I am in no way an expert on decluttering. I guess, before kids, I never had a need to do it. Everything had a place and everything was valued and cared for. Since the kids arrived, there's been way too much stuff coming into our home, at an alarming rate, that you just can't keep on top of it. I've been trying to declutter for the last couple of years but last week, I felt like I'd finally made a great 'dent' in it and these are a couple things I found worked for me.
1. Only handle the clutter once
Previously, I'd declutter, say, the kid's toys. I'd drag them all to one area, start sorting them; donate, sell, keep, throw and I'd get side tracked or disturbed and by the time I got back to it, the kids had been through them again, mixed them all up and I was back to square one.
If you have been sidetracked, 'donate', 'throw' or 'sell' straight away those things you've already decluttered. For example, take those donated items to the car straight away or put the throw aways in the bin. I've got a box of things ready to list on ebay that are in a hidden spot so the kids can't get to them. I'm only handling the clutter once now. My time is too precious to me to keep going back over these things anymore.
2. It's going to be tough but persevere
Decluttering after a break up or death is always going to be very difficult. It's going to be tough. Even going through kid's baby toys once they've grown up will bring the memories flooding back and you'll find it hard to part with some of those things. Work through the pain, tuck the memory in your heart and move on. Taking a photo of those items your parting with and getting them printed in a photo book will take up a lot less space and give you peace of mind. You will always have the memories but you won't be surrounded by clutter. Once you've finished you'll be amazed at how wonderful you really feel.
|Ice cube trays are a perfect organising solution for jewellry|
3. Break the job up into small, manageable sections
Every time I got in the mood for decluttering, I'd get that overwhelming feeling first, then I'd not even start and then I'd look for chocolate! Thinking about decluttering your whole house is quite a daunting thought. Believe me. I've been doing it for the last 3 years! Breaking the jobs up into smaller, manageable sections will give you a head start and help you to deal with the clutter straight away (refer tip # 1). Instead of deciding on the main bedroom as the place you'll start to declutter, break it up into your jewellry box or your underwear drawer. Allow about 10 minutes per job. I always used to think these jobs would take so long but honestly, they don't. Ten minutes for small, manageable sections of decluttering and you will achieve a lot more and you'll want to keep continuing.
If you're not already joined up for the "20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home" at The Organised Housewife", it's not too late. Sign up for a room-by-room, daily email list of tasks to complete. I'm one week into the challenge and have never felt better.