We’ve all faced it at one time or another – that room so cluttered with stuff that you don’t know where to start. Don’t be intimidated – the process is easier than you think! Whether it’s a cluttered kitchen, bedroom, bathroom or kid’s room, the process for decluttering is the same. I’ll break it down for you here in three easy steps:
I start with baskets. The number and size depends on the room I’m working on. Let’s say it’s my bedroom. I start with two laundry baskets, one for throw-away, one for give-away, and an assortment of smaller baskets (or boxes – whatever’s on hand).
Since laundry is usually the bulk of my bedroom clutter, I start at one corner of my room and pick up all the clothes that I see from the floor, chair or wherever they don’t belong. Clean clothes in one basket, dirty in the other. Once the laundry is up it’s much easier to see what else I have to work on.
Now I use my other baskets. I pick up and sort into these baskets according to where an item goes. For instance, all my jewelry goes in one, shoes in another, dishes and kitchen items in another, books and living room items in a fourth, and so on. As I’m sorting through these things, I will inevitably find items to throw away or give away. Sometimes I even have one basket for items that don’t really have a “home”. I’ll discuss this in the next step.
This system of baskets makes the next step more efficient as I can make one trip to each location to empty the contents of that basket.
Now take one basket at a time and deposit all of its contents into its proper place in its designated room in the house; dirty clothes in the washer, clean clothes get folded or hung, dishes in the dish washer, books in the book case, etc. I keep a bin in my laundry room for donations to my local thrift store. The give-away basket gets put in there, and when it’s full I drop it off at the thrift store.
Now for that basket of homeless things. I save this for last because it takes a bit more thought, but everything in there should have a “home” – a place where it lives when it’s not in use. Find a place for each item in that basket. This is a major key to keeping your space de-cluttered!
Now that your room is beautifully decluttered and everything is in its home, here is a sure-fire way to keep it looking this way: Handle everything once. This is another major key to keeping your space de-cluttered.
What does this mean? When you take off your jacket, hang it up. If you lay it on the chair it becomes instant clutter that you will have to deal with later. When you bring in the mail, open it – file it – toss it. If you put it on the table it becomes instant clutter that you will have to deal with later.
Two minutes now saves you so much more time, energy and stress later!
Image: sorting baskets.