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Decluttering: Think Small Edition

In order to grow yourself, a lot of work may be required to clear space for the new. That opportunity can be exciting but also a bit overwhelming.

Let's talk about how you can make physical space, which in turn, provides mental space for new thoughts and opportunities.

How do you declutter? Practically speaking, what does it look like to clear space for the new?

Decluttering is a process, not an event. So think small - almost as small as possible.

  1. Remove items that are trash

  2. Remove items that you no longer use

  3. Remove items that you no longer love

These items can go to the trash, recycling, other people or be donated. It doesn't matter though - they are no longer occupying your physical space and mental space.

There are many ways to declutter but here are a few suggestions for how to approach decluttering your space, think small and avoid overwhelm:

I'll always start here: Define Your Why

In order to build momentum and keep it, even when things get hard, you will need to define your why. I always start here. I wrote a whole post about why it's important here.

To help you get started, here's my typical why as I declutter: I want to find everything a home and put it in it's place, where it can be found and enjoyed and keeps the visual clutter to a minimum (for my sanity).

Just as an aside: if I cannot find a home for something or it never gets there, something needs reworked or reevaluated.

Choose one spot (maybe even a hot spot)

I'd challenge you to lean in on one space to declutter. Consider tackling one of your hot spots. You know, one of the spots that ends up as a catch all for stuff at your house. Wouldn't it feel good to get it cleared?

If that seems too big, choose something else but focus your decluttering energy in one place and see the progress more quickly.

Use the energy when you have it.

You know the days when you just want to clear all the things?!? Use that energy!

When you don't, try any of these:

  • 100 things challenge - With a quickness, you likely already know many things that you intend to declutter. This challenge is to count them....100 things decluttered within a certain timeframe. I like to try this over a weekend where I know I will be doing a deep dive somewhere in my house.

  • Work with a friend - With a friend, decide that both of you will declutter the same space in each of your homes. Text pictures or chat about the process and encourage each other at the same time.

  • Before starting your next thing, declutter your work space - Start with the next things you are about to do and declutter that area before you begin your task.

Set up your outbox for easy decision making

An outbox is exactly that - a box designated for items headed out of the house. I have an Amazon box in my garage that holds anything that I have decided to declutter, as I make the decision.

When I decide, items are put directly in the box and once the box is full or when I'm headed to the thrift store, it's all ready to go. I hardly even review what's inside now.

Consider your season

When you consider your season, you are thinking not exclusively about calendar seasons.

Seasons can include a timeframe where you are required to focus more heavily in a specific area of life or that require more attention outside of the norm for you.

For example, a season of adjustment is needed following major changes in life, both good and bad. For a time, schedules and thinking outside of routine will be needed. Naming that season as a 'season of ________" can help you allow for some flexibility during that timeframe.

Once you move from a season, there may be physical items that are no longer of use to you and you may find that it's easier to declutter them.

Small progress is still progress

A win is a win is a win! Decluttering one drawer in the kitchen or one part of your desk or one part of a closet is still progress. You have removed things that you no longer have to shift around or look past when you go in that space. Celebrate it!

While decluttering addresses the physical space and items in it, you will find that it also begins to clear away mental clutter as well. You will feel lighter! AND it can be done in very small steps!

Decluttering can provide some physical and mental space for you to consider something new or to continue on to larger projects. What could you pursue with a little more space?


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