by Susan Caplan McCarthy
This is part two of a series on arts and crafts.
You love making arts and crafts, but that doesn’t mean you love chaos. While some artists and crafters thrive in a space where supplies intermingle and perhaps generate ideas for new creations; others find visual clutter draining.
In the first part of this series, How to Declutter Your Art and Craft Supplies, I explained how to clear materials that you no longer use or that you have in excess. When you start thinking about how you want to organize the supplies you’re keeping, consider if the organizing tools you’ve been using have helped or hindered you.
Your Organizing Needs
For example, you may have a lot of craft supplies stored in cardboard boxes. Even if you have the boxes labeled with the contents, not seeing what you have might lead you to purchasing stuff you already have. Maybe you have to paw through oversized bins to find what you’re looking for because stuff isn’t sorted.
If you like your storage, but you think you just need more, consider if you really need to declutter so you have fewer supplies. If a bin doesn’t close or a drawer doesn’t shut, is there a reason to keep everything you are storing? Temporary excess, because you’re working on holiday gifts, doesn’t really require more storage, just acceptance that the situation is temporarily more chaotic than you’d like.
The number of media you engage in, how much stuff for you have for each medium, and how often you make those types of projects affect how you organize your supplies. You want to think about this before you decide to store your supplies on your desk, a shelf, or in a closet.
Where Do You Make Art?
Do you have a dedicated workspace? Do you store supplies near the area you work? Some media are portable – if you do watercolors or knit, then you can store supplies in one place and make art somewhere else. On the other hand, if you scrapbook or make cards, you need your supplies where you do this work.
Thinking of how and where you make art can help you decide where you need to find your supplies. Don’t think that you need a dedicated craft room or a craft/office space to be organized.
The Art and Craft Supplies You Need Now
The supplies you need now are whatever you are using for the current project. If your current project does not use colored pencils, then you don’t want those pencils in your work area.
The Art Supplies You Need Soon
If you engage in a variety of media, what you need now and what you need soon may stay in flux. Today you need this, tomorrow you need that. You want the materials that you’ll need soon to be handy. You don’t want to put these supplies in a big storage box in your basement.
Can you find someplace more accessible? I know, you have limited space in your home, so you need to examine what is important to you. If you make art or you craft nearly every day, the time you are investing in creating beautiful things suggests this is a priority for you. If you do most of your crafting in the fall, then you don’t need bins of supplies in the corner of your living room.
The Craft Supplies You Need Later
You can define ‘later’ how you wish. Maybe every Sunday afternoon, you plan an hour or two for scrapbooking. You don’t use your supplies any other day of the week. In this case, you wouldn’t need the pens, decorative scissors, or adhesives you use to sit out on your desk.
If the other days of the week, you use your desk for sorting the mail or your kids sit there to do homework, you don’t want a Mason jar of decorative edge scissors sitting on a shelf as a distraction.
Craft Supplies You Rarely Use
Maybe you make candles a couple of times a year or once a year for a week you make Christmas wreaths. You don’t need these supplies sitting in the corner of your living room. These supplies can live in the basement or the back of a closet. If you must shuffle around a few things to reach what you want, that isn’t a big deal since you don’t use these items that often. However, if the items are buried under so much stuff that it takes you a half hour to reach what you want, you should ask why and how so much stuff got in the way.
In Part Three, I’ll talk about the shelves, cubbies, drawers, bins, etc. that you can use to store your supplies. Along with thinking about how often you use your supplies, consider how visible you want your supplies. Would you want items in clear bins or opaque, cloth drawers? Do you need to or want to move your supplies to different locations?
I’ve been curating a board on Pinterest for organizing art and craft supplies, if you are looking for some images of organized craft rooms and spaces.
Please comment below about your challenges or solutions with organizing your art and craft supplies.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
Read almost any article on organizing and you’ll be told to give everything you have a ‘home.” At some point, you may have even had someone chime at you, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” You may find yourself a bit vague about what this means and how to apply the idea of giving your stuff a home.
Why Your Stuff Needs a Home
If you’ve ever lost your keys or your wallet … while in your house, you know the benefit to putting items in their place. Not only do you save time day-to-day, but if something happened to you, you wouldn’t leave family and friends floundering through papers, clothing, and other pieces of your life.
If that thought is too morbid for you, let’s go back to thinking about the hours you would save each week not looking for your checkbook, favorite pair of earrings, or that $100 gift card you were going to use this weekend.
