Where to Start Decluttering
Where to Start Decluttering- when you just have not got a clue
Often our offices and home are full of clutter that we cannot keep control of. Following this simple rule can help you to stay organized and increase order in your life.
We search for a way to organize our lives, our offices, our homes, and there never seems to be a good way to do it. We’re always so busy that keeping organized seems like a luxury that we cannot afford. What we really need is a new routine that will give us more time and keep us organized to deal with things more effectively and efficiently.
Organization experts often advise people on how to quickly and easily declutter their home, office, or closet. Here’s a quick summary of what they often say.
When a person wants to organize a room in her home or her closet, or even clean out her junk drawer, how should she begin? She might be interested to know that most organization experts offer the same advice over and over, and the procedure is relatively simple (though not always painless). The following three-step process covers what most organizers will tell a person who wants to declutter something in her life.
Begin to Declutter by Sifting Through Everything
Okay – this is where to start decluttering let’s do this…
Whatever area one is trying to organize, whether it is the garage, a bathroom drawer, or shelves in the family room, the first thing a person should do is sift through the stuff. Before beginning, though, one should gather three boxes or bags. Each box will have a purpose (and one can label them before beginning): Keep, give away, and throw away.
A person should pick up one object at a time and ask himself, “Do I use this object or love this object?” (If the answer is “I like this object” or “I might use this object,” the item should not go in the Keep box.) The Keep box should only contain things that one uses (and preferably uses more often than once a year) or loves.
The Throwaway box will, of course, collect obvious trash but should also capture broken objects or items missing pieces or parts. The Giveaway box is for things that are still useful but not useful to or loved by their owner. It’s best to take the Giveaway box straight to a secondhand store or shelter that accepts donations.
Temptation Blocking the Path to Organization
One might be tempted to keep an object because he might use it someday. If it’s easier, sometimes one can make a “maybe” box. Things that might be of use in the near future can be placed in this box. The box should be dated for three to six months from the date items are placed inside. If during that time, an item is fetched from the box, it has become a keeper. But if the box has just collected dust, it needs to be given away.
One also might feel the need to keep something because of an attachment to it. Sandra Felton (founder of Messies Anonymous) addresses this phenomenon. She suggests keeping “token” items of remembrance rather than every little thing that reminds someone of something or someone else.
Organizing the Keepers
Once the Giveaway and Trash boxes are out of the house, one needs to focus on the Keep box. First, one will need to sift through the keepers and find out what belongs elsewhere in the home. For example, if one is cleaning in the living room and finds a brush, the brush probably belongs in the bathroom or a bedroom.
With what is left, one will want to group like items together. For instance, if in the Keeper box, one finds paper clips, pencils, and rubber bands, it might seem obvious that these things belong to a home office. Once one determines groups, then she can decide what sort of organizers to buy (bins, baskets, etc.). It doesn’t make sense to buy organizing equipment until one knows what she needs and where to start decluttering int he first place
Getting Organized is That Simple (once you know where to start decluttering)
Believe it or not, that’s all there is to it. Sift through the stuff, decide what to keep and what to get rid of, and then organize what’s left. More than that, be determined. The organization can be difficult, but persistence is key.
But then what?
Making sure you don’t get it he clutter position again is key moving forward. No one want s to get back to point one scratching their head and wondering where to start decluttering agin. So how to move things on?
Fight the Clutter through a New Routine
It’s true that it’s our daily routines can get us into a cluttered, disorganized home or office. We open the mail and then just plop it onto the counter and forget about it, sometimes for weeks. Or we start on a project, and it gets put aside because something more important comes up. But we don’t put away the stuff we were using from the last project.
This doesn’t always mean that the place is dirty, just disorganized. It’s these kinds of habits that make us lose things and have problems when we do want to make life easier. Well, there’s a way around that. You must establish a new routine that makes sure that everything is put away before anything else is started. And everything must have its place that is easily accessible but still out of the way.
