When you embark on a decluttering or organising project your mindset could be the tool which means success or failure.
And mindset is a tool. To have the right mindset on any project is like having the correct hammer when you are doing woodwork or the right paintbrush when you are painting a portrait.
There is little point starting on a decluttering project when you are not ready for it. There are many questions you will be asking yourself - some of which can be difficult and lead to soul searching for many people. It isn’t something to be taken lightly!
Decluttering comes very easily for some people - but you wouldn't be reading this if that were the case with you!!
We are all different in how we attach ourselves to objects. Some people can look at an object and it has clear associations and memories with it which are hard to let go of, other people may be detached from the objects and able to process memories without a physical reminder.
Some people find decluttering a kitchen drawer something they need to work up to where other people think nothing of getting rid of a spare potato peeler.
However you process it - having the right mindset at the beginning is invaluable.. You go in prepared for the questions you will be asking of yourself.
So - what do you need to do to get yourself in the mindset ready to embark on the decluttering and organising process?
Try using your senses if you are unsure how to answer these questions. Get out a journal or notebook and write or sketch out how you visualise the end result. Don't be afraid to alter your goal as you move forward but keep it front and centre of your mind at all times.
Don't be afraid to ask for help from a friend or relative - but avoid anyone who will hinder your progress - you know who they are, it may be somebody who is close to you and may have a clutter issue of their own, or on the other hand maybe somebody who doesn't 'get' why people hold on to things. You could look into hiring a professional to help.
See below for a working example for a bedroom declutter.
Goal - Have a calming restful bedroom where I can retreat to and relax at the end of the day
Can I achieve this? I will need help moving some furniture, there are mementos I may need to take extra time with, I will need help taking things to the charity shop, I will need more than one session
Breakdown: Goal - restful bedroom (working backwards)
Step - make the bed with clean fresh linen
Step - dust and hoover
Step - Once you have decluttered - time to organise your belongings How do you want to store them? Don’t buy any new storage until you finalise exactly what is going where - measure up before buying*
Step - move all charity bags/ Rubbish / recycling out of the house
Step - For help on sentimental clutter see theis DOCC Blog https://www.lindajharper.com/post/what-is-sentimental-clutter-and-how-do-you-deal-with-it
Step - work through the room methodically
Step - depending on your time constraints - either take everything out of your wardrobe and methodically work through the pile or decide on a section you want to complete in the time available - tops or trousers for example
Step - begin with a relatively easy section for you - clothes for example DO NOT START WITH SENTIMENTAL ITEMS
Step - create 4 zones - rubbish - recycling - donate - lives elsewhere
Step - create a space to work from - so if you need to clear off the bed - do that first
Step - remove all obvious rubbish - anything you can very easily get rid of
Step - block out time on your calendar
*An upcoming article will cover all you need to know about how to organise to suit how you live.
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR GOAL IN MIND
When you keep your goal front and centre, you can see if an item fits into that picture. Remember to keep the best and most special items which you will be proud to show off and enjoy having in your life, brush off the guilt of having things lost in boxes getting no attention.
It will help to make something like the following statement:-
I AM SO PLEASED I AM GOING TO HAVE A HOME FULL OF THE ITEMS WHICH MEAN THE WORLD TO ME AND I CAN APPRECIATE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM. I AM DECIDING WHAT I WANT TO HAVE IN MY LIFE.
You are deciding what to keep as much as you are deciding what to get rid of.
Here is an example of some of the questions you will want to ask yourself :-
Is this something I use?
Can I replace this item for less than £/$ --- (decide on an amount which you are happy with)
Is it in working order?
Do I have more than one?
If I saw this in a shop today would I still buy it?
Does it fit me NOW?
Do I have another item which does the job of this item?
Am I keeping this to please someone else?
Is this something I love?
Can I see this item in my vision of how I want my ..........( whatever area you are working on)
You won't need to ask all of these questions for every item, it will become clear as you work down the list whether you will be keeping the item or not!
You can see,now, why it is important that you are clear on why you are decluttering and what your vision is. If you are not clear on this, answering these questions can be a lot harder than they need to be.
For a practical guide to decluttering I have a 'Declutter Journal' which takes you through each room of your house and gives you tasks to perform. There is also a 'categories' list which you can use if you prefer to declutter by category. You can buy this here:
You can comment below ↓↓ or look at the end of the blog for all the ways you can contact me privately. I love hearing from you with all your ideas and photos of the areas you are working on!!
If you want to delve deeper into finding a ‘system’ which will work for you, you can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or using the chat bubble on my website, I would love to help you!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/