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5 Decluttering Tips for Organizing Success

Does the topic of spring-cleaning stress you out so much that you do nothing? Or do you start and stop decluttering projects thereby never seeing one to completion? Regardless of the category you may fall into, decluttering a drawer, room or an entire home has huge psychological benefits. Control and feelings of freedom are documented results that occur when you declutter and then organize. Here are five decluttering tips that will set you up for organizing success. 

Determine Your Goals and Your Timeframe, Then Add a Day ~

Before you tackle any project, you need to lay out your goals and ensure you have ample time to accomplish them. I would love to be able to get through our memorabilia in a few hours, but the reality is I’ll spend at least 2 hours reading cards and looking at pictures. And that’s ok – because it will make the process joyful. If my goal is to declutter, sort and contain, then I know I’ll need at least half a day – and that’s just for my stuff. Add on another half day for my daughter’s items.  I can probably blow through my husband’s stuff in an hour. That means at least 2 days of uninterrupted time to meet my goal – which means I should plan on 3 days as time is never uninterrupted. 

A Garage Requires Alcohol ~

There’s just no getting around it. A garage is a monster project and requires a plan, time, patience and celebration libations! Decluttering a garage is always the first step. Start by taking everything out and sorting into “like” piles. Typical piles include garden, sports, auto and tools. Then within tools, you’ll have a zillion sub-piles for heavy-duty tools, hammers, nails, screws, etc. I wish I could do this process alone, but there will always be “tools” I have no clue as to their purpose, so including your partner in the process is a must. Hence, the alcohol.  

Make Believe You’re Moving. To a Smaller Home ~

This is an amazing mental trick if you truly play along with it. And it works for a whole house, or a drawer. If you think about not having as much space – either to decorate or to store stuff – then you’ll have an easier time removing items that aren’t special or necessary. I do this in my make-up drawer. If I only had half the space, I wouldn’t keep all the samples Sephora sends me that I didn’t ask for. I wouldn’t keep the eyeshadow palate I received as a gift because I (never-ever) wear purple, green or blue eyeshadow. See, it’s easy! 

Clear Your Surfaces ~

If decluttering is a goal, then visual clutter must go. I have a massive kitchen with lots of prep space. I didn’t design this kitchen, but the person who did really, really, really liked to cook – and had all the gadgets. But here’s the thing; even if I had all the gadgets, they wouldn’t be on the counter. A few carefully curated collections are fine. I have the cooking utensils I use daily in 3 white pitchers. I have a basket for fresh fruit and vegetables I don’t want to refrigerate. And yes, I have a few candles on a wooden turntable because they bring me joy. Hide the ugly. 

Never. Stack. Paper. ~

Why would you do this? Not only does it clutter your surfaces, but chances are you’ve got no idea what’s at the bottom of the stack. Or you’re going to forget about something important because it’s buried in the pile. Sort, shred, recycle or file. And if you’re really ambitious, scan those items you’re thinking about filing so you have an electronic record vs. a paper one. I recognize shredding can be painful.  Look for local churches or charities who do “shred days” and bring them your boxes to dispose of. Win-Win. 

Decluttering isn’t an easy process and it’s not one that you can only do come Springtime. It’s a long-distance run that requires lacing up and training consistently throughout the year. The consist decluttering will make the big organizing goals achievable, and then you can celebrate by buying all the amazing organizing products while you drink your mimosa. Cheers to decluttering! 

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