10 Steps to Decluttering

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I have to admit that this blog is written as a reminder for ME as I sit here at my desk suffocating under three large piles of papers that I have let accumulate since school began. I would have to admit that is about 7 months of papers, so it sounds better to say it the other way around! I have been at this for several hours and thought this would be a great time to give myself a pep talk and write this post. Perhaps you might be in the same situation as me and I can give us both ideas to power through and get things done.

  1. Do not beat yourself up! You may have a cluttered mess, but life happens and many days it is a victory to have made it through school and getting dinner on the table. Have today (or this week) be the time you get things decluttered so you can have a clean slate. No condemnation or guilt; it does not help!
  2. Break the task into smaller tasks. I am just going to tackle putting all of the papers in one pile away before I tackle the other two piles. I think by filing papers where they belong I will see some progress and it will encourage me to continue. If you are not working on papers, but clutter throughout your house, start with one area of your home.
  3. Set a goal. This morning I want to get the largest stack of papers put away and I plan on coming back this afternoon and filing the other two piles. What is your goal? To see the kitchen sink again? That is a great goal! Put the dishes in the washer or wash them while having some of your favorite music playing.
  4. Set the timer. I am setting the timer for one hour and see how much I can finish in 60 minutes. I am going to reward myself by taking a 10-minute break before I go back to tackle the clutter.
  5. Find a place to put things. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” is a great adage. Since I am working on papers I am putting things in binders- particularly two subjects that I teach. I told Dale that I have probably been responsible for the harvesting of a small forest with all of the papers I have for my classes. Think of a system that will work for you and stick with it.
  6. Throw away, give away. If you are decluttering, ask yourself, “When is the last time I used this?” If you really haven’t used it within the last few months consider giving it away or throwing it away. I have one trash bag next to my desk for the papers that I will put in the recycling bin when I am finished. I feel better knowing that they will be recycled instead of wasting them and throwing them away.
  7. Put away. Discipline yourself to put away whatever it was you got out. Is your family contributing to the clutter? Set the timer for 15 minutes at the end of the school day and have everyone assigned to an area. Play lively music and have everyone clean up for that amount of time. By making it short and lively everyone can pitch in and help make your house clutter-free or less cluttered.
  8. Celebrate your success and admire your work. I admit, I NEED this because I want to feel like I didn’t just work here for several hours (or days) and not take the time to look around and savor the moments of a clutter-free area.
  9. Treat yourself! If that is calling a friend and sharing the good news of your accomplishment or sitting in the area that you just cleaned up- Do It. It will help you…
  10. Choose another area to declutter and start the process all over again!

I must get back to work while I am motivated. 🙂 PS- The above picture is not my desk, but it is close to what it looks like!

Have a great week! Lisa

 

 

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