The more I speak to people about stuff and the home, the more I sense that a lot of people recognize they have a bit too much stuff and just don’t know where to start decluttering. There’s just soooo much and they don’t feel they have the time to pare down their belongings. No time for another project that seems too big to tackle.
Can you identify with this?
If so, here are some small steps to try:
- Put a box near the door and start filling it with things you no longer need as you run across them. Most people often come across things in their home that they aren’t using as they go about daily life. This is especially true with children around: outgrown clothes, toys and equipment. Donate the contents as soon as it is full.
- Don’t leave it there. Often you run across things while rummaging through a closet. It probably annoys you as it gets in your way while hunting for something you really need. Pull it out as you go so you can find things in that closet or drawer more quickly the next time! Put it in your trusty donation box by the door.
- Create a window of 10 minutes every week to hunt for things in your home that you no longer need. Put on a playlist or a podcast and challenge yourself to come up with 5-10 things. It can be really easy if you start in an area of the house where unwanted or unused items tend to collect—the basement or the garage? This is a great way to get the ball rolling. I bet this will lead you to begin to remove things on the fly (as suggested above). You will develop a knack for recognizing things as unneeded when you see them, and acting on it.
- If you get stuck, get help. For some the task can be so mentally overwhelming that the best way to move forward is to work with a third party. This can help by: (1) scheduling time to work away at the project; (2) developing an efficient approach to the task; (3) identifying, discussing and working through some of the mental blocks that may exist around certain stuff. These blocks can prevent you as a person or a family from parting with items that really need to go. Yes, this will take an investment upfront, but it will bring a windfall of time going forward once you pare down your belongings and introduce more organization into your home.
Bonus tip: Take small steps to stop adding to your collection of stuff. There are many small changes you can make to prevent more clutter from entering the home. Learn more.
You may think a massive purge is the only way to go, but I’ve seen some amazing shifts from small steps. The key is to take one.
Reap the benefits.
Once there is less stuff, other changes in the home start occurring too. I have seen people create new habits around how they handle the remaining stuff in their house, like creating new and more organized approaches to managing laundry and storage.
I have also seen changes made to the way spaces are used, which align more with the stuff people elect to keep. This is because with every small effort to declutter, the things that matter most become clearer and people start to adjust their existing spaces to meet those needs more effectively.
Even more amazing, I have watched people who start to declutter their homes experience other shifts. The analysis and techniques I teach in a systematic decluttering session can transfer to other areas of people’s lives: impacting the ways they spend, how they spend their time and even who they spend their time with.
But first, just focus on small steps.
If you have too much stuff, start the process to declutter in small steps. There will be many hidden benefits. And if you don’t know how or where to start decluttering, get help. A few hours of support could really make a difference and allow you to embark on a journey that will not only create more space in your home, but it will also lead to other positive shifts.