I don't know about you, but when I'm living in a cluttered space, I tend to feel overwhelmed, despondent and guilty all at the same time. Sometimes I just ignore it, hoping the clutter will go away all on it's own. I tend to get distracted from one chore and try to do another because it seems to need it more than the first. Distractions tend to demand your attention and you find yourself going around in circles. It's difficult to find things because there's so much clutter to have to look through. Clutter confuses and refuses to let you have peace of mind.
Recently I started decluttering my house - one room at a time. I started with the kitchen, then moved to the den and then into the foyer. My next project will be the dining room where everything we bring into the house tends to end up until we move it to where it should be. My dining table is a virtual dumping grounds for things that don't seem yet to have a space of their own. We bring something into the house and the very first place it goes is on the table. It eventually gets sorted out and put in its proper place, but not quickly enough. I keep vowing to stop this habit, but old habits are hard to break so I came up with something I hope will work. I recently bought cute wicker storage baskets at a yard sale (remember, I'm frugal) and plan to keep them near the dining room table. My plan is to label them so it will be easy to sort things by room and just cart things one room at a time instead of randomly carrying things room to room.
I have some tips for de-cluttering that may come in handy for you. If you will just do one room per week, you'll find that soon you will have de-cluttered your home and made it a peaceful and calming place to be.Here’s how:
- First, choose a room to do this week. Don’t try to do your whole house at once, it will be too overwhelming. In the beginning, skip the closets and drawers that are out of sight for now. You can do those later - for now just focus on what you can see.
- Start with the big things. Is there too much furniture in the room? If so, have a yard sale or donate them to a charity.
- Clear all flat surfaces. Desktops, tabletops, countertops, etc. Get a couple of boxes and a trash bag and start clearing everything off. Remove all papers, piles of stuff, little junk, knick-knacks, anything. Put it on the floor. That may sound drastic but now you'll be forced to deal with it. Use one of the boxes to deal with the things you want or need to keep. Try to find a place for those things out of sight - not on your flat surfaces. The next box is for the things you can give away or yardsale. Put it in the trunk of your car so you'll not be tempted to get it back out and keep it. The trash bag stuff should be thrown out NOW - again so you'll not be tempted to retrieve it from the garbage. Now put back only what you really want and need on your flat surfaces. Doesn't that look better?
- Repeat this process for any other “stuff” in the room, including stuff on the floor.
- Be merciless. The more you can get rid of, the better!
- Pat yourself on the back!
Housekeeping is an ongoing process. Work on de-cluttering daily if only for fifteen minutes at a time. It won’t last long if you don’t have a system and develop habits to keep it that way.
Now sit back and enjoy the peaceful look of your home without all the confusing, distracting clutter! When I get to that point - I'll let you know. I'll just pray that I can learn to practice what I preach.