Monday, May 16, 2016

How to start decluttering

This one is for you, Ashleigh.

Whether decluttering or adapting a new healthier lifestyle, oftentimes the hardest part is just starting. I've had a few people tell me they want to declutter but they just don't know where to begin. Some have so much stuff it becomes an overwhelming task, or they struggle with parting with expensive, sentimental or just-in-case items. I'll talk more about these struggles in depth in a future post but for now I really just wanted to touch on starting. Because it truly is the biggest battle, but once you find that momentum you almost start looking for things to get rid of. At least I do. 


When it comes to decluttering, just starting is oftentimes the biggest battle. Here are a few tips to help you make that first step.

There's no right or wrong way to start decluttering, but my best advice for those who really struggle is to...


START SMALL

Mind-blowing, right? This isn't meant to be difficult.

Open up your junk drawer, because I know you have one and start tossing out old pens, paperclips, rubber-bands, keys to doors that don't exist anymore. Before I got rid of my junk drawer (yes, I no longer have a junk drawer, because I no longer have junk) I had several keys but I had no idea what any of them went to. But I kept them around, you know just in case a magical door popped up out of nowhere that I needed to unlock. I know, right. 

Some other easy small spaces to start in are:

THE CUTLERY DRAWER //
Clear out any mismatching cutlery and un-used tools. That lemon zester that you used exactly once five years ago, donate it. You're likely never going to use it again.

UNDER THE BATHROOM SINK //
For females especially, we are unintentional collectors of products. Hair, face & body. But how many of them actually get used consistently or at all? You bought and tried ten moisturizers before you found your holy grail one, and now that you have are you seriously going to use those other ten? No, you're not. Throw them out.

YOUR SOCK AND UNDERWEAR DRAWER //
Throw out those socks and underwear that cause you to say "uh, I need to throw these away" every time you wear them, but then never do causing you to accidentally wear them again. End the vicious ill fitting underwear cycle.

LINEN CLOSET //
If you have one bed but ten pairs of sheets, that's too many. I own exactly one pair of sheets for my bed. When it's time to wash my sheets, I take them off, wash them and then put them right back on the bed. This keeps me from having to have a place to store excess sheets and I never have to fold a fitted sheet! You know you want to be like me. ;)

This may be unrealistic for a young child's bed (I wouldn't know) but you definitely don't need an excess. Be realistic with your needs and adjust according to your family size. This goes for towels too!

BEDSIDE TABLE //
I've eliminated drawers where I could in my home, including bedside and desk because I find drawers  are famous for becoming catch-alls. Out of sight, out of mind right. I mean, just look at this list! I've already mentioned cutlery drawers, underwear drawers, under your sink might be a drawer too... so it only makes sense to mention any bedside table and it's drawer which is probably full of lost chapsticks, papers, receipts, books, trash, cords for devices you no longer own... open it up and clean out anything that doesn't belong.

Next to my bed is one small floating shelf that holds a little dish for chapstick and hand cream. And that's it. Because I don't need anything else to live beside my bed. It's small so it doesn't become a catch-all, but big enough to hold a glass of water and my phone if needed.

And if you have an Ikea near you grab a few of their big blue bags. They're super cheap and are great for hauling your clutter away. Trust me, they were my best friend during my initial decluttering stages. 

PS. I'd love to hear from you in the comments! & follow me on BlogLovin to stay updated on future content. <3