Depending on how long you’ve waited to start the decluttering process, you may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed out about doing it. After all, when you look at everything to do from start to finish, it can seem like too much.
However, understand that you are not alone. You can get help. But most of all, you don’t have to force it. You can take your time. Use some of these tips to help you if you’re feeling overwhelmed while decluttering.
Take Your Time
You don’t have to declutter your home in one day or even a week. Instead, you can do it over the entire year; if you want to start with one drawer and work your way up to entire rooms, you can.
Focus on the Health Benefits of Clearing Clutter
- a clutter-free environment will give you space to easily perform those daily routine tasks we all have to do. For example, preparing meals for the family, finding important paperwork and cleaning the home.
- dust and toxins are removed when the clutter goes, so your home is healthier to live in.
- you will less exhausted and anxious as you declutter, and you start to see space appearing in your home.
- you may find money problems are reduced as you start buying less. Also, you might be able to sell some of your clutter.
- your life will improve you realize you are not defined by what you own and buy.
Tackle Something That Affects Your Daily Life
If there is a disorganization or clutter issue that causes bottlenecks in your daily life, fix that first. For example, if you and your family have trouble getting out the door in the morning without stress, sort out that problem first.
How do you Start Decluttering? – Start Small
We already mentioned taking your time and focusing on things that affect your life, and now let’s talk about starting small.
Clearing and organizing one counter or one cabinet in your life will make a big difference since it will add up over time.
Decluttered Items Must Leave the Home
As you declutter it is vital that you understand one thing. Items that are being decluttered need to leave the home for good. It’s no good decluttering the kitchen if all that kitchen clutter is just thrown into the garage.
I’ve seen beautiful tidy and serene homes that have just used spaces like the loft, garage, sheds, and basements to store all their clutter.
These areas are a complete mess of detritus that has built up over the years. Even the yearly garage sale doesn’t seem to make a difference. Yuck!!
Related – How to tidy and organize an attic
Related – How to deal with sentimental clutter
Related – How to organize a garage
Keep Areas that Have Been Decluttered Clean and Tidy
As you work through your home one of the most important things you can do is to keep areas that have been decluttered clean and tidy.
Clearly, there is no point in working hard to declutter your life just to find more clutter building up.
The best way to stop this from happening is to incorporate cleaning and tidying into your everyday life. Draw up a chore chart, of small jobs that need doing every day that will help you achieve a clutter-free environment.
Stop Buying More Non-Essential Stuff
During the time you are decluttering it’s so important that you don’t bring in non-essential items and objects into your home.
Also, the time you are out shopping is time that would be better spent decluttering. If you are in the habit of shopping every Saturday morning use this time decluttering your home instead.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
While it’s fun to get motivation from pictures online, don’t compare yourself to others. One person may be super-happy not having more than 30 books in their collection at any one time. However, that might not work for you, and that’s okay.
If you live in 450 square feet, it’s not going to be the same as if you lived in 2000 square feet. You may not have room to keep that rock collection from elementary school unless you can figure out a nice way to display it where it’s out of the way.
Read Books on Home Organization and Decluttering
One of the best books I have ever read on the subject of home organization and decluttering is Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing“.
I would also recommend “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter” by Margareta Magnusson. This book takes you by the hand and gently guides you through the reasons why you need to get rid of stuff and practical steps on how to achieve this.
Make a Personalized Plan of Action
After getting inspiration from others, take the time to write down a personalized plan for your decluttering journey. If you are overwhelmed or worried, your plan should take into consideration the things that cause you to feel that way so that you can work around them.
Journal Your Feelings
Depending on how long it’s been since you decluttered your life, it might be a very emotional thing you go through. Consider journaling your feelings if you’re having a rough time going through it.
Get A Friend Or Family Member To Help
If you have a sympathetic none judgemental friend or family member that could help either practically or with emotional support. Then rope them in as soon as you can.
Be careful who you ask however because even close nice friends or family can become unsympathetic and judgemental of the mess in your home. You need to avoid this at all costs. It will only undermine your efforts and it may result in people falling out with one another.
Take a Deep Breathe and Get Started
Once you have your plan developed, get started and don’t delay. Thinking about it is often more overwhelming than doing it if you have a plan.
Hire a Professional Organizer
If you are still having trouble getting started with decluttering, consider hiring a professional organizer who is used to dealing with people who are having issues decluttering.
This could be a suitable route for you if you can afford it. You must, of course, have strategies in place to prevent the clutter from coming back.
One great advantage of a professional organizer is that they will challenge you about the underlying reasons for your hoarding habits. They should do this in a kind none judgemental way that won’t end up getting personal as it might with a close friend or a family member.
Remember that you don’t have to do things the way someone else does them. You only need to do what works for you.
If you are bothered by the clutter around you, and you are thinking about it a lot but haven’t done anything about it, it’s essential to understand that your issues with the clutter will always be there until you do something about it.
Just get started with one thing at a time, and you will surprise yourself with the progress you make.