Decluttering 101: help + a flowchart!

Spring cleaning is in the air and garage sales are just around the corner! For those who don’t know me, I am hyper-organized. Like… hyper. Over the years I’ve finessed my decluttering skills, so I thought I would share for those of you who have trouble deciding whether something should stay or be tossed/Goodwilled. Here’s how to free your home, and thus, your mind, of all. that. clutter.

  1. Throw it all away. Well, not all, but most. The only way you’ll keep your home clean is if you lose all the crap you don’t need. Sure, your mom gave you that “Best Mom Award” badge when your baby was born but now he’s, well, ten, and you don’t need a badge anymore to know that you’re awesome. Time to get rid of old junk.
  2. If you can’t even bear the thought of starting to figure out what to toss, don’t think about it. Just look around. Wherever you stand, look around. Take one minute to glance at your surroundings, whatever they may be, and choose one thing that can be tossed. Bonus points if you choose more than one. Eventually you’ll do this for long enough that you’ll look around and find you’re not willing to part with anything, so don’t. You’re done. Move on to step 3.
  3. Pick ONE spot in your house that bugs you. The first one you think of is the best place to start – it’s the one that needs it the most. For my most recent spring declutter session this was my sock drawer. Seriously. It hurt my eyes every time I opened that drawer, which hurt my heart. But, worse than that, it took me at least a minute, usually more, to find what I was looking for. That is wasted time people, time that I can never get back. Sure it’s just one extra minute. And then another one when I can’t find the right shirt because the laundry’s still unsorted. And another one when I can’t find the coffee grinder because it’s not where I thought I put it. And another one when I… you get it.
  4. I know you love love love the baby blanket your Nona started to knit on the day you were born, but, sorry, it could use a better home. Artwork and knick-knacks are overlooked about a minute after they’re put on display, and everything you’ve thrown in a closet will die there unless you take it out, so if there’s something that you love collecting dust on a shelf or buried in the linen closet, now is the time to honour it. Again, use the “Look around right now” principle from step 2 and pick one item that’s visible when you’re sitting on the couch/toilet/a kitchen chair that could use a better home. I’m not telling you to throw away beloved artifacts from your childhood, I’m suggesting you find a better way to honour said beloved artifacts.

This is the point in my articles when I start to ramble and even I get bored. So to keep you interested (maybe?) I came up with a handy flowchart to help guide you in your decluttering quest. This is literally a back-of-the-envelope drawing peeps, so it’s got to be special, right? Hope you find it useful and let me know if you have any questions! Happy decluttering!

How to declutter flow chart

 © Charise Jewell, 2017