It's National Get Organized (GO) Month! Every year during the month of January, NAPO promotes the benefits of working with an organizing or productivity professional. Throughout the country, events are held to encourage folks to walk forward on their organizing journey.
Whether that means decluttering a room, organizing your paper piles or hiring a Professional Organizer to get the ball rolling, we are here to make the process easier!
In the spirit of GO Month, I've put together some decluttering tips to help support both homeowners and organizers who support them. I hope you find these useful!
The Dreading is Worse Than the Doing
1. For those who have a hard time making decisions when decluttering, it can be very helpful to designate a specific home for everything. When the available space for that category is used up, this serves as a visual cue that it’s time to declutter. Relying on these visual cues takes the decision making outside of the emotional brain, and allows our more rational-thinking brain to make choices about what to keep and what to declutter.
2. Starting the decluttering process can be very daunting. If you feel overwhelmed, focus on one corner of the room and work outwards. Don’t worry about the rest of the space - that will follow as you build momentum and confidence.
3. Before you begin decluttering, grab a bin and designate it as a “go elsewhere” container. Any items you find that need to be put away in another room should go in there, which helps you to avoid wandering into other rooms and getting distracted.
Start with the Easy Stuff
4. If you feel overwhelmed by organizing, start in areas with a "low emotional barrier" - places like the bathroom or laundry room where you'll feel more ready to let go. That will look different for everyone.
5. Kitchen cabinets are clutter magnets for items that rarely get used. If you have two of the same thing or two different things that serve the same purpose, choose between the two.
6. When decluttering in the kitchen, getting rid of excess food storage containers is half the battle! If you have Tupperware that you can’t find the lid for - get rid of it.
7. 85% of all textiles thrown away end up in landfills. When decluttering your closet, if you have items that are too damaged donate but you don’t want to put them into the trash, cut them up and make cleaning rags out of them.
Create Easy to Maintain Organizing Systems
8. You’ll never be “done” with decluttering; it is a constant process that becomes much easier with daily practice. To maintain your larger decluttering efforts, set up a donation bin in an easy-access location (or two!). Pop some trash bags in the bottom and a Sticky Note “donation” label on the font. When it gets full, place everything in one of the trash bags and donate!Ti
9. Place a small recycling bin in each room of your home. You would be amazed at how much clutter just sits around in the form of items to be recycled! Bathrooms, bedrooms and near where the mail piles up are all great spots.
10. Decluttering your bathroom might be as simple as checking the expiration dates on a lot of your products. Many makeups, sunscreens, medications, supplements, lotions and nail polishes can expire or dry out. If you look on the back, you can see the number of months from the open date when the product will expire. (This usually looks little a little jar or bottle with the number 18M or 12M - that means 12 months from the open date. Here is a quick video with examples if that is helpful.)
It's a Direction, not a Destination
11. Take before and after pictures of your decluttering projects. Seeing how much progress you have made will inspire you to keep going! It’s easy to forget how far you have come and so helpful to have a reference for the times where you are feeling overwhelmed.
12. Schedule your donation drop-offs and pick-ups right away. A pile of things you are planning to get rid of is still clutter until it is gone. If it's in your calendar, you are more likely to follow through. Remember, this is an ongoing process. Each small step - even dropping things off at a donation center - should be celebrated!
Author: Aimee Bloom
Inspired Living NW