Steps to Declutter Your Space Without Overwhelm

Having a cluttered space, whether it’s your office desk or your home (or both) can feel overwhelming. If you have stuff everywhere and no idea of what you have, it can feel impossible to deal with and out of control.

Here are some tips to help you take back control of your space and declutter.

1. Commit to a Goal

Part of the overwhelm is due to the feeling you have to deal with all the stuff straight away. You don’t. You just need a plan and a commitment to sort and throw away a reasonable amount of stuff every day. Once you do your daily ration, you’ll feel so much better because you’re getting on with it in a systematic way.

2. Do a Clean Sweep

Take a box of garbage bags and do a walk through your home and just pick up anything that’s garbage like circulars, newspapers, wrappers. With the trash out of the way, you can get on with the real decluttering.

3. Do one room or area at a time.

Depending on how you’re feeling, this could be the worst room or the one that isn’t too bad. If it’s your worst room, choose one area to declutter, maybe the dining table or the kitchen counter. Maybe even one closet. Just keep it manageable.

4. Have a Purge box

A purge box or a donation station can be a cardboard box or bag where you can put things for charity and donate every week or so. Keep up the momentum of things, leaving the house!

5. Set a timer

You’re not trying to organize your entire home in one go, but perhaps even tackling one room or area might feel overwhelming. In that case get a kitchen timer, set it for 15 or 20 minutes, and work only for that long to keep things feeling manageable. You can face doing anything for 15 minutes.

6. Start small

Start with the things that you won’t have any doubt about keeping. Anything broken or out-of-date can go straight into the trash. Clothes that are outgrown or never worn, that waffle machine or juicer you never use, ornaments you resent dusting – they can all go without a look back.

7. Don’t feel guilty

Permit yourself to declutter. It’s your space, and there’s no need to feel guilty about getting rid of stuff that’s no longer useful. As you’re sorting, you can ask yourself some basic questions to see if the thing deserves a place in your life:

  • Have I used or worn this in the last year? If not, get rid of it.
  • Do I love it?
  • Do I have the space to store it?
  • Am I willing to throw something else out to make room for it?
  • Can I see myself or anyone else in the family ever using it or loving it in the future? Really?

 

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