Declutter the easy stuff first. I can’t stress this point enough. When I say easy stuff I mean the stuff you find the easiest to part with. The things you care the least about. The things that are easy to offload. The things that you can get at easily. The things you know you have too many of. The things that are rusting in the back garden. The broken, never to be repaired things. The outgrown things.
- …the things that hold lots of sentimental value.
- …the things that you think you might like to post on ebay but don’t think you can get your mind around that just yet.
- …the things that you feel guilty about letting go because someone else gave them to you or they have been in the family for generations.
- …the things that belong to someone else in the household who isn’t ready to let go.
- …the things that that are full of other things that you have to get rid of first. Like furniture that you know you don’t want but is still full of grandma’s old china.
There are three reasons why I say this.
- Because there is no hesitation to get rid of these things you care little or nothing about therefore you will make quick painless progress. Quick progress at getting things out the door. With this method you may find that you aren’t seeing much change for your efforts at first because you are plucking things from all over the house but in order to start reshuffling and making order of the choas one first needs to create some breathing room.
- Many people take a long time to get to the point of realising that they are getting overwhelmed by their stuff. At this point they are already feeling stressed. So what they don’t need is to then get overwhelmed by making difficult choices. They will soon decide that they were less stressed with the stuff than they are getting rid of it so they give up. They feel they only have two choice, stress or worse stress. Better to settle for just stressed right. No, better to work at it slowly chipping away at the easy stuff and feeling like you are making progress. It is important of course that one allows themselves to be satisfied with this progress and not expect the problem that took years to accumulate to go away over night.
- My experience tells me that there is always easy stuff. The more you flex your declutter muscle the easier the job becomes. What at first you thought were things you would never get rid of eventually become the next easy thing to send out the door. So why stress over detaching yourself from these items now when it will be much easier later on.
Focusing our decluttering efforts on one specific space may sound orderly but it can force us to have to make decisions on things we aren’t ready to let go of yet. Way back in my declutter mission I had a goal to make space in your living room by getting rid of a big china cabinet that dominated the space. Luckily for me there was a lot of things in there I was happy to get rid of. But in order to be able to make the remainder fit elsewhere in the house I needed to make space. By decluttering a few thing in the bathroom I freed up space in the laundry. By freeing up space in the laundry I freed up space in the kitchen. I also decluttered lots of stuff from the kitchen and also books from the bookcase. With all that done, without stress because it was all stuff I was happy to part with, I not only managed to empty the china cabinet but I also had room to spare in the kitchen.
You might think that patience was the key with my china cabinet declutter but in fact I was so content to declutter my one thing a day that I rarely experience impatience. It was the same with my craft area declutter. Slowly slowly giving myself permission, without stress, to let things go lead to are marked difference over time.
Lately I have been working on a task that I have happily managed to mostly avoid since the beginning of my declutter mission ~ decluttering photographs. I have done a little here and a little there but I have never felt inclined to really get into in because there has always been plenty of other tasks I have been happier to work on. To be honest I think I am almost running out of other things to declutter for now so the photos will get lots of attention.
So go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to mature into this declutter process by simply focusing on the easy stuff. I have been at this mission for almost three years now and the biggest effort I have made in that time is blogging about it.
Today’s Mini Mission
Declutter something that you bought for yourself which no longer suites your style. (An accessory item, a trinket, scatter cushions, clothing item…)
Today’s Declutter Item
Eco Tip for the Day
Where possible use less of things. You might be surprised how regularly you use more of some things than you need. Here are some products you could probably stand to use less of ~ less shampoo, less conditioner, less laundry detergent, less dishwashing liquid, less toothpaste, hand cleanser, car wash… Quite often advertisements and manufacturers instructions suggest more than what we really need use. So using even more than that is a fools game, wasting product, your hard earned cash and increasing supply due to demand.
For a full list of my eco tips so far click here