Clutter is anything that is unnecessary and is in the wrong place. Although this may seem a harsh definition, think about it. If your dining table or kitchen counter is hidden by stuff, as you sort through it, what do you do with everything? You either toss it or move it someplace else.
The place you moved the item to? That was its home. If you have a lot of clutter, then you may not have considered where things belong in your home.
Where Should You Put Stuff?
Think about the function of a room or a piece of furniture in a room. Bookshelves are for storing books (and maybe a few knickknacks). Your kitchen is for preparing, cooking, and (maybe) eating meals. Your bedroom is for sleeping and for time with your partner. Your closet is for storing clothing.
This seems straightforward until you stop to realize that you store paper files in your closet, you pile books on the floor beside your bed, and you store pots and pans in your laundry room. Does this stuff belong where you’ve put it?
See? Deciding where things will go in your house isn’t confusing; although, if you have a lot of clutter, you’ll have a lot of items to bring to their proper place. Please note – you decide where you want stuff to go. If you don’t like that your husband throws his coat over the back of a kitchen chair when he comes home, you may need to explain to him where his coat should go. (But, first, make certain his coat will fit in that closet.)
Step One – Decide on Each Room (and Closet’s) Purpose – Grab a notebook and walk around your house listing the rooms and closets. (Give each its own page.) List what you do in each room and what you store in each room and closet. If you have a partner or children, ask for their participation. Do the kids wish they could watch movies in that room in the basement while your husband wants to turn it into a man cave where his buddies can come over and watch sports or shoot some pool? You won’t know where to put stuff until you know what happens in a room.
Don’t worry, not every room should be in contention. You know what goes on in your kitchen, the master bedroom, and the bathrooms. If there are toys in the kitchen or master bedroom, decide where the toys should be found. This doesn’t mean your child can’t play with the Etch-a-Sketch while you’re making dinner; but, when they’re done playing, they return the toy to their room.
Step Two – Decide on the Purpose of the Furniture and Built-in Storage – A chair is for sitting, not for storing a pile of magazines. Your pantry cabinet is for food … so, why do you have canned goods in your basement? Your dining table is for eating dinner and not storing papers, gift wrap materials, and craft supplies. Do you want current issues of magazines displayed on your coffee table or should it be empty but for a vase of dried flowers?
By deciding what you want to do in each room, you also define what gets stored (or displayed) where. When you know what belongs, it is easier to notice what’s out of place … and to know where to take that item.
Know it’s okay to be quirky with where you store stuff if you and everyone in your family knows where it is. I don’t have a linen closet, so I use a cabinet in my kitchen to store sheets and towels. (I live in a bungalow where both the bathroom and master bedroom are off the kitchen.)
Let everyone know where to find and return things. Institute the rule, ‘if you move it; return it.’
Yes, all this decision-making and talking to your family about what they’d like to do in each room takes time. But this planning time is so worth it because everyone will know where things belong.
If you’ve tried to declutter in the past and got overwhelmed because you didn’t know what to do with stuff, taking these steps to decide where things should go will save you those stressful questions.
Get the family involved. Put on some music, set a timer, and have everyone look for items that don’t belong in a room and then bring the items to the place it belongs. Yes, there will be fine-tuning. You want the kids to keep their toys in their rooms, but it isn’t clear where to fit these items in that room. That’s where decluttering comes in, so you only have the items you use and enjoy. Keep going with the article, How to Declutter Your House in Three Steps or read my book, Decadent Decluttering for tips on sorting through the excess in your home.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
I’ll be addressing ways to organize art and craft supplies in a few posts over the next couple of weeks. (I’ll fit in some non-craft specific articles in between for those folks not interested in this topic.
I can’t remember what book, blog, or article I was reading a short time ago that suggested that if you wanted to minimize your stuff – and you were a crafter or artist, you should switch from a less stuff-intensive craft, such as quilting to something with fewer supplies – like calligraphy.
I was appalled.
I’m gathering that the author would not consider themselves a maker.
If you make art as a hobbyist or business owner or teacher, you wouldn’t switch from cake decorating to quilling for the sake of less stuff.
When people minimalize their stuff and their schedule, they do so intentionally to have more time to do what they enjoy. What if you wanted to simplify your life so you had more time to knit for charity or paint watercolor landscapes?
It is true that making art involves stuff. So, what do you do about your art and craft supplies when you are decluttering and organizing other areas of your home?
