Out with the old, in with the minimal?
We have a tendency to hold on to too much stuff and all that stuff has a tendency of getting a little to much for us to handle. The first step to getting organized and getting that Martha Stewart home you are looking for is:
PURGE, PURGE, PURGE!
Purging is the first step and it could also be the hardest especially if you are sentimentally attached to many things in your home. When helping people through this step I often ask them a series of questions:
- How long have you had this item? When was the last time you used it?
- Do you have a realistic plan to use this someday?
- Does it fit you or your space?
- If you are sentimentally attached to something, when was the last time you even looked at it, or admired it?
If the answer to these are no or more than a year, toss it or donate it! You can have one bin of sentimental items, but everything cannot stay because in the end it is just taking up the little storage you do have that could be used for something else.
Also, don’t be afraid to donate! Donate the items you once loved to someone else who will love it and use it.
Now, to begin!
First things first, pick a room.
Which room is the priority? Find that room, that’s your starting point.
Make sure you have a box full of large white garbage bags, paper bags or empty boxes you have lying around. Boxes and paper bags are great for donating large heavy items like books or kitchen appliances and can also be used to put items that belong in other rooms. Start with three white trash bags and with a sharpie draw a T, R, and D. One bag will be trash, another recycle and the last smaller less breakable donatables.
Start in one corner of the room.
Then work your way around. Go through everything and put everything that does not belong in its respective bag. And just keep going!
As bags start filling up, get them out of the room.
Or preferably the house. That will help with being able to see the result and clear the space. Keep all donate bags together and separated from the trash and recycle. It will help a lot making sure even the bags of stuff going out are organized in piles so you know where each bag has to go.
Put the things that stay where they belong.
Take the things that belong in another room to the room they belong in. Also make sure you put away the things that have a space in the room you are currently decluttering away.
Make a list.
If you notice you have a few things in the room that do not have a space because you are lacking a piece of furniture or organizer, write it down and go buy it.
At the end of the day find your nearest goodwill or donation site and take away your donation pile. Do not let it sit in the garage until you finish every other room because it will then turn into another cluttered mess that will feel overwhelming.
Repeat the list above for every room you decide to organize and declutter. Make sure you know that you are investing this time to get the home you want and deserve.
Clutter is caused by procrastination. End the cycle!