I have finally cleared enough clutter to leave a little space in my life… to start a blog. Here I share some decluttering tips with you.
Wayne L. Misner
Keeping baggage from the past will leave no room for the happiness in the future
These are just 10 decluttering tips that I try to follow with a mixed (Hoover) bag of results 😊 I hope that some of them might help you.
- Don’t have pets. The more pets you have, the more there is to clean up of the poo, pee and puke variety, as well as fluff, mud (depending on the weather) and more fluff. The fewer pets you have, the cleaner your house will be. Plus, pets smell!
- Start the day as you mean to go on. Make your bed every morning – as Clutterbug’s Cassandra points out, your bedroom is the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before you go to sleep, so your bed’s a good place to start on the keeping-things-neat front. Plus, according to Tim Ferriss, author of five Number 1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, when you begin your day with a good habit, you’re more likely to continue spending your day with other good habits. Like a row of dominoes falling, but in reverse.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes and really concentrate on just one spot (a drawer, for example). This avoids overwhelm, and it may seem insignificant, but do this every day, and you will, eventually, get through your entire living space! You might even find that once you get started, you’ll want to keep going.
- Make sure everything has a home. ‘Homeless clutter’ is the bane of an otherwise tidy home. Have a basket for ‘homeless clutter’ and find homes for the items once a week.
- Forget perfectionism. This is a good one if you don’t know where to begin. Macro-manage and collect all of the same kind of items together in just one place. If all of the shoes belonging to everyone in your home are on one single set of shelves, then you can always micro-sort them later – or not. But if they’re all in one place, then everyone knows where they belong.
- Do it for yourself. For me, this was probably the biggest game-changer. When I gave myself permission to make a space look lovely just because it made me happier to be in that space, instead of playing the martryr (‘it’s not my turn to wash up’), everything shifted. You deserve a clutter-free space. You are worth it!
- Listen to some banging music – or a gripping ebook – while you tidy. Whether you play your favourite tunes or listen to one of the many podcasts or TED talks which are out there for us, when you tune in, you can learn, or be entertained, while doing tasks which could otherwise seem mundane.
- Motivation: If you are feeling overwhelmed, do something really small. Tackle one shelf. Then reward yourself and grant yourself permission to go down the social media rabbithole for half an hour, or give yourself a foot massage if that’s your thing. Whatever it is that feels like an indulgence, let it be yours. It’s a bit like parenting yourself (see the point below).
- If you have kids, tidy-up time before playtime might mean you have to nag for a while. But if you’re consistent, it will eventually become a habit (that’s what I tell myself anyway!).
- While we’re on the subject of kids, give them mini tasks which are manageable, so they’re not overwhelmed. And if you feel guilty as they’re telling you how their life is so awful (when you only asked them to vacuum their bedroom), remember that you are teaching your children to be competent human beings by nagging them now. Tough love!
Er, did I mention, don’t keep pets.
I didn’t mean it…
I would love to hear any decluttering tips that help you make the Mountain of Overwhelm feel a little smaller.