A clean slate, a fresh start. It’s one of those things we always anticipate everytime we welcome a new year. But a fresh start should also manifest in the place where you live, for how can you look forward to a new beginning, when you have all the clutter from your past blocking your view?
Time to put Project Declutter into action. Here’s how:
MAKE TIME FOR IT. It will only happen if you make it happen, and that means setting aside time for it. My personal choice is a “one time, big time” decluttering, where one whole day would be spent on cleaning and reorganizing things; but should you find this overwhelming, you can choose to do it for, say, three hours a day, for 5 days (or however long it takes to get everything done).
Encourage the other members of the household to participate. The more help you get, the faster you will get it done. But if there are tiny tots in your family who won’t really be able to participate, maybe you can bring them over to their grandparents first while you work so you can focus.
COME ARMED. Armed with boxes, that is, which you will need in sorting all the stuff you have. Best to prepare at least four boxes. Label each as Keep, Give Away, Sell, and Throw. Chuck items accordingly.
A good way to start Project Declutter is to empty every drawer and shelf so you can lay everything out and decide which ones will stay and go. It would also be wise to have some rags ready, so you can wipe clean every drawer and shelf as you empty them. That way, it will be all set for when you start organizing your things again.
BE STRONG. Yes, emotions can get in the way of a good decluttering. Try not to be so sentimental as you go about this, or else you might end up putting everything in the “Keep” box. If there are extra special souvenirs that you really want to hold on to, then store them in a special box – but only after thinking many times over if you really want to preserve them.
Also, be strong in resisting the temptation to stop! The bed may beckon and the TV may look like a more attractive companion than the rags, but just think of those as rewards that you can enjoy once you’re done.
FIND HOMES FOR THE HOMELESS. All your homeless stuff, that is. One factor why we accumulate a lot of clutter is because we don’t exactly know where to put our stuff that we end up just dumping them wherever. So prepare boxes and baskets, label them properly, and train yourself to be conscious about putting things back where they belong. If you have kids and they are old enough to follow instructions, train them to adhere to this also. This way, everyone will be contributing in the effort to keep the house clutter-free.
KEEP AT IT THE WHOLE YEAR THROUGH. It doesn’t stop at decluttering at the beginning of the year. A good practice is to do this every month so you can maintain a clean, clutter-free environment at home.
Mind your shopping as well. Before buying anything new, think thoroughly first whether you really need that item or if it will only end up as part of the clutter in your home. Recall how hard you worked in cleaning and organizing your stuff, and you might find yourself putting that item you’ve been eyeing back on the shelf.
Got some tried-and-tested decluttering tips? Share ‘em with us!