Today’s big idea is a little more practical than the other things I’ve covered this week. It’s figuring out where to start decluttering. Because once you’ve begun, you’ve got momentum, and it’s easier to keep going. It’s the figuring out and the thinking and the actually getting going that’s the hardest part.
So here’s a tip to help you get through the figuring out part and jump in to the actual doing part. I’m posting it on a Friday so that you’ll have extra time over the weekend, although I don’t think it will take as much time as you might fear it will.
Listen to the Podcast Here
The Number One Tip To Start Decluttering Your Space
That tip is to think about the most dysfunctional spots in your home. Is it the entry way, that has a pile of unopened mail and a jumble of masks, hats, scarves and gloves and that makes it stressful to leave or enter the house? Is it the kitchen counter where everyone’s stuff tends to gather and makes it hard to make dinner? The dining table that’s covered in stuff so that there’s no good place to eat? Your bedroom floor that has piles of dirty clothes that makes your bedroom a stressful place to be? Or maybe it’s this one drawer that’s so crammed with stuff you can barely open it.
This spot should be somewhere that’s impeding your daily vibe because it’s just too cluttered to work.
Everybody’s got at least one of these spots. Think about where yours is. Or are–it’s likely there are multiple dysfunctional spaces in your home. Think of them all, but for the sake of getting going, you need to settle on just one spot that you can focus on. Once you rehab this one spot, you’ll get the experience in your bones of how worth it is to tend to these problem areas, and you’ll be inspired to start decluttering other problem spots. But for now, we’re focusing on just one area.
Once you’ve decided which particular spot you want to focus on, set a timer for 30 minutes
It may take longer than that to really finish up but it’s nice to give yourself a little urgency to start so that you will indeed dive in and break the seal.
Next, throw away or recycle anything that’s just plain trash
Boom. That’s easy. Then put away everything that has a proper home somewhere else. The loose change in a change jar, the pens in a pen jar, the dirty laundry into the hamper. For things that don’t have a home and aren’t trash, make two piles: keep, and give away.
For the things you want to keep, figure out a place for it to live
Do you need a basket for magazines or newsletters you want to read at some point? Or do you need to clear space in your kid’s room for the toys that have collected here? And for the things you DON’T want to keep, start a bag for things to go to the thrift store, one for things you might want to give away on your local Buy Nothing Facebook group, or other non-profit. I talked about Buy Nothing in Monday’s episode, which is episode 372. And it’s a fabulous way to get the things you don’t want in to the hands of someone who does. And most often they actually come to your home and pick it up, which is just amazing.
And that’s it! You’re done!
You’ve created space, and restored order. Every time you walk in to that room and see this cleared out spot, let it seep into your bones how good it feels to see it all nice and clear. Reveling in the good feelings your efforts created will energize you and put wind in your sails to take care of another area.
And that framing is really helpful too. To take care of a space, instead of calling it something like tackling or taming. Because that’s what you’re doing, you’re tending to your home. It’s nourishing and restorative, not punitive or violent. You know? It makes a difference in the energy that you bring to it, and when you change your energy, you change your results.
Be sure to come back next week
When I’m talking about Re-thinking Self-Care. Have a great weekend, and have fun making some space.