Simplify in six steps! This post narrows in on how to successfully purge and declutter your home and is filled with organizing tips to create order in any space.
Step 1: Schedule organizing time into your calendar.
Otherwise you'll always find something to distract you.
Step 2: Choose a small space to start with first
Before you tackle a big organizing project. You'll get the feel of the process, a sense of accomplishment and motivation without getting overwhelmed and discouraged.
Step 3: Be prepared by having the following items on hand:
- garbage bag
- recycling bag (plus a bin for electronic waste, shredding, batteries, household hazardous waste and so on...)
- bins or boxes for donations, items that belong elsewhere, and items to be returned to others or to the store
- sorting bins or boxes to contain the piles you'll make
- post it notes
Step 4: Follow Julie Morgenstern's S.P.A.C.E. method
From her book Organizing from the Inside Out. There is a methodical approach to organizing any space that works every time.
Sort - categorize like with likePurge - get rid of anything you no longer needAssign a Home - stand back and design a plan for where items will belongContainerize - use baskets/bins to help hold everything and to set zones and limits of categories Equalize - label, tweak what you've done and maintain the systems you've set up
Step 5: Don't get stuck!
Make an "I don't know" pile if you are having a hard time deciding what to do with an item or experiencing difficulty in letting it go. Continue with the organizing process and come back to it later. Most often, the answers will come more easily later in your session. And if it doesn't, here is a list of good reasons and not so good reasons to keep things:
- You love it
- You need it - you wear it or use it regularly
- It fits into your vision for that space (For example - if your vision for the master bedroom is calm and restorative, it's easy to know the pile of laundry, children's toys and laptop should probably not be kept there, however items that support this vision - candles and cozy cushions can stay.)
LET IT GO
- You paid a lot of $ for it You are keeping it out of obligation or guilt
- It could be handy someday
- You may refer back to it
- You are keeping duplicate items in case the first one breaks or is lost (this is a tricky one - be realistic - if you would just go out and purchase a new item forgetting you have extra at home)
- It is expired but it is still okay (another tricky one - be reasonable if something is out of date or out of style)
- I'll get a storage locker to house it
- I'll need that in the Zombie Apocalypse ;)
Step 6: Be easy on yourself.
If all else fails, hire a professional organizer. If you have purchased the how-to organizing books, read the blogs and have a Pinterest board full of organizing ideas but are still not making sufficient progress (and remember - progress is better than perfection!) then do an internet search for your local professional home organizer and ask for a free consultation. Find a good fit for you, your lifestyle and your budget and consider it an investment in your peace of mind.
All the best in your efforts to live more simply and consciously!