From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center
How to Create a Declutter Strategy
Do the piles of clutter in your home overwhelm you? Do you want to have a clean and uncluttered home but you honestly do not know where to start the clean-up process? It is time to create a declutter strategy. Do not allow this process to stress you out. The secret is breaking the process down into small pieces and taking baby steps.
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To begin, walk through your home with new eyes. In fact, some organizers recommend that you enter your house, going room by room, and making a list of everything you want to change. This is an awesome way to begin, and I also suggest asking your housemate to take the same walk and to ake a list of their own. You will be surprised at the difference in perspectives. And face it, a new set of eyes will notice things you may not. Before you start doing anything, take a close look at the list. Which room or space irritates you the most? Prioritize each area you want clean based on this list.
Rather than trying to tackle an entire room, start with one small area. Focus on that one area – whether it is a counter, a dresser drawer or a bookshelf. Set a timer. I believe in setting a time because it will give you a sense of accomplishment to complete a task by the time the timer goes off. I usually set aside an hour. No worries, if you do not complete the task you can always reset the timer.
Completely clear everything from the area and then go through each item, choosing whether to save it, donate, give it away, or throw it away. As you find items you want to keep, put them back until everything is back in its place. However, remain focused and do not keep items you no love, use or out of guilt because it was a gift. Only keep items that fit your current lifestyle. When you step back and see the cleared space, you will feel a sense of satisfaction and may feel a renewed energy to move forward and tackle your next space.
You may be tempted to start on the next item on the list immediately, but it would be better to wait. Give yourself a couple of days to get used to having the area clean and see how you do keeping the area clutter-free. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and it will give you the incentive to remove even more things when you tackle your next area, Your goal is to purge everything you no longer need and to develop the new habit of keeping the one area cleared. When you feel secure in keeping this one area clear, it is time to move to the next priority item on your list. You are slowly developing your very own strategy to live decluttered.
The next step is to work on another small area. You may want to have a decluttering spree but bear in mind that doing too much too soon can wear you out. Instead, plan to spend a minimum of 15 minutes and no more than an hour a day cleaning (at least at first). If you can schedule more time, an hour or two each week would be fantastic. Follow the list of prioritized items and schedule the cleaning time on your calendar. Guard the time like you would a doctor’s appointment to be sure you declutter each week.
Once you have gotten your own clutter under control, it is time to enlist the help of your family. Develop a chore chart for everyone in the family so you are not the only one cleaning. You may be the only one decluttering but it only makes sense for everyone in the family to be involved in general housekeeping. It also helps to develop a routine and holds everyone accountable.
As you go through the clutter, whether on your own or with your family’s help, remember to purge, purge, purge! You may want to put a “give away” box in each room. When you find an unwanted or unneeded item, place it into the box. Once the box is full, immediately take it to the car and donate it to a charity like Salvation Army or Goodwill. It feels wonderful to bless someone else.
You may feel like it is taking forever to clear the clutter, but it took more than a day or two to build it. It will take time to get your home back in order, but once you do, you will be more likely to use the new skills you have learned and keep the clutter from coming back.
There are several decluttering blogs on my site that may be helpful. See the list below. I have only listed 3 but there are others and free downloads as well to help you to get and stay on track.
What do you think? Can you follow one or more of the process to get your space purged and organized? Is there something you need to get you started? Will you set a timer when you declutter/clean next time? Do you have a strategy to declutter your space?
Don’t forget to check out my eBook; Organize Your Life in 21 Days. It is available for download and has a variety of small projects to help you take on and complete organizational projects. Some you may not have even thought of. Get your copy today.
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