There is a drawback to big projects, though: they can be intimidating (“I have to take on the whole living room at once?”) and they can lead to very emotional times while doing it because a lot of the stuff in our homes resonates with us on an emotional level. In general, it is a good idea to start off with a couple of smaller projects and getting comfortable with certain aspects of decluttering before attempting a large scale project like your master bedroom.
Doing this on your own is another downside: you only have two hands, and while you may want to stay in control of what will be taken away forever, what comes back, what goes where and all those questions, another pair of hands working under your supervision can be useful. Another person could also serve as a sounding board when you are in doubt, and they can give you that extra push when you start procrastinating.
So what are small projects you can tackle quickly and get some experience? Drawers in living spaces are usually good places to start: they tend to contain odds and ends that nobody is ever looking for, and that is just the starter level for decluttering you could be looking for. Not only will there be a lot of useless junk to dispose of, but you’ll be surprised what kind of long-lost treasures you’ll find in there.
The notion of “odds and ends” in itself is a good way to think of small projects. You may have a spot in your entrance hall (a surface, a bowl, a drawer) that contains whatever you need to put down when you come home. Take a good look at it! This is the perfect place to learn how to identify what is useless: throw those bits out and return the rest to its ‘home’ spot in your house. That might actually be the place you found it, e.g. your keys. However, it is likely some items do not have a home spot, which is why they have ended up in your hallway in the first place: find a good, practical home for them and make a point of returning them there each time.
You’ll see that within a short time you’ll gain more confidence in making those ‘keep or dump’ decisions. You will be ready to tackle ever larger projects sooner than you think!
Ask the ClutterMeister
Ideas to help clear away the mess in our homes and in our minds.
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Hi, my name is Tilo Flache. My current mission: help my clients declutter mind and space.
This blog contains pointers for your journey towards a happier living experience.