The Lazy Person’s Guide to Decluttering!
January means another blizzard of articles about decluttering. As a rule, these decluttering articles are great for preaching and often rather dismal at offering folks a realist plan of battle if they wanna do it. It’s easy for me to declutter because I like doing it. But what if you don’t like it or don’t know how to find time to do it? Where are the articles that move beyond rubbing your shoulders, distracting you with dreams of well organized spaces or berating you for holding on to that prom dress you’ll never wear again from 1987? The one size all approach to decluttering tends to make it feel inaccessible to many people. If you don’t end up with the well curated collection of stuff that the articles tout as standard results it’s easy to feel as though you’ve failed. Decluttering seem to suggest if you don’t tackle the task with zeal usually reserved for armies marching into battle then you’re just not serious. Frankly, that’s kind of judgey. So how do you declutter if you want to do it but aren’t already a pro? Find out after the jump
Start really, really small. Forget a room or a drawer. Drawers and rooms are notorious for containing items that don’t belong there. While many decluttering articles suggest carrying around a basket to house items you uncover that have a better place elsewhere I’m not exactly sure why. You’re just gonna have yet another box of crap to sort, which is how junk drawers often get started.
Make up your own criteria for what stays/goes. The thing I find most frustrating about decluttering articles is how they narrowly define value and prescribe remedies usually meaning anything deemed worthless by the article’s author are by default worthless items. A lot of anxiety around and therefore avoidance of decluttering stems from people feeling pressured to discard items that only have personal value.
Set a timer.15 minutes a day. That’s it. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish if you carve out small, manageable chunks of time solely devoted to decluttering. Put on some tunes or a film/TV and just have at it. Once the timer rings, STOP. That’s why it’s really important to start small. You can’t declutter a whole room in 15 minutes, but you can sort through junk mail, a jewelry box or a sock drawer. You also can’t get overwhelmed and you can’t get discouraged.