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Maybe you tripped over something in the garage, or a box fell off the shelf of a stuffed closet and bonked you on the head, or maybe you’re just tired of all the stuff getting in your way, but you have made the decision to clear away some clutter from your home. Good for you! Here’s how to get started:
1. Pick a place to start.
You might want to start with a small area rather than tackle the garage or basement right away. Pick a closet in one of the bedrooms, or some cabinets in the kitchen, or even the drawers in a dresser for your first project. Pick a start time and an end time for your project and completely focus on the task during that time.
2. Keep, trash, donate, or sell?
A good way to start is to completely empty the area you are working on. As an example, let’s say you decide to start with the hall closet. Take everything out of the closet line it up down the hall. Next, evaluate each item and make a decision whether you are going to keep that item, throw it away, donate or give it away, or sell it. Set up boxes to put in the items that you decide to sell, trash or give away. A coat your child has outgrown would be a great item to donate. That broken tennis racket just needs to be thrown away. Remember, the goal is to reduce clutter, so only allow the things that you really use to be placed back in the closet.
3. Follow through
After you put the items you decided to keep away neatly, you must deal with your boxes. Take the trash to the dumpster. Make a run to Goodwill with your items to donate. Bless friends or family with items you didn’t need, but they could use and enjoy. Post sale items on Craigslist or EBay. Plan a yard sale for spring with clutter you can sell. Once you have decided that you no longer need an item, you need to deal with it quickly or else it just becomes clutter in a different location.
4. Plan your next projects
Once you have successfully completed a project, immediately plan the next area where you are going to clear clutter. Schedule a start and end time for the next area. As you complete more projects, it becomes easier and faster to decide whether to keep, toss, donate, or sell an item. If you have a basement, garage, or shed that is very cluttered, you might split up the area into smaller pieces such as one corner or one workbench to clear at a time. You might also want to make sure that you have plenty of help for big projects, so pick a time when the whole family can help or friends might be willing to help.
There are many good resources to assist you in clearing the clutter from your home. One that really helps me is Leo Babauta’s eBook, “The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life”. Another great book I recommend is “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin.
Any comments about this post would be greatly appreciated.