Home Forums Welcome Hello! Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

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    • #160332
      ChiFlower
      Member

      I’m not sure if this has been done before but thought it might be fun. Looking for tips to make the decluttering process less painful, faster, easier and so on….

    • #233103
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Get a little tipsy before a declutter so that you may have the courage to deal with those more difficult decisions. Although be careful so you don’t do anything you might regret.

    • #233106
      ninakk
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      I don’t think there is any easy, quick way to do this. It developed over the course of a long time and to reverse some of it, evolve away from it, is supposed to take time so we don’t repeat ourselves any longer; it is a lifestyle change after all and we have to give ourselves enough time to learn to enjoy the process, as there is no end result other than our personal death.

      I think a clear mind is key to the process, as well, but to each their own. My best tip is: Patience. If one is patient, one makes well-considered, balanced decisions, because there is no fog clogging up the thoughts.

    • #233109
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      @ninakk that’s a sensible way to look at it.

      however, sometimes there is no time to be patient. Eg. I once had to pack up an entire 3 brm house within a short space of time, and put it all into storage. I had to just do a ruthless declutter as everything that took up space could potentially mean needing a bigger storage unit (which would cost more).

      But, as they say: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” and so, decluttering an entire house cannot be done quickly. It took many years to accumulate so much stuff, and will take time to let go of things as necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #233111
      Allison
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Throw a box away without looking at the inside of it’s contents! Haha! I am kidding, of course! But I have actually heard of this being advised before, and uh, yeah, it’s not happening! Has anyone ever done this or even contemplated doing it?

    • #233112
      clutterbug22
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Allison,

      Apparently Erin ( the founder of this web-site) did this after a move and it turned out that the box contained her passport and other important documents and was a real pain in the whatsit to have to replace obviously! Bad move! It is certainly not something that I would recommend at all.

    • #233113
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      @Allison – as they say, when decluttering- pack up stuff you’re not sure about into a box, put a date on it, and if one year later you’ve never needed anything out of that box, throw it out without looking at the contents. <– don’t know if I could ever do that.

    • #233114
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Tip: When doing grocery shopping, remove sweetcorn husks and outer leaves from lettuce, cabbage, etc, while you’re in the store, so you don’t have to deal with the mess later. (PS My preschooler loves to “help” remove the husks off sweetcorn cobs, leaf by leaf, but it makes a HUGE mess in the kitchen with all the strings etc.)

    • #233129
      Katt
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      I donated three boxes of books without looking inside them. There were some collectibles in there I had forgotten I owned, but honestly, I don’t regret it. I would absolutely not donate a box of random stuff without at least quickly going over it.
      I agree that patience is your best ally during decluttering, but going for the low hanging fruit first does free up room and keep positive momentum going.

    • #233130
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      If I donated a box without looking in it, I would seriously clutter my mind – I would be wondering for months what had been inside. So for me, that isn’t a time saver – but I can see how it could work for others.

    • #233132

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      I don’t recommend using a tornado to unclutter. It’s incredibly fast and effective, but also you don’t get to choose to keep anything. Same goes for a house fire I guess.

      Knowing how you react AFTER uncluttering possessions goes a long way to figuring out if you can do the blitz version or the slow and steady 15 minutes a day version, or something in between.

    • #233133
      Mimi
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      my tip is: DON’T WORRY.

      often, i figured out a worst -case-scenario, especially when i was not sure if i wanted to give a thing away: what might happen if i needed this thing again?! in most cases i realized that i could just go and buy a replacement for this thing. in fact there was no need to replace a thing that i gave away.

    • #233140
      chacha1
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      tip to declutter “easier:” ask the Big 2 questions: 1. have I used this in the past 12-18 months; 2. is it replaceable. If the answer to 1 is “no” and the answer to 2 is “yes,” out it goes.

      tip to declutter “faster:” do a little bit in every room every day. Not meaning find something to get rid of from every room every day, but take one small action each day to make each room cleaner, tidier, more composed, more functional, or more appealing.

