By guest blogger Kathy Peterman, Simple Up
With the help of popular books, like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, people are ready to tackle clutter. However, we know a book won’t necessarily help you get started.
Here are my top tips for getting started with decluttering your space. You can do this as part of spring cleaning or anytime of the year, with the 15-minute "clearing clutter" workout.
1. Start small. Begin by clearing two small surfaces within your home. That might be your bathroom counter, your nightstand, the top of a bookshelf or your kitchen table. It can be any surface.
Take everything off that surface, wipe it down, then go through the items to determine if you have any of the following:
· duplicates (if so, pick your favorite)
· items that belong elsewhere and could be put away
· items you are not using
· recycling or garbage
Do what you can to reduce the items you put back on the surface. Three is the ideal number, but less is good, no matter what the number is. You can box up items to try it with less if you’re not ready to let go of these things…yet!
2. Get support. Many people need some support to get going. That can vary from having a friend or family member whom you can share your goals with, to an online group or hiring a professional organizer. Even just speaking or writing down your goals is one way to get more clear and committed. When we share this with someone else, it helps make it more real. It’s ideal if that person is willing to declutter too and you can report back to each other.
3. Figure out your why. Why do you want to declutter your space? It is to help you find things? To reduce the amount of time it takes to clean? To clear space in preparation for downsizing? To feel more calm and less chaos?
It’s helpful to actually write out your why and post it somewhere you can see it as a reminder, especially when you need a boost. Be sure to share the why with your support person too.
4. Put it on your calendar. Decluttering is that thing we think of doing, but rarely schedule. By putting it on your calendar and telling your support person when you’ll be doing it, you have a clear plan to follow. Set a timer for 15 minutes and commit to decluttering until it pings. Even if you declutter for just 15 minutes, you’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.
Once you’ve gotten started, you may be ready to move onto other categories like Marie Kondo describes in her book – clothes, books, papers and more. Don’t be afraid to break these into smaller sub-categories that you work through on separate days for 15-30 minutes, such as jackets, shirts and shoes.
Set that timer and start decluttering!