I’ve recently finished writing a 50-page book on How to Organize Art and Craft Supplies. I’ve taught art and craft classes for weeklong creative art summer camps as well as homeschool and afterschool programs for fourteen of the past twenty years. I’ve also drawn, painted, done origami, made handcrafted journals and books, done rubber stamp and sticker art, knit, crocheted, made cards, and tried calligraphy, basket weaving, spinning and weaving.
When it comes to organizing art and craft supplies, you still follow the basic principles of decluttering and organizing. However, you may end up with more stuff in this category that you’d have after cleaning your closet.
How to Declutter Art and Craft Supplies
Remember, you can declutter your supplies, but not someone else’s stuff. If you have kids, ask them to help you sort through what they have. Ask them if there is stuff they don’t like.
Also, do you have duplicate supplies? Maybe you forgot that you had a brand-new skein of black yarn at home when you added another one to your shopping cart while at the craft store. Maybe you couldn’t find your tube white acrylic paint and bought more. Gathering your supplies showed that you have four new or nearly new tubes of white paint.
If you have an excess of white paint, pink cardstock, or black yarn, either give away the excess or make a point of using it in your next few products so to bring your stock down to a more manageable inventory.
In the next article, I’ll talk about organizing your supplies. In the meantime, look at the supplies you are keeping. Do you like the bins, shelves, cubbies, and other organizers you use to store your supplies? Do you like the space where you make art? Do you like the space where you store your supplies? Do you have other options?
If you have an area that you’d like some tips and techniques for decluttering and organizing, tell me about it in the comments below and it may become the topic for a future article.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
I was listening to a talk on personal productivity the other day and the speaker brought up the line, “When you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you are saying ‘no’ to something else.” You’ve probably heard that line before when it comes to decision-making or time management.
However, I think this line can also apply to decluttering. Think about it, when you say ‘yes’ to keeping an item, you are saying ‘no’ to the physical space and the peace of mind you could gain from releasing that item.
Look at the items surrounding you. If there are objects that you aren’t sure you can get rid of, question if you are caught up in FOMO – the fear of missing out.
When you say ‘yes’ to holding onto objects that you don’t use and don’t even like, what are you saying ‘no’ to?
Let’s flip around that line and how it can help you make decisions while decluttering. “When you say ‘no’ to one thing, you are saying ‘yes’ to something else.”
What would you say ‘yes’ to if you said, “No, I don’t need those things cluttering my life?”
Do you know someone struggling with clutter (who wants help clearing it)? Please forward this email to them or share this article on Facebook.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
I’ve asked a few people, “Why do you want to declutter your home?” “I hate feeling overwhelmed by all this stuff,” is the common response. I need to get better at asking follow-up questions; so, I’ll send them out to you here.
We realize we are not our stuff and that clutter isn’t about the stuff but about our expectations for our lives. So, what do you want from your life?
If you look at your stuff (or think about areas where you’ve decluttered), what does it say about your expectations for your time? Is there exercise equipment, hobby supplies, books, clothing, and other things here and there in your home that suggest you live a life very different from the way you actually spend your days?
So, why do you want to declutter your home? How will your home reflect the life you want to lead? Read more at What Is Your Why for Clearing the Clutter? and add your comments below or on Facebook.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
You know the routine. While decluttering, sort your stuff into piles – keep, donate, toss, sell, gift – the number and names of the piles may be different depending on your project and which Organizer’s system you are using. However, after you sort stuff into piles, do you really know what your next step is?
For example, when you create a “sell” pile, do you know where or how you are selling those items? To which charity is your “donate” pile going and how is it getting there? Although it seems obvious that you plan to do something with your piles, you may want to think through some of these logistics before you get involved in a major decluttering project.
Why? Because if stuff that’s supposed to leave doesn’t, you haven’t really decluttered, you’ve simply moved stuff to a new location.
When You Want to Donate Your Clutter
Just because you don’t want that end table or you can’t wear those jeans, it doesn’t mean someone else can’t use them. When you donate an item to charity the item may go directly to a person in need or it may get sold in a thrift store so that the money earned can purchase necessary supplies.
Will you donate to one charity? Or, will clothing go to the local thrift shop, books to the town library, and furniture to a charity that will come to your house and pick up the items? Will you (can you) leave stuff alongside the street with a “FREE” sign? If you know where stuff will go, you won’t have piles-in-waiting throughout your house.
