jueves, 7 de enero de 2016


8 Steps to Eliminate Clutter in Any Room

Writing down a goal makes it more real.
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1.  Set an Overall Goal

 Goals are important because they help us hold a vision of what we want to achieve in our minds. Your goal for decluttering will be personal. But it could be something like the following statements. I will declutter and organize the downstairs so that things are easier to find and more beautiful to look at. Or, I will declutter my bookshelves in order to find items to donate to the local book sale. Or, I will organize my linen closet so that everything doesn't fall out when I grab a towel.  The important thing about a goal is the part that says what you are going to do and why. Once you have a goal, write it down.  Add it as a note on your phone.  Put it in a place where you can see it. Take before pictures to show you where you started.The goal is there to help you determine what you want and what you'll need to do to get it.
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You'll need 4 containers to declutter any room.
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2.  Gather Your Tools

 The tools for decluttering are simple.  You need 4 containers. The categories for these containers are...
Give Away/Sell
Put away
You can label the containers if you want to with simple signs.  Your containers can be trash bags, boxes, bins, laundry baskets, or whatever you have access to. In a pinch you can make 4 piles on the floor labeled the same way. These are the only tools you must have.

3.  Pick a Room or Area

 Now it's time to choose a room or area. You know yourself best.  If you are highly motivated, go ahead and pick the biggest challenge.  You may need to break it into chunks as you go.  If you have never been very successful about decluttering.  Pick a smaller area so that you will be able to see the results quickly and receive motivation from that to keep going.  If you are following someone else's list of decluttering challenges, don't be afraid to break it into smaller parts.  If you are supposed to be decluttering the kitchen this week, use Monday to do the utensil drawers.  Reserve Tuesday for the pan cabinet.  Keep going until you have completed several small projects that add up to a more organized room.
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4.  Plan a Time

Time can be difficult to find. We are all busy.  When planning a time to deep clean or declutter you will need to take your schedule and the schedules of those around you into consideration. With a toddler, my only super productive time to declutter is during nap time and after bedtime unless I've got a babysitter. If you work full time, a day off or weekend may be the best time for you.  If finding a large time block each day isn't possible, you may have to schedule an all day session once every few months.  Or instead, find a 15 minute block of time daily to do what you can. A drawer or medicine cabinet can easily be decluttered in 15 minutes if you are motivated and ruthless about tossing trash.

5.  Sort the Room

 To declutter is to sort into one of 4 categories. Trash/Recycling is the category for items that are no longer of use to you or anyone. I'm most happy when the most items I sort are in this category.  Give Away/Sell items have value remaining, but not in your home. This includes items that will be donated.  Be careful about putting too many items in this category that need a lot of further attention from you.  If you have to pack up a large number of items to deliver to others, it increases the likelihood that those items will migrate back into your home. Have a plan in place to get rid of them quickly. The 3rd category is storage.  Reserve this category for items that are used infrequently but on a regular cycle. This should also be a small category.  Remember storage takes up space, time, and energy.  Make sure these items are worth it.The final category is keep.  These are items that have a designated place in your home and are used often.  If you are having trouble figuring out which category your items go in, ask yourself some clutter questions.
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Photo Credit: Reza Estakhrian / Getty Images
Garage sales are one way to remove unwanted clutter. Photo Credit: Reza Estakhrian / Getty Images

6.  Dump the Leftover Clutter

 Items that are not in the keep pile need to be dealt with quickly before you or others try to change your mind. Your first instinct is usually a good one.  Take the trash/recycling and bag it up and get it out.  Take the items to give away and deliver them where they need to go.  Box up the storage and put it away. Put the keep items in the places they need to go. If you wait, the items will start to mix together, undoing all of your sorting work.
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7.  Acknowledge Your Success

 Take after pictures.  Send them to those who love you so they can celebrate with you.  Sit and stare at the area you decluttered.  Close and open the drawer that is no longer bursting with junk. Pull a book off of that decluttered shelf and then easily put it back.  You did great work.  You deserve a moment to be proud of yourself.

8.  Start Again

 Fresh off of your success, it's time to pick your next area to tackle. Use the skills you learned in your last decluttering efforts to lead you to the next project that needs your attention. Follow the same steps as you did above and keep going until you've reached your decluttering and organizing goals.