      This may or may not involve getting rid of something, but it will ALWAYS involve sparking thoughts about how you want to use the space. And how you use the space should define what is in it.

      For me: every day, I make the bed, sweep the hair off my bathroom floor, get the litter off the coffee table in the den, clear off the kitchen counters and/or wash dishes, and fight the good fight against the clutter-magnet dining table.

      This may be ALL the housework I do on a given day, but it keeps me conscious of the state of each room and it makes my life much more peaceful and comfortable. It also never fails to reveal the object that is extraneous.

    • #233142
      irishbell
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Im an all or nothing declutterer, so i do a whole room at a time.
      You might be a one drawer at a time, that is also fine.
      Have a bag with you when you start and toss stuff into it right away.
      Do NOT have a maybe box. You either keep or toss.
      Get it out if your house as soon as possible, maybe having to toss the stuff in the trash to be rid if it.
      Put on some music, audio book, to keep you going and energized.
      Do it for as long as you can, not just 15 minutes.
      Don’t give stuff too much thought.
      Tidy up and clean what you have kept, so it looks great and will motivate you to keep it that way.

    • #233145
      Meglet
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      @irishbell, funny, I was just going to say “have a maybe box.” ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s probably specific to a person and their styles. And it depends on the stage, too.

      When I originally started, I just used the basic Keep/Toss/Donate options – for each space I de-cluttered, it simplified the choice, and if I wasn’t sure about Toss/Donate, items defaulted to “Keep.” The biggest way this worked was to just go with the easy decisions – and the more stuff there is, the more stuff falls into an “easy” decision.

      Now that I’m down to a lot less stuff, I’ve added a “Maybe” box, for the harder items. I find the “Maybe” box useful for larger items (like CD shelves) or things I might want to sell instead of Donate, or things I’ve had for a long time and aren’t REALLY sentimental but I think they are. And I find that after about a week, nearly everything in the “Maybe” box ends up in the “Donate” pile after all.

      Don’t be afraid to keep sentimental items. I’m not saying keep ALL of them, but it’s OK to keep the ones that really matter, even if you just pack them away (properly, in plastic, not cardboard!.) For example, I used to have boxes of random stuff from my Gram – she was big on handing out little trinkets as gifts. Eventually, I spent the time (gradually over weeks, until that last weekend before moving) to go through them all, and I kept the things that really mattered, like the little tea set she sent my parents from a trip to China. I got rid of the old, broken paperweight that didn’t really have meaning other than “from Gram.”

    • #233146

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      For me, the most important factor is knowing yourself and what works for YOU. All the advice on garages, for example, say to empty it, cull through everything and only put back what you want to keep. I knew that wouldn’t work for us — a more incremental approach met our needs. so — if it’s not working, try another approach. There’s no right or wrong way.

    • #233158
      liag
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      That’s the best answer: whatever is your style. Mine was to go through everything boom-boom-boom, behind doors and in the open.

    • #233171
      Northshore
      Participant

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      I don’t think it matters so much how you unclutter as long as you’re actually doing it, not reading or thinking about it. And you might take a different approach depending on what you’re decluttering. For me, some things, especially things that once brought beauty to my life, are hard to discard and I make the decision in stages. Other stuff, once I see it, goes immediately. I figure as long as there is less stuff today than yesterday, I’m doing okay.

    • #233178
      Ella
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Tip: For spaces smaller than Susan’s garage, or smaller than a breadbox, say a shelf or drawer or counter or table top…
      – whooosh! clear it completely empty
      – clean the empty surface or drawer, making it pristine
      – replace the stuff that truly belongs there
      – PEEP the remaining things to their proper location, which might well end up being the trash bin or recycle bin or donation bag

      This method is SO much swifter and easier and more effective than trying to clean and declutter item by item while they’re still on the surface or in the drawer.

