How does your home make you feel? Is it your sanctuary – or does it bring you down, make you feel heavy and lost?
The stuff we have in our lives has a huge impact on our state of mind. But when it comes to clearing the clutter and getting organsing systems in place – sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We get overwhelmed by the bigger picture, have no idea where to start – and end up doing nothing.
I guarantee that if you follow this Decluttering Masterclass you’ll be well on your way to an organised, clutter-free home – and an easier life.
Step 1: Know what you really want
Before you do any organising or decluttering it’s important to know what you want. I’m guessing that when you hop in your car you know exactly where you’re going (school, work, grocery shopping, family celebration). If you don’t know the exact route you’ll work that out beforehand so you can get to where you need to be.
Organising is just like that. If you don’t know what you want or where you’re going you’ll have no way of knowing if you’ve got there! Think long and hard about your organising goals. Write them down – ‘feel’ the physical, emotional and spiritual impact they will have on your life – and work toward them. It’s these goals that’ll keep you on track when the going gets tough.
Step 2: Step back and have a really good look
I know you live in your home and you’re well aware of what’s happening in each and every room, cupboard, nook and cranny, but sometimes we get too close to the problem – and this is where we can get stuck in overwhelm. If you can step back and look at the space objectively you may see that the job isn’t that large or can be easily solved. If it’s bigger than you can handle that’s OK too – you just may decide to ask a friend, family member or professional for help.
Step 3: Create a plan of attack
If you’ve ever built a house or done renovations you know that you can’t do anything without plans. Organising and decluttering are exactly the same! By creating a plan of attack you’ll know what steps to take, when to take them, and be able to adjust them if and when problems arise. Most organising tasks have a logical sequence and you can only follow this sequence if you have this plan. It’s super important – don’t skip it!
From my experience it’s best to do Steps 1 – 3 before you move on to Step 4 and 5. I’d even suggest doing them on different days. This is because the first three steps are very analytical and problem-solving based, whereas the process from here on is very physical.
Step 4: Time to get your hands dirty
This step, unfortunately, is where most people start their organising journey. Sometimes they also buy organising products like storage boxes or extra shelving to help them do the job. The problem with this is that you will only know what you need if you’ve worked out your goals, thought about the problem and come up with a plan to move forward.
If, however, you’ve done Steps 1-3 then it’s time to jump in and get decluttering! You know what you have to do, so it’s a matter of setting aside the time to do the work.
A word of advice – it may have taken you a long time to get to this point of disorganisation and clutter in your home, so expect it to take you a while to declutter and organise it properly. Work in blocks of time, sort all of your items first, get rid of what you don’t need and then organise everything the way you want it.
Step 5: Celebrate!
Out of all of the steps in this Masterclass, this one is the most important. To declutter and organise any room of your home properly takes a long time. Marathon runners get a medal at the end of their event so it’s important for you to give yourself one too! What does your ‘medal’ looks like? (Mine’s champagne!)
I’ve decluttered and organised hundreds of families’ homes and I know the physical and emotional toll it can take on people. Be gentle with yourself, knowing that your hard work will have a huge impact not only on your physical space, but also on your time and mind – other areas which may feel the positive effects of living in an organised space.
In the comments below, tell us about your hotspot areas for accumulating clutter. Are you feeling motivated to schedule in a clear up?
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- Too Much Stuff? Your 5 Step Decluttering Masterclass - February 17, 2014