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When you’re going into a space for the purpose of decluttering, there is a system that makes it easier.
Here’s my system:
Step #1: Gather supplies
You’ll need the following bins, boxes, baskets, or bags.
Box #1 – The Donate Box: This box, bin, basket, or bag is for all of the items that you will be donating or selling. These items are in good, usable condition, they just need a new home.
Box #2 – The Relocate Box: This box, bin or basket is for all the items that you are keeping, they just don’t belong in the space you are decluttering.
Bag(s) – The Garbage/Recycling Bag: Recycle what you can, but trash the garbage. Your home is not a landfill. After you’ve decluttered, it will be easier to avoid bringing things into the house that quickly become garbage. For now, give yourself a clean slate.
Step #2: Clear A Surface
You need space to declutter. Clear a surface to declutter on, like a floor, desk, or table top by moving everything on that surface to a place you’ve not decluttered yet.
Step #3: Declutter From The Inside Out
You’ll notice in the assignments for the different rooms, we often begin in the closet and inside of drawers. This is probably opposite of how you’ve been taught to clean up, but this approach will give you the space to put back things you are keeping while you are decluttering other places. Once the insides are clean, the whole room feels do-able.
Step #4: Pull Everything Out, One Area At A Time
And I mean everything. While you pull each item out, make quick decisions and place the item in one of the containers from Step #1. For the things that will go back where you found them, place those items on the clear surface you created in Step #2.
In these 91 Days, I’ve broken rooms up into smaller areas to focus on each day. While you’re decluttering that smaller area, you can break it up into even smaller sections – whatever makes sense to you. Many people find it less overwhelming to declutter one cabinet, one drawer, one shelf at a time.
Step #5: Be Ruthless
Go over the items AGAIN that you decided to keep and placed on the clear surface while you put them back where they belong. Be ruthless. If you find yourself pondering an item, chances are you should declutter it but the longer you hold it you’ll be more likely to talk yourself into keeping it instead.
Repeat Steps #4-5 until the entire area is decluttered.
Step #6: Take Out The Trash & Recycling
Immediately remove the trash and recycling before it becomes part of the scenery or things find their way back out!
Step #7: Put Away the Relocate Items
Use a flat surface like the floor or table, then sort the Relocate Box into groups of where things go (i.e. kitchen pile, kids room pile, etc.). Put these items where they belong! If they don’t have a place to be, they don’t belong in your home!!
Step #8: Donate Immediately
Put the donate items into the back of your vehicle to take to your donate center as soon as possible. Remove donate items from the home so that (1) you can begin enjoying your decluttered area right away and (2) you’re not tempted to keep any junk.
For sale items: Give yourself a deadline to sell, then donate after that date.
Yes, this is a lot of work! And this is why we break up decluttering different sections of the room on different days during the Declutter Challenge. A little work every day adds up quickly by the end of the week!
Don't forget your Declutter Printable Pack - it's more than just checklists!