Start with Having a Place for Everything
If you have no place to put things, then they just end up sitting on top of each other wherever you can put them. In order to stay organized, there must be a space for the items that need organizing. If these are papers, then filing cabinets are good for that. If it’s larger items, then drawer organizers may be the solution.
Have a good look at the items that you need to de-clutter and then decide what type of solution would work best for them. Then go get the storage containers that you need! Put these organizers into easy-to-access, but still out of the way places, such as the nook in your hallway or the far corner in your office. This way, you know exactly where things are, but they won’t get in the way of traffic or regular routine.
Establish the Rule of Two
When you are handling things, you should handle them no more than twice. For example, with every piece of paper you handle, you must handle it no more than twice. And you must do it immediately! The first time is deciding whether it gets thrown away (recycled) or dealt with immediately (bill paid) and then filed, thus only being handled once. Or if it goes to a deal with later file, in which case it is handled a second time and then filed. Yes, it’s a great idea to have a home filing cabinet! These are relatively inexpensive and can really save you time and money in dealing with your papers.
All other items can be handled in a similar manner. When you come home, for example, jackets and shoes are put away immediately into their designated area (closet, coat rack…) unless there are compelling reasons to do otherwise. Say, for example, your hands are full of groceries, and you need to carry them into the kitchen. In this case, the shoes are kicked off and handled a second time once you put the groceries down and go back and put the shoes away.
Using the “maximum of two” rule will really make everyone in the family’s lives easier. And it will keep your home well organized in the days ahead!
Pin where to start decluttering for later….
Good declutter habits
We often think that tidy people spend an exorbitant amount of time cleaning and de-cluttering when the truth is, it doesn’t take much time at all. Once you have figured out Where to Start Decluttering it is all about building good habits.
Tidy people know that doing a little bit now saves a lot of time later. They have developed habits that keep their environments clean.
Where to Start Decluttering – Try the “Little Bit” Approach
There will be no need for major clutter-busting sessions if you handle clutter the same way it accumulates: in bits and pieces. Make it a habit to bend over and pick up the errant paper clip or dropped pen instead of stepping over it. Put the coffee cup into the dishwasher now instead of letting all the daily cups and spoons pile up until the end of the day. It only takes a fraction of a second while a full dish-washing session can take up 20 minutes or more.
A neighbor of the author would pick one weed every time as he walked from his car to his house and thus saved his weekends for fun activities. Another friend brings in the mail and stands over the trash bin to toss out junk mail right away. She sets aside the bills and other correspondence if she can’t tackle them immediately, but this keeps the obvious trash from becoming clutter. The “little bit” approach is quick and painless.
The “Gather and Contain” Approach
Another good way to manage clutter—if you don’t like the idea of running up the stairs right away to put away the misplaced book or shoe—is to gather and contain the items in one area. Place a basket at the bottom of the stairs for the upstairs items. Then, next time you need to trot to the second floor, take the basket with you and put things in their places.
A collection basket should contain all errant items that do not belong in the room. Toys, books, shoes. At the end of the day, family members need to retrieve their things from the collection basket. Anything left in the basket, unclaimed, gets dumped. After having to weed through the trash bin, they’ll honor the new rule.
The “Right Place, Right Away” Approach
If you have dreams of becoming an orderly person, the fix is simple: Designate a place for everything and put it back right after using it. Chances are, your home already has “right” places for your toothbrushes, kitchen knives, shoes, and such already. Extend that rule to incoming and outgoing mail. Keys. Your reading glasses. When everyone knows where things belong, no one will wonder about searching for lost items. It saves time and angst. It doesn’t take long for everyone to become accustomed—and to love—this simple approach.
Developing clutter-free habits is easier than you think. Sort out where to start decluttering and then, once you experience the mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual freedom of a clutter-free environment, you will wonder how you endured the chaos of clutter for so long.
Where to start decluttering is just the beginning – it will lead to good habits and a great system for your home. You know it makes sense to get started.
I hope you found this post on where to start decluttering to be useful. You might also like my posts on how to make our home clutter free
You might also like to check out KonMari for an excellent blog on decluttering