Looking to declutter without making a mess? I get it. The mess can be super overwhelming. You feel like you got in over your head with the piles of things all over your home. The decisions are piling up on what items to keep and what you can part with. Well, I have some steps to help teach you how to get rid of stuff without making a mess. Seriously it can be done!
How To Get Rid Of Stuff Without Making A Mess
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Step 1: Make A Plan
You don’t want to make a mess while you declutter. So you need to create a plan for yourself in order to actually not make a mess. And what I mean by plan is to set specific areas you are going to focus on to declutter.
Get really specific in the area you are going to do for your mess-less declutter. When you get really specific you can focus on that one area and only that one area. This ensures you don’t create a big mess which can get you overwhelmed and you just want to stop and cry in the corner.
So let’s stop that overwhelm and get clear on what you are going to do. Tackling the junk drawer? Want to clear out that one drawer in your bedroom closet with too many tops? Toys not fitting into bins? Figure out exactly what you want to tackle and stick to it.
Step 2: Set A Timer + Stick To It
Once you have created your game plan, it is time to set a time for this project to be completed. How long do you think it will take? When you set a timer for your project, you are more likely going to get it all done in the designated time because your mind will basically force you to finish. It is weird brain research but it really does happen!
When you are first starting out, I would suggest giving yourself more time than you need. This will help you get an idea of how long tasks take.
Back when I was going into client’s homes to organize, I would time myself so I had an idea of how long specific rooms would take to organize. Typically an entire play room would take me between 4-6 hours. A closet could be done in about 2-3 hours. Depending on size, kitchens could take up to 12 hours. But once I found this as a guide I could estimate how long other tasks would take.
So start by setting the timer for 30 minutes to clear your junk drawer. It should only take you about 15 minutes but with that buffer you will feel more confident in your abilities to tackle smaller projects.
Step 3: Be Decisive, B-E Decisive
In order for the timer to work, you have to be decisive. Like legit decisive. There is no room for pondering if you may or may not use this gadget if you are trying to declutter without making a mess. Seriously stop overthinking and start making quick decisions.
If you are unsure of a particular item, put it in a bin and store in your storage area. Before you leave that storage area, set a reminder on your phone for 1 month from now. When that reminder goes off you can check to see if any of the items in the box were used. If not, that is a good indication that you don’t need them. If you do find you need that item, you know where it is located in the storage room so you can grab it and keep it in your home.
This trick has worked for hundreds of families. It gives them the sense of calm knowing they aren’t getting rid of all the things but they are simply paying more attention to what isn’t necessary anymore.
Step 4: Go Drawer By Drawer
We have made our plan, set a timer, and made a commitment to be decisive. Now you get to start decluttering. Start with the only spot on your plan. Let’s say it is the kitchen utensils drawer in your kitchen. Remove everything from that drawer only. Lay those items out neatly on your counter. Clean the drawer if you need to.
Then put back the items into that drawer that you use. Place them in the drawer in logical groupings if you feel the need.
Now, whatever is left over isn’t necessary in that drawer, so you can get rid of it. Either sell, donate, or trash.
These can be rather difficult things to tackle, but it is necessary if you are going to declutter your items. A lot of my in home clients struggled with this step because the felt guilty for not using an item, an item being gifted, or the fact that they spent money on it and haven’t used it. We need to stop drowning in stuff because we feel bad. Part ways with those items because they are no longer serving you. Make a plan to donate items to your local donation center. I have a giant list of donation centers here that would love to take your good quality items.
Step 5: Make A List
Step 5 is the most important step. You must make a list of the items in that drawer, cabinet, or bin. The reason why is because you aren’t doing a giant declutter. You are doing a slow and mess-less declutter, so there could be duplicates in your home. By creating lists, you can fact check yourself if you see an item you may have already decluttered or stored in a different location.
This list will also serve as a reminder for all the things you do own. And by visually seeing it all, you probably won’t go out and buy that additional kitchen gadget you may never use.
So start by making a game plan. You can use my free declutter game plan planner to do so. Then make an estimate for how long the task is going to take. Add that to your planner. Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to be decisive in what you keep and what you donate. Go drawer by drawer or cabinet by cabinet to create a mess-free declutter session. Make a list of everything you are keeping so you can cross-reference when you move onto a different drawer or cabinet to declutter. And you have just done a mess-free declutter of your home!