We’ve all got it. Too much ‘stuff’. It’s piled up over time and you want it de-cluttered but you just don’t know where to start. Here’s a guide to breaking down this task into manageable chunks, and getting you on the way to a clutter free home using the ITEMIZING method…
There are two basic ways to de-clutter; the sectionalizing method, and the itemizing method. It’s okay to do one or the other at different times, but don’t try to do them together. Today we’ll discuss the Itemizing Method.
Itemizing Method ~
With this method, you’re going to identify one very specific item at a time, and then collect that item from everywhere in the house it appears. Set a timer and promise yourself that for 15 minutes you will do nothing but collect as many of that item as possible. Don’t let yourself get distracted! For those 15 minutes you have permission to ignore everything else.
For example, say your item is going to be ‘white’ laundry items. Go through each room of the house collecting things that can go into a white load. For best results, do this with the washing machine standing open, so that you can dump those in every time your arms get too full. If you don’t have a washing machine inside your house, set an empty laundry basket (or a box, or what ever), by the front door and carry armfuls to there instead. Don’t pick up anything else.
Go through every room of the house. Sheets from the bedrooms, towels from the bathroom, clothes from wherever they landed. Dishtowels, jackets, the baby’s spit up rags, whatever you find that can go in that white load, pick it up. Then choose a different item, and do that new item for 15 minutes.
Do you have too many newspapers in your house? Or magazines? After the first month, they’re clutter! Take 15 minutes to pick up every newspaper and magazine you can find in your home. Pick a spot to put them all in. (I suggest the recycle box!) If you have kids, tell them it’s a game. See who can find the most before the time is up.
Everyone can rush to collect the most dirty dishes, the most stuffed animals, the most plastic toys, the most single shoes. Use your imagination and you’ll come up with all kinds of categories. Be sure to have a laundry basket or a box or something similar to put those things in, so that you can then walk around with it, returning them to their proper places.
Carry that box or basket around your home, dropping off the items where they belong. If you’ve collected all the toys that were out of place, for instance, you’ll stop by each child’s room and drop off theirs. DON’T get distracted into cleaning up their rooms while you’re in there! Drop the toys and move on to the next room. It should take you less than another 15 minutes to dispose of everything in your box.
At least once a week, do an ‘everything that is trash’ pick up. Just start with a can in the middle of a room and see how many things you can see that you don’t need to keep at all. You can pick a different item every day, or you can do several in a row. Whatever you’re comfortable with and can find time for. Since each item collection is separate, you can feel like you’ve accomplished something after each one. That’ll help keep you coming back to do more.
The important thing is to start somewhere. Remember, your home didn’t get into this state in one day, and you can’t fix it in one day. But you can make a dent in it, one session at a time, until it looks the way you want it to.
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