18 Mar

Clearing Clutter: Let’s Get Started

Spring is often associated with cleaning and clearing clutter.  We have talked a bit about emotional clutter but let’s get physical.  When was the last time you cleaned out that junk drawer or emptied the garage out?

There are sites and an abundance of Pinterest boards devoted to cleaning and the clearing of stuff.  Sites like Becoming Minimalist and Fly Lady give us a good place to start. Author and clutter buster, Peter Walsh has made a career about getting rid of stuff. He has written books titled Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? and It’s All Too Much. His newest book Let It Go: Downsizing Your Way To A Richer, Happier Life addresses modern day dilemas such as downsizing your home and aging parents.

A recent trend to North America is Swedish death cleaning.  I heard this term from a friend the other day and wanted to know more.  She  mentioned that her parents had invited the children over to take some of the stuff they wanted because they were “death cleaning”.  Now these parents are young but they just wanted to let go of stuff now, whether if be to Goodwill or their own children.

Start Small

Pick the junk drawer in the hallway or your home office desk top.  Make it a manageable task that you can complete in the time you have set aside.  The satisfaction that you get from that achievement will help carry you through to tackle larger cleaning tasks.

Create a Plan

Create a plan that works for you.  There are lots of templates you can find to get you started.  Find something that appeals to you.  Do you prefer a step by step guide or maybe you would rather use some printables that you can customize and check off as you go.

Becoming a Minimalist offers 10 Principles to Help Anyone Clear Clutter. This can help to get you started.

Set a Timer

Yes, set a timer just as you would when you are baking or making a meal.  It is truly astounding the difference 15 minutes a day can make.  Set the timer, walk into a room with a garbage bag in hand and just go through a pile or corner in that room.  Put things in their place or throw out or re-purpose things that you no longer need.

Label Some Bins

Boxes, bins…it really doesn’t matter.  Have a box for Donating, Selling and Keeping.  You may even want to have a Maybe box to go through again if you are having trouble deciding. As you go through a room put things in their designated box.  Eventually you will have accomplished what you need to and you can move to another room.

The process may seem hard at first but eventually letting go becomes easier and almost joyful.  You will feel lighter and may even find yourself feeling happier and calmer so give it a try.


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