Pickup Service – Every so often, I get a postcard in my mailbox about a charity that will have a truck in the area on a certain date to pick up donations right from my house – all I have to do is make a phone call or schedule online. The charity’s website will tell you how they use your donation. Having the charity pick up the boxes you leave in the driveway is convenient … however, it might be a few weeks before they will be in your area.
Of course, even before you start decluttering, you could contact a charity, schedule a pickup and then focus on filling bags and boxes by that date. Make sure the charity will take the items you leave out. If they say, “no furniture,” they will leave it in your driveway.
Drop-off Donation Centers and Boxes – Look online to see where the closest donation center is and find out their hours of operation. Can you drop off stuff when they aren’t open? If you are choosy about what charity you are dealing with, you may have to drive further or out of your way. Will that be a deterrent to handling this task?
Once you bag or box your items for donation, put them in the car right away so the next time you are driving around you can drop off the items (unless you are making a special trip). Obviously, this task will be easier to carry out if you live or work near the donation center.
In my area, I see a lot of businesses that allow donation boxes for different charities to sit in their parking lots. If you want more information on the charity, you can research it online to find out what percentage of funds go to operating expenses and salaries versus those individuals the charity says they help. However, if you are more interested in getting the items out of your house, then that is your goal.
When You Want to Give Items as Gifts to Friends and Family
Maybe you pass along a book to a friend with the recommendation that she gives it to someone else when she’s done reading it. Maybe you give your job-hunting nephew that suit jacket that doesn’t fit you. Baby clothes go to your sister-in-law. Grandma’s china is claimed by your daughter.
However, until you actually hand the item to the recipient, it isn’t really theirs – it’s still yours. This means, you need to see the person and hand them the item or you need to ship it to them. If you’ve finally decided that you don’t want your grandmother’s china (after much anguished deliberation) and your niece claims it, but you won’t see her until Christmas, in eight months, do you really want to store the item that long? One box may not be an issue (if you have the space); however, after you’ve decided that you can get rid of something, keeping it sends your brain mixed messages. Also, what do you do if you forget to give the item to the person?
Also, is the individual taking the item because they truly want it or because they don’t want to tell you, “no?” When giving an item as a gift, you may want to tell the person that they are free to pass the item along in the future. If an item has a special memory, write a note to the new owner.
When You Want to Sell Your Clutter
It’s tempting to want to recoup at least some of the money you spent on the items you are now releasing. How will you do this? Consignment shop? Resale website? Yard sale? eBay? Craigslist? Auction house? Pawn shop?
Different items will likely require a variety of venues. It will be difficult to ship a hutch; having someone who will carry out of your house is preferred. Will you take the time to photograph items, post descriptions online, pack items, and then bring them to UPS or USPS to ship? If you haven’t sold things online, you may want to talk to a friend or coworker who has so that you have a better sense of how much time this will take and if it’s financially worth the work.
Again, knowing up front what you’ll do with different items will help you move them out faster. If you think that you’ll have a yard sale in September, you don’t have much incentive to declutter in February because you’ll have all those boxes around for months and it won’t feel like you did any decluttering!
You likely have a fairly good idea about what you own, so you can start investigating different options for selling stuff even before you start decluttering.
When You Know You’ll Have Stuff to Toss
Do you have a limit to how much trash or recycling you can throw out each week (you’re limited to what fits in the bin)? Do you normally fill the bin, or do you have space left over? You may decide to limit some of your decluttering efforts to the two extra bags of trash that you could fit in the bin each week.
Would you need a dumpster? How long is the rental? This fee would be an incentive to work faster!
Do you have a lot of papers with personal information that would need to be shredded? Do you want to do this by hand or bring the papers to a service (or have the service come to you if you have that much paper)?
Yes, you could figure out all this stuff when the situation arises; but, remember, your goal is to get the stuff out of your house. If you end up holding onto bags and boxes for longer than a week or two, the chances of that stuff remaining at your house becomes riskier. An hour or so of internet research up front can make it easier on you to donate, sell, gift, or toss the items you’ve decided to release from your home.
Looking for suggestions about how to sort through your stuff? My book, Decadent Decluttering: How to Declutter Your Stuff to Find Meaning and Simplify Your Life, takes you through sorting and purging your stuff, category by category.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
If you are involved in a major decluttering task, be it at your home or a parent or relative’s house, it’s all too easy to feel as if you need to keep pushing yourself through the task until it’s done – even if you know it will take days, weeks, or even months, to reach a “finish line.”
