The Joys of Decluttering: Part Two of a Three-Part Series

organized shelvesEarlier this week, I wrote about how the amount of space you have available can sometimes impact how much “schtuff” you choose to keep. Today, we’re taking a closer look at decluttering tips that should help you minimize clutter in your world. These seven ideas may be especially helpful for those expecting Thanksgiving guests in just a few weeks, or for those who are ready to tackle the clutter one step at a time!

1. Start with a vision of what you want, and let the desired end goal inform your decluttering criteria. Are you interested in minimizing magazine mayhem or rounding up your receipts? Do you simply want your coffee table to be clutter-free? Are you wishing Mary Poppins could pop by and whisk all the clutter away? Jot down your desired end goal and then take steps to achieve it.

2. Begin by creating four separate areas where you can put “schtuff” to keep, sell, donate, or throw away. These four spaces will prove to be invaluable as your hands-on decluttering adventures get underway.

3. It’s a family activity. Or an apartment-mate activity. Really, this activity should involve everyone who helped create the clutter situation in the first place. By being part of the decluttering process, individuals will likely be part of the solution for keeping the room decluttered once your overhaul is complete.

4. Sections are your friends. Seriously! Don’t attempt to declutter a room in one fell swoop. Mentally divide the room in sections and go from section to section. You may wish to do all the tabletops first, followed by the shelving units, and then move on to decluttering the floor area. You’ll find the method that works best for you. And you may wish to declutter one room each day, or sections of a room over the course of a week. Let your version of organizational bliss be your guide.

5. Identify the most important items and stow them where they won’t inadvertently appear in the “trash” pile. The bonus of doing this activity with others is that you or they may be asked to defend why they wish to keep something. Ultimately, these conversations will help with the decluttering process.

6. As the “keep” pile grows,  identify exactly how many items you actually need – or want – to keep. Then act accordingly.

7. Once the decluttering process is complete, take time to enjoy the room and the items that remain. The objects that made it through your decluttering process are probably things that you use a lot or have sentimental value. Enjoy them!

While appreciating your newly decluttered space, take some time to identify what you like most about it. Is it that the tabletops are clear? Or perhaps you can see the rug? Or do you most like that there is just a general feeling of order and cleanliness? If you feel so inclined, jot down what you like about this newly decluttered room, and keep your “note to self” somewhere easily accessible so you can reference it in the future. This note can serve as a good reminder a few months down the line to ensure that you’re maintaining a decluttered space that jives with your version of organizational bliss. Cheers!

* Photo by Fleur Suijten

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