26 Aug 2016
10 Five-Minute Decluttering Tips to Start Conquering Your Mess
The Feng Shui definition for clutter is “postponed decisions and the inability to move forward.” That means what you accumulate, where you put it, and why you keep it says a lot about you. According to Feng Shui principles, extreme clutter holds you back and keeps you from making progress. Clutter creates stagnation, encouraging a negative “putting-off-until-tomorrow” mentality rather than a positive “doing-it-today” focus, thereby reducing energy in our minds and in our spaces.
When your home is filled with clutter, trying to tackle a mountain of stuff can be quite overwhelming.
Start with just five minutes. Baby steps are important. Sure, five minutes won’t barely make a dent in your mountain, but it’s a start. Celebrate when you’ve made that start!
Then take another five minutes tomorrow. And another the next day. Before you know it, you’ll have cleared a whole closet or a room and then half your house!
Whether you are getting your house ready for sale or you want to make a great impression at your upcoming inspection , here are some great ways to get started, five minutes at a time.
- Designate a spot for incoming papers. Papers often account for a lot of our clutter. This is because we put them in different spots — on the counter, on the table, on our desk, in a drawer, on top of our dresser, in our car. No wonder we can’t find anything! Designate an in-box tray or spot in your home and don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot.
- Start clearing a starting zone. What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or your kitchen table, or the three-foot perimeter around your couch. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put away. Once you have that clutter-free zone, keep it that way! Now, each day, slowly expand your no-clutter zone until it envelopes the whole house!
- Clear off a counter. You want to get your house so that all flat spaces are clear of clutter. Maybe they have a toaster on them, maybe a decorative candle, but not a lot of clutter. Clear off everything possible, except maybe one or two essential things.
- Pick a shelf. Now that you’ve done a counter, try a shelf. It doesn’t matter what shelf. Could be a shelf in a closet, or on a bookshelf. Don’t tackle the whole bookshelf — just one shelf. Clear all non-essential things and leave it looking neat and clutter-free.
- Schedule a decluttering weekend. Maybe you don’t feel like doing a huge decluttering session right now. But if you take the time to schedule it for later this month, you can clear your schedule, and if you have a family, get them involved too. The more hands pitching in, the better. You might not get the entire house decluttered during the weekend, but you’ll probably make great progress.
- Pick up 5 things, and find places for them. These should be things that you actually use, but that you just seem to put anywhere, because they don’t have good places. If you don’t know exactly where things belong, you have to designate a good spot. Take a minute to think it through — where would be a good spot? Then always put those things in those spots when you’re done using them. Do this for everything in your home, a few things at a time.
- Spend a few minutes visualizing the room. Take a moment to take a look at a room, and think about how you want it to look. What are the most essential pieces of furniture? Visualized how the room will look uncluttered, and figured out what is essential, and get rid of the rest.
- Put a load in your car for charity. If you’ve decluttered a bunch of stuff, you might have a “to donate” pile that’s just taking up space in a corner of your room. Take a few minutes to box it up and put it in your trunk. Then tomorrow, drop it off.
- Teach your kids where things belong. This only applies to the parents among us, of course, but if you teach your kids where things go, and start teaching them the habit of putting them there, you’ll go a long way to keeping your house uncluttered. Of course, they won’t learn the habit overnight, so you’ll have to be very very patient with them and just keep teaching them until they’ve got it. And better yet, set the example for them and get into the habit yourself.
- Pull out some clothes you don’t wear. As you’re getting ready for work, and going through your closet for something to wear, spend a few minutes pulling out ones you haven’t worn in a few months. If they’re seasonal clothes, store them in a box. Get rid of the rest. Do this a little at a time until your closet (and then your drawers) only contains stuff you actually wear.
Happy Spring cleaning!
Author Mark Lim – Property Manager (source: zenhabits.net/uncopyright)