Over the last six months, we have been spending longer in our homes. We are noticing our spaces more. We are seeing the stuff that surrounds us and for some, the clutter is feeling overwhelming. It doesn’t have to.
Here are five steps to overcome to overwhelm and ‘just start’ decluttering your home.
The first step on your decluttering journey is to stop. Albert Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” yet we often do this in our homes, and get upset when nothing changes.
We need to jump off the hamster wheel that is life and take a moment to really look at the problem.
Now that you have stopped, you have given yourself the time to really focus in on what is causing you stress, anxiety or overwhelm in a particular area of your home.
Get specific. What is the problem or issue? Why is it an issue? Explain it. Write it down.
Now that you have stopped and focused, it is time to notice what your options are. How can you solve the problem? Brainstorm a big list of all your options.
4. USE WHAT YOU HAVE
As a Declutter Coach and Professional Organiser, I see a lot of stuff ending up in landfill. I encourage clients to use what they already have or repurpose things in their homes before they buy fancy storage solutions.
Is there anything you already have in your home that you can use the solve the problem?
For example, school bag storage was an issue in our home. I got caught up in the ‘bright new shiny thing’ syndrome and thought I wanted a new school bag storage locker in our home, like I kept seeing on Pinterest.
Then I stopped. I focused on the problem. I had wanted the kids to take their bags to their bedrooms, but then they would bring them back into the dining room to do their homework and would then leave them there.
I noticed we had a half empty sideboard buffet in our dining room. I had decluttered a lot of things out of it already, but there was more things that could be moved to new homes.
Now our sideboard buffet is our school bag storage locker. Each child has a large cupboard for their school bag and the cupboard door have clipboards velcroed into it to hold school notes. The top draws hold pens and paper so my children can do their homework at the dining room table. Bonus points that you can’t notice the cupboard stores school bags by looking at it (a big school bag locker would have wrecked the look of the room)!
5. JUST START
One of the hardest things to do when things feel overwhelming is to ‘just start’. I remind my clients of the old proverb “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at at time”. Break the task into small parts. What is the first thing that needs to be done?
Can you find 1% of your day to declutter?
1% of your day is 14.4 minutes. If you commit to decluttering for 15 minutes a day for a week, after seven days you will have spent 1 hour and 45 minutes decluttering. If you do it for a month, you will have spent 7.5 hours decluttering (a whole work day)!
If you do it for a whole year you will have spent 12 work days (7.5 hours each) decluttering!
A year from now, you will wish you had ‘just started’ today!
BE SIMPLY FREE
Hi, I’m Bridget, a Declutter Coach and Life Organiser. My business Be Simply Free helps women create systems in their lives to ease the “mental load” and reduce the physical and emotional clutter in their homes, calendars and minds. I help women move from stress, to less and live a life of more!
With the advent of COVID restrictions, I am noticing more people are choosing to declutter their spaces. If you would like support to declutter your home, I can connect with you virtually via Zoom. If you are in Adelaide or on the Yorke Peninsula, I can stand right next to you and be there for 1:1 decluttering support in your home (COVID-19 restrictions allowing).