As a Downsizing Specialist, I regularly encounter homeowners who feel overwhelmed by the task of decluttering. The physical work seems daunting and the possible emotional upheaval unpleasant. Sometimes they simply don’t know where to start. In the end, they push it off into the “some day” future. Clutter becomes the enemy that holds them prisoner in a home that no longer suits their needs, goals or lifestyle.
But there is good news: clutter can be conquered with a straightforward battle plan! Just like the clutter did not suddenly sneak in uninvited and annex the basement overnight, so too success will take some time and effort. Studies prove that small increments of dedicated effort over time bring the maximum results.
The Five-Step Decluttering Battle Plan
Step One: Prepare to Do Battle
Start strong by declaring your intention and writing “D-Day” (For declutter) on the calendar. Give notice to those using your home as free storage that their days are numbered and they need to make arrangements for their belongings to be removed. Take the time to gather your supplies, like clear totes with lids, contractor garbage bags and the like. And don’t forget to visualize the victory when you reclaim unused parts of your home!
Step Two: Take Back the Territory
Efficiency experts have found that chunking time into 25-minute increments provides focussed effort without feeling overwhelmed. This technique reduces distraction and procrastination while greatly improving productivity. Sessions once or twice a week will yield amazing results.
Since we all have limited amounts of motivation in the tank, most organizing experts recommend you start in the most problematic area of the house first. Once that is tip top, move to the next most needful room. Rinse and repeat!
Step Three: Call in Reinforcements
Sometimes a fresh batch of recruits is just what’s needed when energy or motivation flag. As our social circles open up again post-Covid, now is the time to ask for help from family and friends to complete that final push.
StepFour: Hire Mercenaries
If your first line of “volun-tolds” fizzles out, it might be time to hire professional“big guns” to do the heavy lifting of sorting and organizing. Success is guaranteed with this option.Professional organizers can work wonders with custom-made solutions for a fee.
StepFive: Campaign “Divide and Conquer”
This strategy divides stuff into the following categories: garbage, donation, sell and keep. With your motivation, supplies, allies and strategy firmly in hand, you can march into a brighter, lighter future knowing that your proactive campaign will reap rewards for weeks and months to come.
Decluttering your home doesn’t need to seem so daunting when you have a plan in place and Ipromise you, it will be worth the time and effort not, for the reward of relaxing later!