So you’ve decided to start you need to do a major decluttering but where do you start? I think quite often what holds people back from starting to declutter is that they see the enormity of the task and don’t know where to start – so they don’t start at all. That was me. I would look at my boxes of stuff and get overwhelmed with the amount of sorting and clearing out that I would just give up and put it off for ‘When I had time’. But there was never time until I made a conscious decision to just start and do it bit by bit. I started with just two old skirts of mine which I hadn’t worn in years and which no longer fit and I wouldn’t wear even if they did fit! I’ve put down some ideas for someone who wants to get started:
- Set aside some uninterrupted time to focus on decluttering and stick to it. If that is 10 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour then make sure you are free from distractions for that time.
- Start in the place where you spend most of your time and make a start there. If it is the living room then start with a cupboard. If it is the bedroom then start with a category of your clothes. If it is the kitchen, then start with a drawer. This is so that you see the benefits quicker and you stay motivated.
- Don’t start with sentimental items – old photos, letters or things that are hard to let go of should be saved for the end of your decluttering. Not only do they take up more time to sort through but it can be quite stressful dealing with these and you want to stay motivated and get momentum in your decluttering. So start with anything you don’t hold dear to your heart.
- Only declutter your own stuff and don’t touch anyone else’s belongings. If you clear your own stuff first then you can set a good example for whoever you may live with and they may follow suit.
- The stuff you decide you want to get rid of – try to get this out of the house or out of sight as soon as you can. Out of sight out of mind. If you are not sure about getting rid of it then pack it away and label the box accordingly. If you can do without it after a month or two then you can be happier to throw it out knowing you didn’t miss it or need it in that time.
- The Minamilists Decluttering Game aka ‘Minsgame’ is where on the first day of your decluttering you throw out 1 item, second day 2 items, third day 3 items and so on until the end of the month or for however long you want to do it for. If you do it for 30 days then that is 519 Items decluttered and a really good start to any decluttering journey. You can give and receive encouragement from others doing a Minsgame on Instagram through the hashtag #minsgame.
- If you are tackling a large cupboard or room then try to deal with the larger and more bulkier items first. Old furniture, unused kids paraphernalia, whatever it is – ridding the room of this larger stuff will instantly help.
- A quick win would be to start with your car, store cupboard or medicine cabinet. Clear out any unnecessary clutter, expired food or medicine shouldn’t take too long and none of this stuff should cross into the sentimental category. Any medicine that is out of date you can put it together in a bag and bring it to your local chemist who will destroy it for you appropriately.
- Try sort through the one area until you have most of it done. It doesn’t have to be perfect before moving on to the next room or area. Try get through as much as you can so that you are happier in that living space and then move on. You don’t want to get stuck in a rut and loose momentum. You can do another cull or sort through in that space when you have tackled other rooms or problem areas.
- Remember it is a marathon and not a sprint. Any start you can make is better than not starting at all so try to stay focused on the end goal and bit by bit you will get there.
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