How to Start Getting Started with Decluttering
By Amity Farr formerly with Simple Fly Life
When someone has “too much stuff,” getting underway with finding freedom from stress
may look impossible. The collection of knickknacks, memorabilia, and whatzamacallits
looks like a fortress on a hill, standing in the way of living your best life.
Friend if this is you, you are not alone! And, there is much hope!
In my years as a professional decluttering coach, I have found that it helps to prepare
for the attack before actually storming the castle of items stealing your serenity. Here
are three preparations that it helps to do prior to your actual tackling of piles:
- Gather your supplies.
Sharpies and note paper for making labels.
Packing tape, sturdy boxes, and heavy trash bags if you are storing items or donating
Your favorite drink is a must for keeping charged during your purge
- Set aside time to work.
If you have a calendar or daily planner, pencil in time like you would if you were
employed. You should keep your commitment to yourself like you would an employer,
family or friends.
Protect that schedule and have lunch with the girls at another time.
- Dress comfortably.
a. Hair up in a ponytail or back in clips, headbands, or bobby pins is fantastic and will keep
flyaways from annoying you.
b. An oversized t-shirt that has survived a couple decades and could tell many stories is
great. And, all the spandex or yoga pants you can handle to gear you up to declutter like a
boss. There will likely be a lot of bending and lifting; make sure you are comfortable.
c. Finally, your favorite music should be playing loud enough to suit you (but perhaps
annoy your neighbors).
When you are prepared, you will be ready to do the hardest part of decluttering:
Starting. Simply start. (And, pick the easy things first so you get a quick win.)
I love the idea of starting with easy things, or “low-hanging fruit.” Skip trying to purge
memorabilia or sentimental things and start with bulky items like excess kitchen gadgets
and appliances, or something big like camping equipment you will never use or extra
bedding. Trust me, being able to see a change in your environment quickly is a catalyst
for more determination and motivation.
To overcome inertia, fear, anxiety, and stress that happens when you start a project,
remember how to eat an elephant – one bite at a time. I want you to think of things in
terms of “one.” What I mean is, one drawer at a time, one shelf at a time, or one side of
the room at a time. Refrain from bopping from project to project and space to space.
Do one drawer, one shelf, and you will start seeing change.
Know that Rome (just like your collections) weren’t built in a day and it will take time to
downsize from what has taken years to accumulate. Having the right mindset, tools,
and uniform can make all the difference.
Amity Collatt Farr – Owner – Simple Fly Life