    • #233181
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      If something makes you feel bad every time you look at it, or if it brings up difficult emotions, it’s not the item itself but the emotion/meaning attached to it,that you have difficulty with. Once you work through the feelings and emotions, then it’s easier to let the thing go.

      Eg. …. I had this plush toy, given to my now 3yr old daughter by her (now estranged, disappeared again from our lives) father. Every time I looked at it, it made me feel upset and sad. Part of me wanted to hang on to it because it was from him, but I didn’t want to feel upset and think of him each time I saw it. Not to mention the fact she has far too many plush toys and dolls that are much nicer. Every time I put it in the donate pile, I would get it out again. Until I realised that this thing symbolises the difficult / non-existent relationship between him and his child & me. I gave myself permission to donate it, cried lots of tears, and out it went. I shouldn’t have brought this up, as I’m crying now, but wanted to give an example. It’s not the item, it’s the emotion. And if something doesn’t give you joy, (and actually makes you upset) then it shouldn’t be in your house.

    • #233182
      sleepykitten
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      @ChiFlower – Oh, I’m so sorry! You are 100% correct that processing the emotions is the tough part – not the things. And those are some tough emotions to deal with. You’re very brave for facing them head-on.

    • #233189
      loripax
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      ChiFlower โ€” exactly. There is no reason to hang on to things that cause angst, although it can be very difficult to let them go. I still struggle with that.

      My tip for easier/faster: Spend those five minutes you have in the morning while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew or tea water to boil to do a quick sweep through the kitchen and surrounding areas. In that time I can usually get the dishes in the drainer put away, the dishwasher emptied if it needs it (we don’t run it every night, only when it’s full), fresh dishtowels put out (since the old ones have dried overnight and can go in the laundry basket without causing mildew), anything left on the counter put away, stuff like that.

    • #233191
      ChiFlower
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Thanks sleepykitten. I have kept the pink teddy bear he gave her at her birth, because it does not have those negative connotations, I can look at it and feel ok, because he gave this at a time when he was in our lives. It’s strange how different items can make you feel very different, because of the meaning attached to them (even if they were given by the same person).

    • #233198
      Jude2004
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Recently, what worked for me was to pick up each item, then without much thought, stick it in an airtight container. As I’m nearing the end of this boxing up project, I find that I can now throw things away without boxing them up. A couple of days ago, I went into the basement, looked in a box, and thought, wow, I’ll be able to throw away 90% of this. My plan was inspired by the forum user DirtyBoy who said all his stuff was neatly boxed up, but there was too much stuff. I thought, Heck, I’d be happy if all of mine were just boxed up neatly, so that’s what I’ve been working on. I anticipate that by the time I leave on my first vacation in 24 years in May, I will be able to return to a decluttered house. So maybe it hasn’t been necessarily a “quick” process, but it’s been a useful process.

    • #233214
      Astreja
      Participant

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      If you spot something in the house and it annoys you to look at it, at very least it shouldn’t be there. Pick it up and do something with it (PEEP, give away or trash) so you don’t have to glare or furrow your brow at it again.

    • #233220
      Allison
      Member

      Tips to declutter easier, faster, etc…. add yours!

      Irish ~ I had read what you wrote and it gave me an intense motivation kick, so I went to work! I went through several boxes and I was almost tempted to put some of it back and deal with it later but I decided to go all or nothing. Well, I didn’t conquer Mount Everest in a day (that’s a slight over exaggeration) but I made it half way there with this particular room but I’m happy with what I accomplished. So thank you! =)

      Chi ~ I am very sorry to hear about what you have been going through but I think what you did took a lot of courage. You should be proud of yourself! I think when we let go of those types of possessions we’re allowing ourselves to heal which is exactly what you’re doing now. Cry it out, and if you feel like it cry some more! Don’t suppress those emotions as there is a reason for them and they are nothing to be ashamed of. You did good, girl!

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