Two more must-do steps for decluttering are to decide where you’re going to start in the room. What part of the room will you start?
If it’s the kitchen, will you start at the sink? If it’s the bedroom, will you start at the foot of the bed? If it’s a closet, will you start at the top or at the bottom or with the hangers?
Where will you start in the room? In the living room, will you start at the couch? You just have to find a spot where you know, “Here’s where I’m going to start,” and you see the room like a clock.
Wherever you’re going to start pretend the room is like a clock and begin at 12 o’clock, then work your way around clockwise. So that’s the one thing that you want to do: decide where you’re going to start in the room.
The next thing you have to determine is whether you’re going to start on the inside or the outside.
Here’s how you make that decision. If you know that people are coming over and the purpose of getting it done is to have that room cleaned up for company, then you’re going to want to start on the outside.
For example, if people are coming over and you need to get the kitchen cleaned up, then you’d clean up the sink, on top of the counter, and maybe on the window ledge. You would just start decluttering in spaces that you can see. If people aren’t coming over and you just want to get the kitchen totally organized, and you’re starting from the inside, then you would go underneath the kitchen sink and begin there.
So that’s how you make the decision of where to start and whether to start on the inside or outside.
Wherever you decide to start in a room, that is just a preference, but whether you start on the inside or outside has a lot to do with what’s going on in that space.
Now, here’s a little bonus tip: When you come across a cluttered section like a drawer full of miscellaneous items, toys, knick-knacks, tangled strings, jewelry, and a mishmash of things, you don’t want to declutter it right away because it will take a long time and discourage you.
Instead, when you come across such a section, just say, “I’ll get to that later.” You can chip away at it by dedicating five minutes a day to that drawer or section. Otherwise, you can leave it alone and focus on the things that will make a difference and the bigger items.
Another important point is to pay attention to papers. Because papers can be emotional they take a lot of time. it’s best to deal with them separately. When you come across a pile of papers while decluttering a room, don’t go through them at that time because it will take too long and you’ll get discouraged. Go through them at another time, and schedule it to do 15 minutes at a time. Chip away at the piles, one paper at a time any time you have even just 5 minutes.
A bonus tip for papers is, when you come across them, wrap them up with string or rubber bands and label each pile.
For example, if you’re decluttering the bedroom and you start at the head of the bed and move to the right, and there’s an end table with papers on it, wrap them up and write “end table” on the wrapping. This way, when you have time, you can grab that package and go through it one paper at a time, five minutes at a time will do the trick!
Okay, we’re going to get into how to decide how long and when to declutter next time.
Thanks for being with me!