Five Tips for Decluttering

By Kate Buckmeier

February is a short month, but for Minnesotans it can feel like one of the longest when you are stuck indoors and unhappy with the state of your home. You may long to use these cold winter nights to snuggle up with a good book or work on a hobby, but it can be hard to relax or focus when your spaces are cluttered.

This month might also be reminding you of those goals you set that haven’t been started.

Many people feel motivated by the energy of the new year and are anxious to get their spaces looking and feeling better, but then get stuck wondering how or where to start, or stuck trying to gather more information or special bins or boxes to help do it “right.”

I get it. I work with homeowners who are ready to let go of the extras to create more comfort and ease in their life and I see this all the time. It can seem hard to start something that feels heavy or involves too many questions, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can create spaces that work for the life you are living now and into the future. Here are five tips that can decrease the overwhelm and lighten up the process of decluttering.

1. Gather a few supplies
You don’t need to purchase anything to start. Place a garbage, recycling bin and empty boxes or bags for donation items in the space where you are working. This makes it easier to make decisions and stay focused. Paper and a pen are also helpful for taking notes and labeling.

2. Start in one space
Decrease the overwhelm and the need for big blocks of time by starting small in one space. Instead of looking at the whole project, focus on one section or category of clutter for 20-30 minutes.

3. Start with the easy stuff
Find the category of stuff that doesn’t carry as much weight and start there. Build your confidence and skills before you tackle special or sentimental items.

4. Keep your vision in mind
Imagine your life when this project is done and how good it will feel. Let this motivate you to keep going.

5. Celebrate any steps forward
Remember that any little bit moves you further along. Progress is progress, no matter how small! Best of luck.

Kate Buckmeier is a professional organizer with Kate: Declutter & Redesign. Call her at 507.475.0402 or email kate@katebuckmeier.com for help with decluttering, downsizing or reorganizing.

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