So, decluttering is the aim of the game and though you are excited about the benefits of decluttering your home, you feel a slow sink of despair as you open the door to the cupboard where you dump everything, and your whole life falls out at your feet in a jumbled mess. Everyone has this cupboard and some dedicated whole rooms to this space consuming habit. So you gather everything up, push it all back into that cupboard, shut the door and think to yourself ‘nice idea but maybe next year!’ The following tips are here to help you combat the procrastination, put yourself on a journey of effective and easy decluttering and enjoy your new organised life.
Can’t get started? – Then connect to your why. How will decluttering your space and organising your belongings benefit you and others around you? Close your eyes and visualise who you will be, how your life will look and the positive impact this will have for you and everyone else. Then imagine the reaction of people in need who have received your unwanted items and how this will help them in their lives. When you have visualised this, write down why you want to declutter and all the benefits that it will bring. This is your WHY. Connect with it whenever you feel stuck at the decluttering start line.
A little overwhelmed? – Then get organised. Break your decluttering project into small chunks of decluttering task such as concentrating on a particular area of your home or even as small as a certain draw in a closet. Break it down into as smaller task as you need, in order to make it feel more manageable for you. Then diarise when you can commit to doing each chunk of decluttering and this help you to find the time to do it. Breaking a task down into bitesize chunks and committing time to do them in advance is a great way to combat that overwhelming feeling that can often lead to eternal procrastination and clutter building up in your space.
Loss of focus and motivation? – Then make it fun. Why not ask a friend round for ‘dinner and decluttering’ or go on a decluttering journey with a friend and help each other out. Remind each other of your ‘WHY’. Make sure to reward yourself for every completed decluttering task done with something you will really look forward to. We often forget to celebrate our successes, which in turn leads to lower satisfaction, and motivation for a project will dwindle. So make sure to reward yourself and have fun on the decluttering success road.
Getting side tracked by sentimental items? – Then follow the right order. It is so easy to lose focus on the job at hand when you come across old photos and before you know it hours have passed as you relive old memories. This is a very common slip-up. So follow this order: clothes, shoes, kitchen equipment, books, CD’s and DVD’S, papers and finally sentimental items such as photos. This way you can practice the skill of staying focused on less evocative belongings such as clothes.
Finding it difficult to decide what to give up? – then make up the rules. Make a set of simple rules that you can apply when deciding what needs to go and what can stay. A great rule to use is; if it hasn’t been used for two months, it is clutter and can go.’ Use a time frame that you feel most comfortable with and apply only to items that can be used all year around. Don’t be throwing your favourite winter jacket in the charity bag because you haven’t used it all summer. By using simple rules, you can declutter more efficiently because you are not constantly having to rethink every aspect of a decision each time you make it.
Can’t let go of things? – then get a professional in. Not being able to let go of belongings is very common and the reasons behind not wanting to give things up can be deep rooted. It usually evolves from fears such as not being remembered when we have gone, or fear of not having the means to acquire the things that we might need at a later date or fear of an uncertain future. Our past often feels very certain to us as it has already happened. We therefore often seek to surround ourselves with things that remind us of our certain past to find security in the now. If this is a problem for you it would be advisable to find a professional to help you overcome this block and declutter yourself to a more positive and organised future.
Left with bags of unwanted items after a decluttering spree? – then complete the task. The decluttering task is not complete until you drop off your unwanted items to their next destination. It is very easy to feel really good about sorting through your belongings and to be left with bags of unwanted items that you fling in the spare room thinking I will take them to a charity another day. Three months later they are still there cluttering up your room and you feel bad about it. Think about who would benefit from your unwanted items such as friends, charity or recycling centres, and organise to drop them off straight after each decluttering spree so that they are no longer cluttering your spare room.