If you’ve ever hired a professional organizer you know there are a series of questions they ask you when organizing your home.
Although each professional organizer adds their unique spin to the process the result is often the same. They want you to pare down on the stuff in order to bring order to your home.
Now, as a professional organizer who has been in hundreds of homes I can attest that shame should NOT be part of the decluttering game. When there are items my clients insist on keeping then we simply place them in their KEEP zone.
I am a big believer that you are the master of your domain and ultimately the one in charge. Your space should make sense to you and be easy to maintain. My job as a professional organizer is to simply help you reach your goals by creating a home for every item in your home.
Decluttering Is A Process
Let’s face it. Going through piles of paperwork, old dusty boxes, and closets stuffed full of clothes circa 1996 isn’t easy or fun for most people.
Not only is it not fun but where on earth does one start with such a project?
How long should it take?
Can you declutter your home in one day? One weekend?
Possibly but for most decluttering is a process that you should implement into your life.
I teach my clients the importance of keeping clutter at bay by creating regular routines in their lives.
One such routine is the 20-Minute Tidy which ensures that piles we all collect around our homes is addressed on a daily basis. (Click here for your free printable.)
For items that are more difficult to address or need more time here are a few quick tips on getting started:
Start Small One drawer, one cabinet, one shelf at a time.
Use a Timer Did you know the average attention span for an adult is about 18 minutes long?? I love sharing this point and this great article I found a few years ago on the subject. This is why I encourage my clients to break up decluttering projects into 20-minute chunks using a timer to keep them on track.
Be realistic Can you do a marathon of clearing clutter…YES….but it’s exhausting. Spend a weekend clearing out your garage but what happens to the items you’ve decided to keep? Often the get stuffed back into bins & boxes never to see the light of day until your next decluttering marathon.
7 Questions To Ask Yourself While Decluttering
Does it fit?
This not only applies to clothes fitting your body but also applies to items fitting in your lifestyle and home. If your job has changed does your closet reflect your new career? Your kiddos are now school-age so maybe it’s time to get rid of those toddler books and toys.
Do you use it?
The bathroom is a common place I see clutter build up from products my clients just don’t use. Go through your drawers & cabinets and toss items you’re not using because there’s a reason why.
Does it work?
Don’t keep items that don’t work. I know there’s a repair place you’ve seen on your way to work that can fix it. The reality is if you haven’t taken it to get repaired in the first couple of weeks then you’re never going to. Time to let it go.
Do you have space for it?
Can’t park your car in your garage because of that sectional you bought for your last home is stored in there? If you don’t have space for it then sell it or donate. Don’t get me started on storage units….most people should NOT be paying storage fees for items that you don’t have space for.
Is it sentimental?
If the item has special meaning to you then please honor that item by removing it’s dusty box and creating a home for it where you can cherish it.
Do you love it?
We usually follow this question up with, “If you were in a store today would you still buy this?” You’ll know your answer pretty quickly when it’s put to you that way.
Does it have value?
You know the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time I heard that I’d be a millionaire!” I can truly apply that here. I get that you paid $500…or $5000 for it. No one will pay you anything close to that when you sell it. People purchasing second-hand our used items are looking for a deal. Is it worth your time and the headache of trying to sell it? Consider donating the item to a specific charity that will appreciate it. Your designer suit can be a life changer for a person walking into an interview who needs a job.
Keep Your Space Clutter-Free
Take these techniques and start to implement them into your regular routine.
Create a time each month to focus on one space to declutter. Keep piles from building up around your home with daily routines like the 20-Minute Tidy.
Before you know it you’ll be a pro at recognizing things that cause clutter build up and manage it before it becomes a problem!
Interested in learning more fun little tips to keep your home clutter-free? I have a great tool called, “Guide To Decluttering” available in my eBook store. It’s a printable download. Click here to get yours for only $10!
This is the most difficult part of getting organized for most people. Feel free to share this article with someone who could use a little encouragement.