You may face a lot of negative self-talk, “Look at all the money I wasted on this stuff.” “Why did they keep this stuff? Didn’t mom and dad care how much time it would take me to get rid of their junk?” “How did I let things get so out of hand?” “I need to keep pushing myself as punishment for ending up in this position.”
However, some self-care can help you stay energized during your decluttering project. Taking care of yourself while decluttering and rewarding yourself afterwards will help you realize that you are accomplishing a lot.
In 2009, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I moved in together, selecting an apartment between his mother’s and my parents’ houses (which were maybe one mile apart). Several weeks later, my mother died, and I’d regularly check on my father on my way home from work. In 2011, he was diagnosed with dementia and moved into assisted living.
I was in the habit, each morning, of driving to a nearby park to take a walk. I drove past my father’s house. Assisted living is expensive, so I wasn’t certain if and when we’d need to sell the house. One day, instead of driving to the park, I stopped at the house to wrap my head around what would be involved in emptying the place. My parents were hoarders – everything had seemed important to them. I filled some bags of trash and then asked my brother if he could call his connection and get us a dumpster.
Once the dumpster arrived, I never went on my walks. I’d dress for exercise, but then stop to empty the house. My flexible work schedule didn’t help because I could get caught up most mornings in four or five hours of going through boxes and bags and cabinets.
I’d finally realize that I hadn’t eaten breakfast … and it was lunchtime. I was reacting to the dust and mold I’d stirred up while purging. I’d go home, shower, eat lunch, and crash on the couch. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I was overwrought.
Self-Care While Decluttering Your House
There are a few things that you can do to be nice to yourself while you are decluttering.
Self-Care Rewards for Getting Rid of Clutter
If you spent four hours cleaning your closet or eight hours sorting through the garage, you deserve a reward. Even if you have more decluttering to do, give yourself some downtime to recharge and reflect on what you’ve accomplished.
Yes, You Deserve a Break
I know, you’ll just go through one more box of stuff and then get a snack. Or, if you squeeze in an extra hour’s work today, you’re convinced that you’ll get done faster – only, you haven’t noticed that the longer you work, the slower you go.
Plan. If you are sorting through boxes of paper in your home office, have a bottle of water and a snack on your desk when you start. Set your smartphone alarm as a reminder to stop, even if for five minutes. Make time to reread a favorite book at the end of the day. Be nice to yourself.
However, don’t reward yourself for getting rid of clutter with a trip to the mall! Plan a nice experience – a trip to a museum or the library, a walk in the woods or a couple hours at the beach, or even dinner with someone special – for when you finish with a room or complete a task you know will be difficult (such as sorting old photographs).
These are all things that I wish I had offered myself while decluttering my parents’ house; now, I offer them to you.
If you are decluttering your home, I offer ways to sort through everything from jewelry to the pantry to collectibles in my book Decadent Decluttering. I also offer a free program, A Year of Decluttering, in which I send you daily emails with a 15-minute task that will help you clear the excess from your home.
by Susan Caplan McCarthy
At some point, you look around your house and wonder, “How did it get this way? Where did all this clutter come from?” We both know that clutter doesn’t appear overnight; instead, it’s more insidious.
You don’t have the time to go through the mail for a couple of days, it gets piled in the corner, and you never go back to it when you get a chance. Or, maybe you started decluttering a drawer or cabinet, but you didn’t plan enough time to finish the task and so now you have stuff spread all over the place.
Below, I’m going to describe a three-step process that will help you tackle your clutter. You can use it to declutter room-by-room or to work through your entire home. Whether you have thirty minutes or three hours, you can make this process work. Here’s the tricky part – you need to declutter every day.
Why? Because that’s how your clutter got there. Every day, something was set down in the wrong place and never returned. Trash or recycling ended up on a table instead of the trash bin. You tried on a shirt you haven’t worn since last year, realized it didn’t fit, and returned it to your closet instead of moving it to your donation box.
Clutter appears bit-by-bit every day. You get rid of clutter by eliminating it bit-by-bit.
What You Need to Get Started
You’ll need some trash bags. You’ll also need a box labeled for donations, although these can be items that you intend to give to a friend or family member as well as items meant as a charity donation. If you want to host a yard sale, pick a date now and select a spot where you will collect items for this sale. However, if the sale date comes and goes, break out the packing tape, seal those boxes, and take the stuff to the nearest donation center.
The third thing you’ll need is a laundry basket or similar size bin that you can walk around with and fill with items that need to be brought to another spot in your home.
