I announced on my Facebook page that I was going to start a new series called, “Project Declutterificaton” that will begin this Sunday. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized we have some prep work to do first.
First, I have some disclaimers; I am not a professional Organizer nor do I have any sort of degree that can seriously help someone with hoarding tendencies. I’m talking about clutter, chaos free zones and the people who want to tame their stuff instead of letting it roam wild and free. Am I a Clutter Whisperer…..well no, I’m just an uber anal organizer who needs a new outlet. I also want to throw this out there, no one can do this for you, if you’re not motivated then it isn’t going to get done. So here we go with some prep work.
1. Warn Your Friends and Family! Over the years, I have helped many friends and family members get decluttered and organized. You will need a support system in place, people who will either help you or give you support while you deal. Choose someone who isn’t starring in a future episode of Hoarders, pick someone who will body block you from digging stuff back out of the trash. And I have noticed a strange phenomenon that occurs when you tell your family you are decluttering. If you announce that anything is fair game for donation, things seem to disappear quickly. WEIRD!
2. Declutter when you aren’t pressed for time. Don’t open your craft closet hoping to knock this out 30 minutes just before your 30 year High School Reunion. Chances are your stuff will still be there for your 40 year reunion. Pick a time that you can immediately dispose of the items you aren’t keeping. If your clutter is emotional based instead of a lack of organizational skills, the longer you keep it around even in trash bags, the more likely it is that it will creep back in.
3. Its ironic that you need to be organized to get organized, but there you go. You will need to set up a system, containers of some kind to categorize your stuff; use trash bags, Laundry baskets…whatever. You will need one for the items you want to keep, one for trash, one for donations/curbside, one for recycling (this is an option I hope you utilize!) and one for selling. I will discuss categorizing your stuff in a future FB post.
4. Be Prepared For Guilt! You’re going to pick something up, maybe even the first thing you touch, and from out of nowhere guilt is going to swamp you. As you stand there and look at the doodad your Chaos Angel is going to say, “You can’t! You just bought this 3 months ago and spent $x on it”. This is why your Organized Angel needs to be packing duct tape to shut her up! You are going to feel guilt over gifts given, items inherited, things bought but never used, or the third macaroni necklace your child made 20 years ago that is slightly different than the other two. I don’t mean to make light of these feelings, because this is going to be the HARDEST thing you have ever done, I just want you to be prepared and we will talk about this too! Clutter isn’t always clutter, sometimes it is a lack of time, sometimes it is convenience, sometimes it is an emotional attachment to all of our stuff.
5. Pick your first project. What is your organizational emergency priority? Is it the dining room table, a closet, drawer, bookcase or an entire room? What will give you instant gratification when it’s organized and ready for use? This will be the secret to your continued success if you have more than one area in need of your Decluttering Diva’s magic touch.
Well I think that’s it. I’m hoping your are sufficiently prepared to dive in and declutter. On Sunday you can visit my Facebook page at Faded Bluebird and we will get started with some encouragement and tips on how to categorize your stuff.