Decluttering your stuff can feel overwhelming. At the same time, living in a cluttered space can make you feel overwhelmed. When the scales start to tip in favor of finding a solution, don’t view it as a chore. Think of it as an investment in saving space and time. When you have less, it’s easier to keep track of your stuff. In addition, when things have a home you’ll spend less time looking for them and more time doing things you enjoy. Remember, decluttering is not just about getting rid of items you no longer want or need. It’s more about creating systems for the things that are important to you, allowing you to find them when needed, and honoring what you have.
Make Your Piles
– When decluttering a space, people will often advise creating a box for Keep, Donate, and Toss/Recycle. Sounds simple, but that can get overwhelming. Keep is too broad a category and needs to be broken down further. For example, if you’re going through items in your closet and you find an item for your office, start an office supply pile or container. By sorting as you go, you won’t have to resort your keep pile, you can just put the items away.
Selling Is Not An Excuse
– Don’t hold onto something because you think it is worth something and you could sell it online or elsewhere. It takes time to sell things and often the return on investment is minimal. You’re much better off donating items you don’t want or need.
Sentimental Items Can Wait
– If you find photos or other meaningful items as your decluttering, don’t spend time deciding whether to keep them or where to store them. Just put them in a box and deal with them at a later time. By focusing on items you’re less attached to first, you can hone your decision making skills so that the more difficult items (harder decisions) become easier to deal with.
Don’t Just Move Your Piles
– If you decide to keep something, but don’t have a home for it or don’t create one, you may be tempted to “put it here for now”. Now can mean forever and what starts off as a small pile often grows and you’ll need to start sorting all over again. If you’re going to keep something make sure you designate a shelf, a drawer, or a container that can accommodate it and is a place where you know it’s located (Labels help if you think you’ll forget or need others to know it is there.).
Let the Container Define the Quantity
– Feeling unsure of how much to keep of certain items. Only keep what will fit in one drawer or in one basket. This will help with your decision making process especially when it comes to clothing, toys, and collectibles.