5 Things NOT To Do When Decluttering Your House
1. Start Without A Plan
If you keep trying to jump into an emotionally deep well of piles and stacks from the past, you’re setting yourself up for overwhelm and a walk, or run, away experience within minutes. Been there done that already, right?
Schedule uninterrupted time focused on one, doable, small area and “chunk” at a time. You can then “chip” away at it and really get it done and feel good about it when your time is up.
“I was so inspired after I heard you speak last week that I went right home and conquered several small piles in a few short 30 minute spurts of time. I feel so great! Thanks!” ~ Calli, Boulder, CO
2. Buy Lots Of Tubs And Organizing Systems First
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of lidded tubs/bins and containers for your “stuff and things” out there at all different price points. But, you really don’t know what you need until you start sorting through everything.
Sort through an area or whole room first. Use cardboard boxes to categorize like items. When you’re done, you’ll know what you need – size, shape, amount.
KEY TO BUYING CONTAINERS
Then, when you do buy containers, especially tubs or bins with lids, buy a few extra than you think you need and keep the receipt should you need to take any back. If you buy them all at one time you are guaranteed they will stack correctly. If you buy at separate times the tubs can change design, they won’t stack right, will wobble and lids will crack over time.
3. Don’t Use Sorting Containers
If you don’t have sorting containers, like tubs or cardboard boxes designated for actions like, recycle, donate, returns, reroute, storage, etc., you’ll have to stop decluttering quickly as you have no where to put your sorted items.
Get several containers and label them (tape on a piece of paper) with the basic topics as noted: recycle, trash, donate, reroute, give to a friend, deep storage, etc.. When a box is full, replace it and attach the sign and keep going.
“This tip really made all the difference. I could decide and pitch stuff into the designated boxes so quickly. Thanks for your Burn Your House Down teleclass so that I could join your class live!” ~ Janice, England
4. Keep Doing It Alone And Don’t Know What To Do With It So Stop And Never Get Back To It
Sometimes the sheer volume of piles, or history that triggers your emotions, is just too much for you to do it alone.
Ask for help. Get past any embarrassment or fear of judgement and just do it! Ask a friend or a professional organizer like me to help you decide, take action to sort faster, to let go of more than you might if alone, and to help process your emotions and stories while working away.
“I should have called you years ago, but was so afraid you’d judge me. Wow. You did not, it was all me! You were kind and compassionate and really didn’t see my clutter, you just focused on the solutions and we got the job done so quickly. Thank you. I love my home again.” ~ Pat, Colorado Springs, CO
5. Your Keep Thinking “All Or None, It Must Be Perfect!”
How’s that workin’ for ya?! When you think something hast to be perfect, does that help you start the project any faster? Usually not. Perfectionistic, rigid thinking will only keep you from starting and keep you procrastinating waiting for the perfect time, containers, systems, etc.
There is no such thing as perfection. And, if you do create it, you have to maintain it! That can be exhausting. Do the doing of the above 1-4 which will make your space decluttered, organized, livable, and functional. Then, in some small area, make it “perfect!” Enjoy that little spot of Heaven. The rest of your house is to be lived in and decluttered daily to maintain it and “good enough” so that you can enjoy living in it.
“Wow, calming down my “perfection button” really helped me to “just start and do it.” I guess I knew I was doing that to myself, but you really nailed it. I really like living in my home, not trying to make it something perfect that it doesn’t have to be and will never be, for long enough.” ~ Jana, Las Vegas, NV
6. Keep The Sorted Items For Donations Around Too Long
If you keep the bags and boxes of items you’ve sorted to go to donation or give away in the garage or in your house too long, do you start bringing items back in?
If you can’t take the items yourself within a day or so to donation, call a donation/charity to pick up the items the same day or within 24-hours of your sorting to get boxes out of your environment to keep from sneaking items back into the house. You really will forget about them and you really don’t need them.
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