Friday, June 5, 2009

Declutter A Space

Do you look at a space that needs to be decluttered and wonder where to start? You just look at the space and scratch your head in disgust and then put it off for another day? It’s easy to get into this kind of situation especially if you let the decluttering process overwhelm you. But I have found that the most effective approach to decluttering is similar to dieting. If your goals are too extreme and seemingly impossible you will never get to the goal. You need to make your goals simple and small and do-able.

Let’s use the kitchen as an example. The entire kitchen needs to be decluttered including the cabinets, drawers, refrigerator, and pantry. Instead of trying to tackle all of those areas, concentrate on the drawers first. After you are done, you can either stop or move to the next area. It all depends on your comfort level. Try to remember that the clutter didn’t happen overnight so it won’t be overnight that it will all get cleaned up. It takes some time and patience but the rewards are really wonderful.

So let’s take the drawer example. Like any decluttering or organizing job, the first thing you need to do is completely empty the contents of the area you are organizing. In this case, you should completely empty the drawer (s). You will then need to start going through your items and setting up two small piles, one for trash and one for keep. You might be asking how you know which pile to put the item in. While I plan to write a future post on this, a good general rule of thumb is that if you have not used the item in the last 6 months, chances are you will never use it. Throw it out. If it doesn’t work such as old batteries, dried up pens, or anything that has not worked in a long time throw it out.

Now take the pile of saved items and start returning them to the drawer. To be really super organized, I put drawer organizers in each of my drawers whether the drawer is for silverware or forpens/pencils/batteries. You can buy those at any local hardware or Target store for a reasonable price.

Put the items back in the drawers in a logical fashion. Pens go together. Batteries go together, knives go together. The key to organizing is to make things simpler and easier to get to and get around so that you don’t waste a lot of time sifting through drawers and searching through piles looking for that one item that is “around here somewhere”.

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