We all know that many things that we want to do never get done because we have no idea where to start! There are so many things to do, worry about, or consider that finding a starting place seems impossible. How do you pick one thing or place over another? If I start here, will there be a stopping point? Will I be able to come back to it? Will it even be worth the time? I have put together some ideas on how you can start your decluttering process in quick little bits. Because half the battle is getting started!
1) Pick an area in your home and make a list of all of the sub-areas. Example: Kitchen a) Top Left Cabinet b) Top Right Cabinet c) Silverware Drawer d) Stove Drawer e) Top of Fridge I think you get the point. (You can even break it down further if you have to – Top shelve in top left cabinet)
When you have these areas all listed out, give them a due date, one a week. Big tip: do not break down your whole house at once — Kitchen, Living Room, Bedroom 1, etc. It is very likely you will just get overwhelmed by all of the items you will not start. So keep it to one room at a time, and one or two areas per week. If you have a week where you are feeling ambitious go for it, but shoot for your minimums and you will be off to a good start.
2) Set up 2 boxes out of the way – one for donation and the other to return to or give to people you know. (I personally leave them in my trunk, but you can put it in the mud room, closet, etc.) Every week make it appoint to add 3 or more items to one or both of those boxes. AND put 3 items in the circular filing bin (aka garbage!). We all have clothing that hasn’t fit for ages, or that scarf we borrowed months ago from a friend. What about that stack of papers? That is an easy 3 items in the circle bin!
3) Set up a place or system for your incoming mail. I sort out all of the garbage mail before I even get into the house. This way it does not have the ability to pile up in your house. If you are concerned about privacy issues, set up recycle and shred bins somewhere near your front door or where you go through your mail. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks about mail in future posts!
4) Establish a 2 minute rule in your home. If something will easily take you less than 2 minutes then you need to do it right then. This includes things like sorting mail, emptying the dishwasher, putting clothes away at the end of the day, etc. The more you take care of in the moment the less piles you have, the less clutter, and the less chaos and disorder down the line.
5) Set up a “to buy” or “need” list on the fridge. A white board with magnetic dry erase pen work great for this. Be sure everyone knows to add anything that is empty or expired to the list before tossing the old one. Generally, the kitchen is where we run out of things the quickest so having the list in the central place helps the whole house get in on making the grocery list.
These are just some of many tips to help you take the dive into the wonderful world of being organized. Just remember Rome was not built in a day and neither was the clutter in your home. One step at a time and you will surely start to see the light! Don’t forget to sign up at the top of the page for our Monthly Newsletter for more great tips and tricks, plus some of our favorite organizing products. Cheers to a New You in the New Year!