January 26, 2018

A different approach to decluttering

If you struggle to get motivated or started with clutter clearing your home I am inviting you to a different approach to decluttering. By focusing on what you love in your home and why, and then intentionally creating the space for those treasured items to shine, decluttering becomes a task that you are motivated to accomplish rather than a daunting task or chore that feels heavy on your shoulders.

Living a clutter-free life does not mean that we have to create a show-room-like home. We don’t have to become a minimalist, and we don’t have to live like a monk without possessions (of course you can go down these routes if that’s what you want).

What I am after for you (and for my clients) is finding the right balance for your life. Not so many things that you feel overwhelmed, weighed down and stuck, and also not so few things that you can’t do what you want and need to do on a day to day basis.

Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to purge items you are not ready to let go of. In fact

I will never tell you to get rid of anything!

What I will do though is share with you the effects of clutter and too much stuff on you and your loved ones.

Decluttering is getting clear on what you love in your home and why, and then intentionally creating the space for it so those treasured items can shine.

Instead of focusing on what you need to let go, why not ask first ‘What do I love, what do I want to keep?’ Here are the steps to this different approach to decluttering:

Step 1: Identify what you want to keep

Take 5-10 minutes (or longer if you feel like it) and take a tour of your home and really notice all the beauty around you.

What do you love about your home? Wander through your house, including your balcony, patio, and garden. Look around and appreciate everything in your home and environment. If it feels right, say quietly to yourself: “I appreciate all this” to reinforce the effect.

Step 2: Record your cluttered zones

(The following steps are inspired by Karen Kingston’s book “Clear your clutter with Feng Shui”)
After you took your tour and identified what you do love and appreciate in your home, take another tour but this time with a notepad and pen in hand. Write down the cluttered zones in each room that shadow over the beauty you rediscovered and appreciated in your first tour.
If you don’t feel like walking around again, you can also do this sitting in your favorite chair with a cup of coffee or tea and visualize yourself walking through the rooms again. I agree with Karen who says “most people know exactly where their clutter is”.

Step 3: Organize your list

When you are done with your second tour, take a new piece of paper and rewrite the list. Start with small and smaller clutter zones and put them at the top of the list and working your way down to the most cluttered zones.
Smaller zones could be: behind doors, a single drawer, the bathroom cabinet, a small cupboard, a single shelf, your handbag.
Medium sized zones are: closets, kitchen cupboards, linen closet etc
Large sized zones: junk rooms, garages, attics, garden sheds, storage units
By writing down your cluttered zones in order of their size helps you get a clearer picture of the entire decluttering task you have on hand.

Step 4: Start small

Put an asterisk or an arrow beside the zones that irritate you the most.  These areas will be where you begin to declutter, start with one of the small or smaller clutter zones from the top of your list that you’ve just marked with an asterisk. You can read here about my three key principles for successful decluttering
Starting with a small area helps to get a quick win and if you do a few of the small areas you’ll gain some momentum and experience that will motivate you to tackle a medium size cluttered area that might need more than one session to finish.

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