plan to organize the mudroom. That time block is now shot.
- Have an Exit Plan – Decide how you will get rid of the things you do not want to keep – are you donating to a favorite charity, is there a family member or friend who you want to gift an item to? Make sure you know where to direct these non-essentials and do it quickly. Yesterday’s discards become next month’s decluttering issue if they are left hanging around.
- Reward Yourself – Go for a run. Take your kids to the park. Go for a spa treatment. Acknowledge yourself with a treat for taking care of tasks that help you breathe a bit easier in your space.
Hopefully, this list will be just the encouragement you need to clean out your things for a simpler and less stressful home. So what are you waiting for? Go declutter something!
If this plan overwhelms you and you need a little help, contact me. Can we talk? A Professional Organizer is a trained, skilled specialist who can help you create order where it is lacking in your life so that you can make long-term improvements and keep the disorder at bay.