Being surrounded by clutter and the desire to conquer clutter can stir up many emotions. Chief among these emotions can be frustration. Not knowing how or where to begin to de-clutter often holds us back as we become overwhelmed and paralyzed by our inability to begin the process. Our environment becomes a constant trigger causing us to suffer.
Below are effective ways to attack and conquer these projects causing pain in your life. The following steps will not only get you started, but will empower you to make headway. Did you notice I said headway? Headway leads to the highway of results and freedom.
It is important to start with something small like a kitchen drawer, a child’s toy baskets or a section of a pantry. Give yourself 30 minutes to accomplish your task.
- Create five stations: Keep, Donate, Sell, Reflect, and Release.
- Before opening a drawer, box, cabinet etc. Ask yourself, “What’s inside?” This gives great perspective of items we have and likely use and of items we have forgotten and won’t miss.
- Remove all items. Take one item at a time and quickly decide in a few seconds if you use or need it. If the answer is no, place the item in its specific station and do not ponder your decision. Trust the process and continue immediately to the next item. Placing the items in white garbage bags keeps the items out of sight helping the mind stay focus on the next item in hand. Once a bag is full, remove it from the room to feel immediate results.
- Do not go back to your stations until the end of the de-clutter process. The items you placed in each station are there for a reason. You now have all your items you are keeping together. These are the items you use, need and enjoy and it feels wonderful. As you see progress, you will get better at letting go and trusting your decisions.
- Now is the time to revisit the Reflect station that contains items that you are torn between keeping or letting go. Group similar items together. You may notice that you have a few items that you are now comfortable releasing. You just needed a little more time for reflection. For the remaining items, ask yourself, “Would I buy this now or when have I used this last?” There is no point in keeping items we have forgotten about, never use or don’t need. What’s more important, your peace of mind or the stuff that leads to clutter in your life that negatively affects your wellbeing? With the remaining Reflect items, place them in a sealed box for 2 months. Then ask yourself what’s inside again and was anything needed from that box. The process gets easier and easier. You will discover you don’t miss the items you released. Healing has begun and positive shifts have been made, making the next de-cluttering experience easier.
- The next step is the strategic placement of the items from your Keep station. These are the items you use, need and enjoy. Too often we have prime real estate spots in our home that are not used appropriately. Placing items used often in easier to reach locations allows your environment to work for you, not against you.
- The Release station is ready for garbage or recycling. The Donation station items should be donated immediately. The Sell station should be focused on last. When ready to tackle sell items, group items to either sell online or consign locally. Give yourself a week on average for the items to sell and donate if not sold within that time frame.
Your space no longer weighs heavy on you, but lifts your spirits and supports you making it all worth the effort!
Would you like assistance with your space? Call me, Katie Trovato at 925-628-9000 for your complementary consultation. For more inspiring and motivating before and after photos, check out Simple Minimalist Life on Facebook.
Katie Trovato is a professional organizer and owner of Simple Minimalist Life.
By Katie Trovato, Resident since 2013