The First Step on Your Organizing Journey
Decluttering is a dreaded, but unavoidable, task if we are serious about getting organized. There are many ways to approach the process, but sometimes you just want to get this unappealing job done as quickly as possible. If that’s how you feel, you’ll want to read on to discover tips on how to declutter an entire room in one afternoon.
Gather Your Tools
You’ll need some tools to make this job easier. Be sure to have large garbage bags for trash and recycle. Get some baskets to hold things you plan to keep or sort and cardboard boxes for donations. You’ll also need post-it notes and a marker for labeling. Finally, a timer will keep you on track. Set aside a large space for sorting; this can be on a bed, a card table or just the middle of the floor.
Label Your Baskets
Use the post-its and marker to label your baskets. You’ll want one for Keep, one for Action Needed (for repairs, returning to friends, etc.), one for Sell and one for Move (to another room). You may also wish to label your boxes if you plan to donate to separate places, but this isn’t always necessary.
Make a Game Plan
Strategize the manner in which you plan to tackle the room. I recommend always going in a single direction, clockwise, starting on the left of the main door, focus on one shelf or drawer and commit to never returning to an area you’ve already hit. You may wish to start with the back of the room and work from left to right, then toward the door. Or you could begin at the side of the room, moving steadily across to the other side. Just have a plan.
Remove the Big Stuff First
Before you get down to the nitty-gritty of emptying drawers or clearing shelves, it makes sense to get rid of any large items you can. Set a timer for 15 minutes and enlist a friend to help carry and start moving any big stuff you plan to get rid of in some way. Stuff like furniture falls into this category. Take another 15-minute sweep if need be.
Next, Comes the Medium Stuff
If you’ve got some big things out of the room, you probably now have more space for sorting. Medium-sized items come next in this decluttering process. Simply repeat the same steps you took for the large items, except you will put these items in their designated containers instead of removing them from the room completely.
Now the Small Stuff
Once again, repeat the process with the small things. This is likely where you’ll need your sorting space like the bed or card table. Handling the smaller items might take longer due to the sorting process, so feel free to set your timer a few extra rounds.
Even with the most cluttered room, following this process will help you declutter any room to then start organizing. Be firm with yourself when it comes to deciding what to discard. Keep only what enhances your life. If necessary, come back the next day to organize. Today, the important part is removing what is no longer needed.