Before we begin, it is a good idea to define clutter. You may want to keep this definition with you while you clear your clutter. Clutter is anything unfinished, unused, unresolved, tolerated or disorganized. This includes anything physically, mentally and emotionally.
Step 1: Gather easy to store boxes-plastic bins or cardboard. You may also want to use paper bags, if they are handy. They will become your organizing clutter tools for rooms to come!
Step 2: Assign each box (or bag) a mission and label them so you can clearly see what role each box has.
ROUTE IT box will collect items that do not belong in the room. If you have started a project and then found yourself in another room hours later wondering how you got there, this box is a must for you! (wink) The ROUTE IT box can be broken down even further into boxes for each family member or rooms of the house items may belong. See what works best for you!
GIVE IT box will collect treasures that are no longer wanted or needed, but in good condition. This box can be donated to your favorite organization. The GIVE IT box can also be broken into other boxes for places you want to give the items. Maybe it is to a specific person, church, Girl Scouts, etc. This keeps you from having to sort them again and remember what goes where.
STORE IT box will collect items you are unsure of. Place a scheduled toss/donate date. If the box is not accessed by the date, you have just proven the items inside are not needed or missed. Deliver it unopened to the organization of your choice.
TOSS IT box will include trash, items that are in poor repair, or you have no idea what it is. A separate box may be needed for recycling, especially if you are working in your office.
Step 3: Choose the room to begin the organizing clutter process and set your timer for a predetermined time of 20 to 60 minutes. Allow for an additional 5 to 10 minutes for final clean up. Starting on the right side of the room, place items in the corresponding box. If time is up before the room is finished, remember where you stopped.
Step 4: THE LIST will collect to-dos or reminders. While clearing your clutter, you may remember tasks you haven't completed and be tempted to act on them. The list will give you permission to forget it for now. Stay focused on your room. (This serves the same purpose as the ROUTE IT box. )
Step 5: Once the timer goes off, take the clean up time to empty the ROUTE IT box, throw out the items in the TOSS IT box, store the STORE IT box, schedule a time to donate the GIVE IT box and to schedule the to-do's on your list.
Step 6: Repeat this process for each room in your house until you are satisfied and feeling the freedom of letting go!
Enjoy living a clutter free life!
Marlo Nikkila is The Organizing Coach. Would you like a simple and meaningful life? Receive your free gift of “7 Powerful Ways to Simplify Your Life" Action Plan and begin receiving inspiration with the Let's OrganizeTogether e-zine. You will love the tips, resources, and opportunities available for subscribers only!
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