What is the one area of your home or office that is cluttered up more than the other areas? How long has it been this way? Why have you been avoiding tackling this area? Does the thought of improving the cluttered area overwhelm you? Are you delaying making decisions about the stuff in the cluttered area? What is keeping you from ridding your home or office of this frustration?
For most people, the amount of frustration and anxiety felt about a cluttered area in your home or office is disproportionately higher than the energy required to alleviate the situation. The proverbial bark is worse than the bite. You may have felt stress about the clutter for months, but dealing with it might only require two days of your time. Instead of looking at the clutter longer and continuing to let your blood boil, why not simply deal with the situation?
If you’re ready to take on this clutter, follow these steps to make it happen:
- Decide what matters most to you. Having a clear set of priorities will help to motivate you while you work. When you know what you want room for in your life, it’s easier to make that room.
- Envision exactly what you want at the end of this specific uncluttering and organizing project. How will the space look? What will remain in this area? What won’t be in this space? Draw or write out exactly what you want to keep you on track during your work.
- Start small. You don’t have to unclutter the entire area all in one time period. If the project is a large one, break it into small sections and schedule the necessary steps on your calendar.
- Work methodically. Make piles of what should stay, what should go, and what needs extra attention (returned to a friend, repaired, etc.). Schedule appointments for charitable pick ups or drop offs. Play music to keep you motivated. Whatever methods you choose to use, just be sure to have a routine in place to give you the best chance for success.
- Apply the red velvet rope standard and remind yourself of what matters most to you if you have trouble parting with your clutter. Also, keep your final vision for the space in front of you and avoid feeling misplaced guilt. Take digital photographs or make scans of anything you want to remember but don’t need the actual item to trigger those happy thoughts.
- Once the area is clear of clutter, clean it. If the area needs repairs, do them. If you need more or less furniture to organize the space, make that happen. Give the walls a fresh coat of paint if they need them, vacuum or scrub floors, and make the area shine.
- Organize the items that will remain in the area. Make sure that everything you plan to keep in this area has a permanent space to live. Remember: A place for everything, and everything in its place. Put those things you will access the most often in the easiest places to access. Put things you will access less often in the less convenient storage spots.
- Celebrate! Once you’ve worked through your cluttered area and made it into a space you enjoy, take the time to appreciate your hard work. We all enjoy getting gold stars for our efforts, so give yourself the gold star you deserve.
Good luck getting rid of the clutter in the one area of your home or office that has been causing you the most stress and anxiety.