“She did not need much. Wanted very little. A kind word, sincerity, fresh air, clean water, a garden, kisses, books to read, sheltering arms, a cozy bed and to love and be loved in return.” -Starra Neely Blade
Many readers reach out and ask me how to start decluttering. Whether you’re a new reader or you’re in need of a decluttering refresher this spring here is my “how to” quickstart guide to decluttering!
Organize your thoughts. I don’t know about you but I often have a running to do list going in my head and if I don’t stop to write it all down it can cause anxiety and overwhelm. Begin your decluttering process by creating a checklist of things you would like to accomplish or simply write down your intentions for the process. What is your ideal living space? How do you want your space to look and feel? When things get tough or tiring you will have your list to look back on and inspire you to keep going! (Add pictures and quotes too!)
Communicate. If you live with other people (roommates, partners, children, pets) communicate what you are doing. Let them know your plans and hopes for the space. Reassure them that you will not be decluttering their items, only your own. And yes, I do tell Kiley and Max and Ming and Tony and Meredith that I will be decluttering; pets are so smart and sensitive, they observe so much. Let them know you are not moving or leaving without them, just clearing some things out!
Set a time limit. If you have a full schedule set aside 20 minutes each day. For some, decluttering for too long can start to feel tedious and taxing. Others find it gives them more energy. Find a time limit that’s right for you! Set an end date as well- this can be part of your goal setting or thought organizing! Give a specific date you would like to be done by. Have your goal be lofty yet attainable.
Pile by category. Pull everything out- EVERYTHING. When gathering and piling while working with my decluttering clients I let them know that anything found after we go through a certain category will be immediately donated or recycled because it must not have been very important they often suddenly remember another box of clothing in the attic or some sweaters in the car! Gather by category, then sort. My category suggestions in order are: clothing, books, paper, and then the rest (kitchen, food, toys, and anything else you have.)
When sorting ask your self, do I need this item? Do I love this item? If not, remove it. Beware of just in case items.
If you’re having trouble deciding if you love or need an item, keep it out of sight. Store it in a bin or a bag where you can not see it. If you do not reach for it within the next 6 months or so you probably do not need or love it, let it go. Let it bring someone else joy.
Bonus step: Digital declutter. Take the time to go through your phone and computer for digital clutter. Clear out old photos, apps and more. Digital clutter can weigh on us just as much as physical clutter! For more detail on how to declutter your phone click here.
I hope you find this helpful. Best of luck, let me know how it goes!
Bonnie Rae xx