In a world where you have more demands on both your time and attention than ever before, it is easy to get behind on the clutter that can take over a room and spread throughout the entire house. This chaos can turn your home into a scary place to live. It also makes it hard to find the items you need or to relax. Spending time decluttering will pay off in time saving and peace of mind.

Block Out a Day (Or Few)

The foot-deep stack of magazines, the closets crammed full of clothing, and the overflowing pile of mail on your dining room table did not happen in a day. It is reasonable to expect it to take more than a day to gain control of your space. The best way to commit yourself to take control of the stuff cluttering your life is to begin with blocking out the time to focus on just this one task. Multitasking can reduce productivity by 40 percent.

Have a Strategy for What to Keep

Deciding what to keep can be hard, especially if you grew up in a household where mom and dad kept everything. However, that strategy is not realistic. Before you ever start to tackle the clutter, set out a strategy that is not attached to the emotional need to save. One such strategy is to bag up all clothing that you have not worn in more than a year and donate it to charity.

You should keep practical items, such as silverware, towels, bedding, or soap dishes. You should also keep used furniture, photos, any private documents, or clothes that you can see yourself wearing again. You should probably either throw away everything else or put it in a storage unit. This can be a great option for extra toys that you may be interested in reusing in the future.

Surface Purge

Go through the house and do surface purge first by picking up anything in view that is obviously trash. This should be a quick process. If you are not sure if something is trash, bypass it and keep moving. You may be surprised how much better your rooms look just by removing the items you immediately know you have no intention of keeping.

Gather Good Boxes

Before you start to declutter, gather boxes and markers. Start with a series of boxes or baskets. Label them as follows:

  • Keep
  • Discard
  • Charity
  • Storage
  • Bedroom
  • Kids room
  • Kitchen
  • Garage

Now is the time to go back through each room and pick up anything that is not where it should be. Place each item in the appropriate box. If a box fills up, do not take the time to clean it out. Start a second box with the same label. This is the time to go through drawers and closets as well.

Once everything is boxed up, you might be amazed by how much space you have. You may want to do a deep cleaning before you start putting everything back in its appropriate place. Don’t be afraid to get some help with this part. You may want to hire a cleaning company as a reward for all the progress you have made so far.

Decluttering your home can be a daunting but rewarding task. By creating a viable plan of action, you can pare down your belongings to only those that currently fit in your world and feel good about your living space as a result.