The FOURTH and FINAL step in organizing deals with your home. Decluttering is the name of the game.
Depending on where YOU start in this process it may take MORE time & MORE steps to declutter. If you have not decluttered in a long time, or this is your first time, be PATIENT with yourself. I definitely do not want to MINIMIZE the struggle this may be for you. You might need the support of someone coming along side of you in the form of a friend or Professional Organizer in your area.
Sometimes my own home is neat and tidy and other times it looks like a monsoon has blown through. But because my baseline is generally simple it does not take me long to declutter. A baseline is where you start. I do not keep a lot and I routinely “purge,” the clutter.
The point is, know who you are in relation to this topic, and what time and resources you have.
Whether tackling small projects OR bigger projects, I believe this process will be helpful! So remove the guess work out of how to tackle the clutter. Take the first step with me.
Here is my process and steps to Decluttering my home:
Step 1: Define the problem area you want to declutter. It can be ANY area of your home: A drawer, a closet, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, garage, basement/attic, kids toys, kids art/school papers, pictures on your computer, paperwork/mail, etc. Projects such as moving (packing/unpacking) or downsizing use a slightly different process and I will cover that another time.
Step 2: Know your timeline. Is this an urgent one time project, something you need to maintain weekly, or something that can be spread out over time? Always look at your planner and schedule to see when you can complete the project. WRITE IT DOWN!
Step 3: Pull out and/or collect all the items you have to organize. You want to be able to visually see all that you are attempting to organize.
Step 4: Begin to sort in categories; either by number, alphabetical, month/year, color, type. Whatever makes sense for the area you are organizing.
Step 5: Have a box for Donate/Give Away and/or Throw Away. Decide from what you have separated what you DO NOT want and decide where it goes.
Step 6: Throw away the items. Take your donate/give away pile and store in a readily available place (maybe even your car).
Step 7: Put things away where you want them by thinking about the following things:
- Do you have the storage systems you need to neatly put things away? If you do not, make purchases (hooks, bins, shelving) or repurpose something you are not using in another room to the project room.
- If you have kids. Are the items something you would like them to access or not? So again, put it in reach or out of reach.
- How often do you use a certain item? Ex. Can you put this item up high and in the back of a closet or up close and low so it is easy to grab.
- Do you want the items visible or hidden?
Here is a video and some pictures to show my kids toy clutter, before and after, using the above process. This is not a one time project but a day to day and week to week problem. My timeline is whenever I can get to it. Or when I get so annoyed from the kids and I tripping over and stepping on things.