Now that you have decided to declutter your home, what is the first step you should take? Well, that is a very good question. From my many past mistakes, I can tell you that trying to work on the entire house at one time is not a very good idea. You end up with the whole house torn apart, nothing gets completely done – or partially done for that matter – and due to your CI you can’t finish the project for weeks/months and now you have created a bigger mess than when you started. This leads to more feelings of frustration, disappointment, guilt and overwhelming sense of failure and who the heck needs that! So, the first thing you need to do is to prepare yourself for the project.
Before you start make sure you gather the necessary supplies. There is nothing more frustrating than to pump yourself up to begin a project only to find out you don’t have everything you need to actually start. Here is my list of things I think you will need: trash bags – not the huge 40 gallon contractor size bags as they will become way too heavy to lift. So unless you have dedicated help from start to finish, even to the point of the trash being taken to the road or dumpster, go with 13 gallon trash bags or smaller. Cardboard boxes, again smaller is better, you will need to be able to lift the box and it’s contents and dark colored markers to label the boxes. Also gather paper towels or rags, a multi-purpose natural cleaner , gloves and a mask. I always wear a mask when cleaning and vacuuming so I don’t inhale any dust particles. All of the items I listed can be purchased at a Dollar Tree (at least at my local store) except for a natural cleaner, and boxes can be found in a Starbucks or grocery store dumpster. Now label your boxes: belongs in another room, donate, give away (to a specific person), consignment shop (if needed) and sell. I would strongly caution you against making a box (boxes) for selling unless you have someone who is going to do it for you or at least help. Selling takes a lot of time and energy and you don’t want boxes of unwanted stuff sitting around creating more clutter or find its way back into the general population. Last but not least, a pen and paper to write down all that you are donating for tax purposes. I have also used my phone to take pictures of donated items.
Now pick a week you hope to start, for example, the first week of April. Why pick a week and not a specific date…….well, we all know that CI is unpredictable and again, you want to make it flexible to work around your needs and set you up for a win. No need for giving yourself the extra pressure of picking a specific date and then waking up feeling blah. If you feel poorly one day, don’t begin the project………you have a whole week to get it started. Starting when you are having a bad day will only give you bad results.
If a start week is too rigid for your circumstances, maybe choose a month you are going to begin to clean, just don’t put it off too long. If you keep pushing the dates out, it could mean that you are not really wanting to declutter your home. But, I have found that watching a few episodes of Hoarders Buried Alive or a similar program is all I need to increase my motivation.
Now that you have gathered the necessary supplies, you need to set yourself up for a win and experience a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment for a job well done. In order to do this, my first suggestion is to go small. Make sure you pick an area within a room, like a closet or side of a closet if it is a walk-in, a desk, a bookshelf or one cabinet and work only in this designated spot until it is completely finished. If you are like me, staying focused on this one area will be a challenge as you will discover things that need to go elsewhere…………don’t move on. Stay on task. Having the right supplies on hand will help with this.
Until next time…..