I’m an all or nothing kind of girl – and so is my approach to decluttering. My (somewhat) crazy method seems a little out of order, but I literally decluttered my entire house in one weekend – including the dreaded “junk room.” It took 2 whole days, but I went through about 15 years worth of clutter in just one weekend.
Set aside a big chunk of time – maybe an afternoon, a whole day – whatever you can carve out. Pick a place to go pile it all up together. You can use your driveway, living room, wherever… just make it a big space. Put it all in a pile and have a helper to give you stuff from the pile and take it away to the next holding space.
This is a 3 step process with 3 holding areas. You need 3 zones: Keep, Donate, Toss. Your helper will hand you items you have about 3 seconds to choose a pile for it to go in. If you can’t decide, then put it in the keep pile.
Depending on how frustrated you are with your clutter, at the end of the first round of going through the pile, you’ll have a huge keep pile or a huge toss/donate pile. Don’t worry if you have a huge keep pile. Remember, it’s a process.
After the first pass through all your items, take the toss items to the trash/recycle and donate directly to your car. Then get ready for round 2.
Now more slowly go through the keep pile, and think carefully about each item. Do you really love, need or want the item? The question is not if you want to keep it for “someday.” Do you need it in your life now? Does it make your life easier/happier/better? Does it need repaired? Will you actually repair it? Will you actually recover/paint/whatever that piece? If the answer is no, then toss or donate accordingly. If yes, then put in the keep pile all over again.
At the end of the 2nd round of going through the pile, toss the trash & put the donate in the car again. Let’s get ready for round 3.
Each time you take something from the keep pile, go put it away. One by one, put everything away where you think it should go. You need to make sure that each item has a home – or it’s not useful to you. At the end, some of the items may make it to the donate or trash piles yet again.
It seems kinda crazy to handle things 3 times, but I find that it gets easier to let things go the more I am faced with the reality of my clutter.
Try this method with just your junk drawer… it really does work. Start small and build yourself up to big spaces like a garage or attic. Or… if you’re all or nothing like me… take a weekend, pile it all up in the yard and make some lemonade
Starting tomorrow I’m going to share a few solutions on putting it all away.