10 TIPS TO MAKE DECLUTTERING FASTER & EASIER
If an item isn’t loved or used, no matter where or how it’s stored, it’s still clutter. If you want to get organized in a meaningful way, you first have to complete the key step of decluttering. To help make the process faster and easier, here are 10 tips to follow for decluttering (and therefore organizing) success.
10 Tips To Make Decluttering Faster & Easier
1) Tackle ONE area at a time.
When people start to declutter, they often want to do it all NOW. The enthusiasm is great, but taking on multiple projects at once usually leads to feeling overwhelmed and stopping before any single project is complete. Focus on decluttering one area at a time, finish and savour your accomplishment before starting the next area.
2) Don’t plan to declutter for a whole day.
Decluttering takes a lot of focus and decision making, which can be difficult and draining. Most people lose momentum after 2-4 hours. Set realistic goals by planning to declutter for shorter periods. You’ll stay focused, be more efficient and avoid getting burnt out.
3) Have a specific goal.
Having a specific goal in mind before you begin decluttering can keep you focused and motivated when you are in the thick of it. But the goal can’t be “I want to be clutter-free”. It needs to be clear and tied to a specific outcome: “I’m decluttering my closet to make getting ready faster and easier so mornings are less stressful”.
4) Schedule a specific time to declutter.
Decluttering is often left for “spare time” which means it doesn’t get done. Increase your chances of actually doing it by setting aside a specific time to declutter, just like you would for any other task or project.
5) Plan a reward for yourself when finished.
Knowing there’s something to look forward to when you finish makes tackling things you aren’t excited about easier. So, plan to do something you enjoy after decluttering sessions, such as watching your favourite tv show, enjoying a favourite treat or getting together with friends.
6) Play music.
Cue up your favourite playlist and turn up the volume! Not only does listening to music you like make boring tasks more fun, but it can also help you complete tasks faster.
7) Pull everything out and do a quick sort.
Shuffling things around in a space and removing one or two isn’t helpful. When you pull everything out and sort similar items together, you really see how much you have (and usually discover things you forgot you had).
8) Choose what to keep, not what to let go of.
Most people approach decluttering as choosing the things they’re getting rid of, which makes the process more difficult. Instead, look at your gathered items and choose the things you’re going to keep because you truly love and/or use them and they’ll help you achieve your goal (from Tip #3). When you focus on choosing items to keep because they align with your goal, it makes letting go of anything that doesn’t, much easier.
9) Don’t get sidetracked.
It’s common when decluttering to come across items that need to be relocated to other areas. Resist the urge to stop decluttering and “quickly” deal with these items. Instead, designate Keep, Toss, Donate, Relocate, and To-Do piles/boxes and place everything in the appropriate spot as you go.
Give yourself 15 minutes at the end of each session to tidy up and deal with relocating items. You’ll avoid getting distracted, keep your momentum going and complete the space you’re working on faster. For free sorting signs, here.
10) Remove decluttered items ASAP.
Not only does this give you less time to second guess your decisions, but boxes or bags of decluttered items in a closet, garage or entryway, are still clutter! You worked hard making those decisions, finish the process by getting the items out of your house. If possible, place them in your vehicle right away and the next time you’re in the vicinity of where the items need to go (donation location, friends, family), you can just drop them off.
Organized clutter is still clutter! Don’t wasn’t your time, energy or money organizing items you don’t use or love. Follow these 10 decluttering tips that will make decluttering faster and easier and set you up for organizing success.
Is there a particular type of item you have trouble letting go of? Let me know in the comments below. If you like this post, please share it! And check back in two weeks for tips and strategies to deal with the feelings of guilt and overwhelm that are common obstacles when decluttering.