How Much Time You’ll Need to Make a Difference
Finally, you also need a schedule. Like I mentioned, you want to work on decluttering your home every day. Look at how you spend your time at home. Do you scroll through Facebook for half an hour after dinner? Do you sit down and watch television for two or three hours?
I know. You want to unwind after a long day. However, what’s more important – sitting on the couch binge-watching while eating an entire bag of chips or making your home a place where you can de-stress at the end of a day without beating yourself up about the mess surrounding you?
If you can squeeze in 30-minutes, fantastic! If you can declutter for two- or three-hours, great! Maybe you fit in four-hours on Sunday, 15-minutes on Monday, an hour on Tuesday, 30-minutes on Wednesday, etc.
How much time doesn’t matter as much as consistency does. How long the process takes depends on how much stuff you have and how much time you can give to decluttering. In a week or two, you should notice a difference, even you aren’t finished.
Whether you can work for 30-minutes or three hours, plan to do each of the three steps every day.
Step 1: Collect the Trash
Grab a trash bag and fill it with trash or recycling. Trash is stuff like the empty soda bottle left beside the couch or junk mail.
Maybe you have piles of junk mail that you don’t want to just toss in recycling because you are concerned about identity theft. Grab what you can and bring it over to your paper shredder. (If you don’t have a paper shredder and you are concerned about identity theft, get one. If you have years of mail sitting around, get an industrial-quality shredder.)
Trash is stuff that must go. It isn’t stuff that you question whether you should hold onto it.
Step 2: Transport Stuff that Isn’t in the Right Place
If you have 30-minutes to declutter, you might spend 5-to-10-minutes bagging trash and then five minutes gathering stuff that isn’t in the right place. Maybe your son kicked off his sneakers when he was watching television in the family room. You pick up the sneakers and put them in the basket you’re using to gather items.
Other candidates for stuff that isn’t in the right place is glassware and mugs left on end tables and desks, paperwork that needs to be filed, jackets draped on a chair instead of hung up, toys or craft supplies covering the dining table.
After gathering stuff, move it to the correct room. This doesn’t mean that you now start organizing things, finding the perfect spot to put everything. Stop! Put the dishes in the sink. Dump the sneakers in the room (or in front of the bedroom door), hang up the coat even if you have to squeeze it into an over-full closet.
This step gets you in the habit of recognizing that some clutter is really stuff left in the wrong place. If you have items that don’t have a home, leave them in the general area of where their home will be.
Step 3: Eliminate Items that Don’t Help You Live the Life You Want
Duplicate kitchen utensils, clothing that doesn’t fit, books you’ve never read, all these things are weights dragging you down. Too much stuff, stuff that you don’t or can’t use, gets in your way. You push aside stuff in your kitchen drawer struggling to find the can opener. You can’t find anything to wear even though your closet is bursting at the seams.
Go to one shelf, one drawer, one cabinet, and sort through stuff, bagging or boxing stuff to sell or give away. If you are overwhelmed trying to decide where to start, I offer a free program, A Year of Decluttering, where each day you receive an email with an item to declutter that day. You can start any day in 2018 (you get access to past days, so no worries about what you’ve missed).
All that paperwork that needs to be shredded? This is the step when you shred your address and pop the rest in the recycling bin.
Why You Should Do All Three Steps Each Day
I know, it’s tempting to think that you’ll clear out all the trash one day, move around the stuff that’s in the wrong room or space on day two, and then focus on eliminating clutter. However, decluttering is a process, which means that you’ll be doing it, to some extent, every day, forever.
Every day, you’ll create some trash. Every day, you’ll have to put stuff away where it belongs in your home. Every day, you’ll make yourself aware of things you no longer need.
Following the three steps to get decluttered will also help you stay decluttered in the future.
When following this three-step process, you can focus on doing a room-by-room declutter or you can work throughout your entire home. Not sure what room to start in? I offer some suggestions about where to start decluttering and organizing here.
Again, how much stuff you have and how much time to devote to decluttering it will be the determining factors as to when you’ll start seeing a difference. Even though it’s February, you can still join A Year of Decluttering at no cost and get emails with tips on decluttering your stuff and eliminating confusion about what’s important to your life.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm a professional organizer-coach with 26 years' experience as a teacher. I believe that an organized home isn't your destination but a step on the path toward the life you want to create. I teach decluttering and organizing skills through articles; books; and speaking engagements; as well as virtual coaching sessions.