In view of yesterday’s post and all the previous articles I have ever written on minimalism and de-cluttering, I decided to go on a de-cluttering spree myself. The condo that I share with my husband was not just a home but also a storage for all sorts of items that we no longer use or need.
We went through our first cardboard box of junk and eliminated the items we didn’t want or need anymore. That was last night. Perhaps tonight, I will go through another box and see what we want to keep and those that we don’t, we can either donate or trash them.
Let me get one thing straight about de-cluttering, though. It isn’t a race to the finish line. It isn’t a marathon and it certainly isn’t something you can do in one day unless you are Gal Gadot (who played Superwoman in the movie ‘Batman vs. Superman’).
What many people don’t tell you about de-cluttering is what you should not do when you’re about to embark on a spring cleaning journey. Of course, if you are just cleaning up your workstation, that shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, you’re just tidying your desk.
But a home is different.
There are 3 most important things to remember about de-cluttering:
Not to do more than you can handle
Don’t plan to set aside an entire day just to organize your whole house. Very few people have the energy or focus to spend 8 hours organizing. You are more likely to become frustrated and less efficient as the day progresses, even with that 20th cigarette break. Oh and don’t even bother setting up a schedule either. You should know that life never goes the way you want it to go.
No, it is better to spend a few hours on one project or room. Set smaller goals that you are able to reach and accomplish. You’ll feel motivated to do more that way, instead of being burnt out by the process. Or you can do one box at a time, like what I did last night. If you have several boxes lying around the house, sift through them and take what you want. The rest can be recycled, discarded, or donated.
Completely and properly finish each task
Before you start, you will want to sort them out according to several categories first. You will probably want to throw away some items, or perhaps they can be donated or given away, or at the very least, recycled.
This is where the pain comes in. Once you have decided where something is going, take it there. Don’t procrastinate and keep bags or boxes for charity or the recycling plant and say you’ll do it later. No, that wouldn’t work. You will suddenly feel remorseful for giving away the oriental vase your aunt gave you but you never found the use for it and decide to keep it just in case. It happens, but the de-cluttering you’re doing happens for a reason too.
Do it immediately. Do it once you are done with de-cluttering a room, and not wait until that night or the coming weekend. Finish the process. Take the bags or boxes out to its intended destination. The guilt will be there, but once you take a look at your now clean and tidy room, you will feel much better. C’mon, give yourself some credit. You’ve done so much work getting everything ready to take out, so might as well complete the deal.
Regular maintenance and upkeeping
Just because you have accomplished your first mission of de-cluttering a room, don’t throw in the towel yet. Nope. You’re not done yet. That was only the bedroom, remember? You still have the other bedroom, and your kitchen, and your living room, and maybe the two bathrooms as well. You want a clean home, you gotta do it now.
You have to realise that you might need to do this again in a month or two. You may have created a new and efficient, logical system for managing the clutter in your home, you are so not done yet. There is no autopilot for this. You have to regularly maintain and process the incoming and outgoing items in your home. Although, you can be glad that the new system is far more efficient than the old one!
Well then, now that we’ve got you all sorted out, time for me to return to Box #2 tonight. See how efficient de-cluttering one box at a time is? One small goal leads to another slightly bigger goal.
Trust me on this one. Remember, a clean home is a happy home!