The problem with most decluttering posts and books is that they rattle off a huge list of things we need to do.
What they don’t often talk about is just how much time it takes to do all of the work.
Instead they make it sound like you can declutter your whole house (and sometimes life) in one busy afternoon.
The problem is usually the size of our declutter to do list and our lack of time (or sometimes energy) to complete the tasks.
Your list could be written down or floating around in your head (if this is the case I would suggest writing it all down).
Either way, what often happens when we are faced with a long, daunting list. What is the most common emotion that kicks in?
When there seems too much to do, we often do one thing.
Instead of overwhelming yourself with a couple of hundred things on your declutter list, how about we start with a more realistic approach.
Work on one area at a time
Break your list down into smaller manageable sections.
For example instead of deciding to clean out the entire kitchen in one morning (which is a much bigger job than you realize and will take longer than you think) start with cleaning out the pantry.
Stay focused on that one area until it is finished.
Put a time limit on each project
Back to our pantry example. Set a realistic time frame for getting the work done. Actually schedule the task into your calendar, day planner, phone or whatever you use to organize your time.
As far as time goes, if you want to spend all day decluttering that’s fine but working all day may not be the way you perform at your best. Working all day may not motivate you to schedule in another session on another day.
Perhaps spending the morning cleaning and the afternoon doing something fun will motivate you to come back tomorrow or next week and work on the next project.
Get over the everything has to be done now or not at all mindset.
This is where we either get bogged down in overwhelm or run ourselves into the ground trying to get everything done.
Remember not all of us are motivated by the same course of action. Do what is best for you.
Focus on quality instead of quantity
Perhaps you could get a lot more done if you race through each task quickly. It could also mean that you are not doing the job properly.
Though it might be tempting to do a mediocre job, take that little bit more time and do a thorough one.
It’s worth getting it right the first time.
Think small but take big action
Often the hardest part of decluttering is the part where we have to take action – or to be more specific where we have to throw things out.
Some of us aren’t very good at this part (I admit I’m guilty of this one). I’m not talking about hoarding here, just about throwing out things in general.
I have a hard time throwing something out if it still works. It feels wasteful but if you never use the item , what is the point of holding onto it?
The next section can help solve this problem.
Think smart and recycle
I am a mad recycler. I don’t believe in throwing everything into landfill.
I think each of us has a responsibility to dispose of our rubbish and old belongings in a respectful manner. You don’t want your rubbish damaging wildlife or contaminating soil.
Be smart with your recycling. Don’t assume something can’t be recycled. Jump on the Internet and look it up. Give items to charity, help out other people, swap items (particularly books and clothing) with family and friends. Be mindful of how you discard your belongings and the impact it will have on the environment.
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