Clutter can take up valuable space, make your home look disorganized, and make you feel anxious. Decluttering can make your home more orderly and reduce your stress level, but it can be challenging, especially if clutter has accumulated over a period of several years. Here are some strategies to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.
Putting something off can make it seem even more stressful. Get started now, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. The act of finally beginning to tackle clutter may make you feel so good that you’ll be eager to keep going.
You don’t have to declutter your entire house in one day. Expecting to get it all done in a short amount of time will make you feel that it’s impossible and will make you struggle to even get started. Instead, focus on devoting small amounts of time to decluttering on a regular basis, which can yield significant results.
Create a Plan
Figure out which areas to tackle first. Those may be common areas where members of your family spend a lot of time. Just don’t try to declutter the most cluttered room first. You may feel so overwhelmed that you give up.
Focus on Manageable Tasks
Many people put off decluttering because they feel overwhelmed by the idea and think they don’t have enough time. Looking at the project as a whole is enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed, so don’t think of it that way.
Instead, break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable pieces. Depending on the amount of time you have and your level of motivation, you may want to tackle one room, one shelf, or one drawer at a time.
Get Rid of Things You Haven’t Used Recently
As you walk through each room in your home, you will probably be able to quickly identify a number of items that you haven’t used in years, and are unlikely to use in the future. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something or thought about it in a year, you can probably get rid of it. Eliminating a significant amount of clutter right off the bat can give you an immediate sense of accomplishment and spur you to continue the process.
Donate Possessions You No Longer Want or Need
Organizing a tag sale or advertising items online can be time-consuming, and throwing things away can make you feel that they’re going to waste. Instead, donate unwanted belongings to a charity so someone else can enjoy them.
Frame the Process of Decluttering in a Positive Way
Don’t focus on how hard it will be to declutter your house or on the things you’re giving up. Instead, think about the benefits, such as how much easier it will be to find things when you need them, how much you’ll enjoy having more free space, and how much other people will enjoy the items that you donate.
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