De-cluttering – Where Do I Even Start?

Are You Ready to De-Clutter?

Are you at your wits’ end? Ready to pull your hair out? Tired of all the clutter?

If you have decided to take on the task of de-cluttering your home, good for you!

Where do you even start? Your first step is to design an approach that gives you something to celebrate after just one or two hours of work, something where you can actually see and admire the results.

Think about one of the areas in your house that is bugging you the most. For example, perhaps the kitchen counters are too full to allow you as much work space as you would like. You could choose the task of making more room on the counters.

Stumbling Blocks to De-Cluttering

But before you start, consider:  Is this task small enough to be able to complete within an hour or two? One of the most common stumbling blocks, in do-it-yourself de-cluttering, is taking on too big a task at one time. Too big a task means that you might stop in the middle with a more cluttered looking area than when you started. This is NOT a rewarding experience.

To avoid this, consider what you’ll need to do to achieve your goal. Do you just need to donate the old microwave and sort out the piles of paper?  That’s probably do-able in a single afternoon.

But what if making space on the counter means putting dishes away in the cupboard, but the cupboards are already stuffed full of heaven knows what? Just like home remodeling projects, de-cluttering projects have a way of spreading out and getting bigger.

In this situation you may need to break the task into smaller parts. Choose just one cupboard, only 2 or 3 shelves, to empty and sort out into three categories:


  1. Keep
  2. Donate
  3. Trash

Before you stop for the day, take out the trash, put the donations in the trunk of your car and put the items to keep back in the cupboard.

Celebrate Your Progress!

Make it look as nice as you can, because now comes the most important step, the final step in every de-cluttering foray.  You need to celebrate!

But seriously, you really do need to take that moment to step back and admire your work. The best way to motivate yourself to de-clutter again is to find a way to feel good about the de-cluttering you just finished. No achievement is too small. (Are you listening?) No achievement is too small!

It looks so much better; you actually feel lighter. As you admire the counters, break out the Martinelli’s, play your favorite song and take some time to enjoy the progress you’ve made. You did it and you deserve to enjoy it.

If you’d like help de-cluttering, contact Moving Forward Inc., we know how to make a tuff job a lot easier!

***originally published 6/28/10




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