Start with the Easiest Room
The room that fills you with dread is a challenge for later. Start with the easiest room in the house – like the bathroom or a chest of drawers.
Decluttering is a process that gets easier as you go, so start the momentum in a small section that does not have too many items you’re emotionally tied to.
When you see the results of the first decluttered room, you’ll be more motivated to continue the process and tackle the next room.
If a whole room is too overwhelming right now, that’s okay! Start with a drawer, a closet, or a section of a room and build from there.
What if I need it later?
This one is common when two households merge into one. Suddenly, it seems prudent to hold on to that second potato masher or toaster oven for the day when something happens to the first one. Lots of people have these tendencies because they were taught to “waste not, want not” by earlier generations that had lived through hard times. This results in full to overflowing cupboards, full boxes in the garage, or even worse, paying huge amounts for storage sheds that costs more than the items are worth!
The truth is, we live in a time of abundance, and goods are much more inexpensive than they ever were in the past. Having a surplus in our homes at this point is counterproductive, and can weigh you down.
Donate all your extras, and cross the bridge of replacing something when you need to. Keep only a few reusable grocery bags, and take a moment to fold them down in between uses. Any excess, use as garbage bin liners until they are gone.
But it was a present!
When someone gives you a gift, their intention is to provide a token of affection. They want to delight you. They don’t want to burden you with objects that you might not love, and feel obliged to keep around. Give your gifter an appreciative thank you. Then, if you feel that deep-down nagging feeling that you just don’t really love it, take a photo for the memory, return it for a store credit or refund if they gave you a receipt, re-gift it, or donate it to someone who will really appreciate it.
But there’s just “so much stuff” to get through!
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Don’t see it as a failure if you can’t transform your closets and rooms from chaos to lovely in one go. Start small and work in manageable chunks. Pick one area, say, socks, and do an honest assessment of all your current pairs. Once you finish, you can decide to continue on to another category, or pick it up later.
What if I regret giving something away?
There is a great trick to handle this apprehension – it’s called the limbo box! Give yourself a nice big box or basket that you’ll store in an out-of-the-way place. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Anything you’re unsure of, store it in there. Reassess in 3 to 6 months. If you’ve needed or missed an item in there, you’ve probably already fished it out. But if you haven’t thought about that stuff, it’s time to give it away.
But the memories…..
It’s time to separate memories from things. A big box of social ticket stubs and holiday visit brochures that you haven’t sorted in ages will only become more annoying as time goes on, not less. Honour your memories! Take digital pics of them and put them into a ‘Memory’ folder on your computer. Write a journal about them. Post them on social media. Frame a piece or two, or do a framed montage of the really special pieces so that you can hang them out in the open and really appreciate them regularly.
The bonus is that the less clutter you have, the easier your home is to clean, and the lighter you will feel, mentally. Ask our Personal Concierge’s to help. They are masters at decluttering and will happily work through every section of the house alongside you, assisting in those ‘difficult, borderline’ decisions. Happy decluttering!
The hardest part of decluttering is the start. Procrastinating does not help reduce feelings of being overwhelmed – in fact, procrastinating makes it worse. Don’t overthink the process! Get started with one place in your house and the rest will follow.
And remember, if you are feeling overwhelmed or just don’t want to do it alone, Clean to Concierge in Melbourne has both Personal Concierge’s and cleaners ready to help! They are all highly trained and can either do the job with your guidance or brief, or work alongside you to get it all done. Many hands make light work and our professionals are ready to help. Call us now to discuss your ideas on getting your place into tip top order!
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