Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Sometimes when things get really overwhelming because there is just too much stuff, I do a mini-blitz decluttering session. This takes no more than 10 minutes, and yields quick results. Here is my recipe for quick decluttering:
- Select an area.
- Gather materials.
- Put things away.
Select an Area
It is important that you select a small area to declutter in the mini-blitz. It’s fine if you want to declutter your entire kitchen, but it can’t be done in 10 minutes. Look at the room you want to clear up and pick the messiest part. For example, in my kitchen, it is the landing strip by the door where everyone drops everything when they come in the house. In the great room, it is undoubtedly my chair and crafting area. In my daughter’s room it is the floor. Each one of these can be tackled in 10 minutes.
You will need four containers: two boxes or bins, and two bags. The boxes are for things to give away and things to put away, and the bags for recycling and trash.
Set a timer for five minutes. Quickly sort through everything in the area. If it is no longer needed and it is not useful as a re-use item, recycle or trash it. If someone else could use it, put it in the give away box. If it belongs somewhere else, put it in the put away box.
At the end of this quick sort, you will have only the things that belong in the space. Put them in the correct spot in that space. For example, we have a hook in our desk in the landing strip for the extra house keys. I hang them up. I put the pens and pencils in the basket. In my daughter’s room, nothing will be left on the floor except the furniture.
Put Things Away.
When the timer goes off, put the trash in the trash, the recycling in your bins, and move the stuff to give away out of the house (we have a bin in the garage to store these items and when it is full we take it to the drop off point). Next take the put away box and quickly put everything away. Make sure you don’t just dump it in the area where it goes – make sure to put it away or you will be creating another spot for decluttering!
If you don’t have a spot to put the item, ask yourself if you really should keep it. If you must, find a permanent home. My answer to my daughter’s routine question of “where should I put this toy?” is “in the trash”. It encourages her to think of places to keep her things, or if she should keep things at all.
These mini-blitzes really help with keeping the clutter down. I find that if the house really feels out of control, it only takes an hour of mini-blitzes to bring the house back into manageability.
Photo by CaterinaAnna