Five Ways to Reduce Decluttering Overwhelm

You want to clear out some of the stuff in your home before the craziness of the holiday season hits your home. But when you look at overflowing bins, closets, and the mountain of who knows what on that corner of your kitchen counter, you just decide to have a glass of wine instead.

Has this happened to you?

That may or may not have happened to me once (…or twice). There’s a feeling of being totally overwhelmed with “What on earth do I do with this stuff?” and “Where do I even begin?”

But decluttering doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Here are some ways manage feeling overwhelmed.

Method #1 – Pick where donations go

I recently did a huge clear-out of kid clothes – at least FIVE huge Container Store bags full of kids’ clothes. This had been on my to do list for months, but what gave me the push to get it done was a friend’s mom’s church garage sale and finding a local high school that needed items for their daycare. The thought of helping these two places helped me stop procrastinating…and now I can walk into my daughter’s room again!

There is nothing like an awesome place to give donations to provide motivation to do some decluttering. If you don’t already have a favorite place to donate, keep an ear out for garage sale fundraisers or charities that accept gently used items.

Goodwill and Salvation are also excellent options – they take a majority of items and may do pick-ups (check your local stores). If you are doing a large decluttering project, plan on using one of these to avoid hitting the “I need to find the perfect donation resource” roadblock.

 

Method #2 – Don’t start in the worst area

If the thought of going through the clothes in your closet gives you the hives, DON’T START DECUTTERING IN YOUR CLOSET. Pick an area that has less emotional stress associated with it. For some people, this is their kids’ stuff. Or kitchen cabinets. The pantry is also a great place to start – if it’s expired, chuck it.

Loading Up car with donations after decluttering
Seeing a car full of donations can be great motivation to keep decluttering.

Once you get the good decluttering juices flowing, it can be easier to work-up to the areas that you are trying to avoid. Don’t let the areas that give you stress prevent you from making progress in other areas of your home.

Method #3 – Start in the worse area

Wait a sec – what?!?! Another spin is to tackle that tough area. Maybe once you get it done, it will open the doors to tacking the rest of the home. If you think that one area is holding you back, just do it!

Once that tough area is done, you have removed a mental roadblock on decluttering the rest of the home.

An easy way to go about it? Not necessarily. But it can be very effective.

Cluttered Living Room in Houston
Before Decluttering
Clean Living Room After Organization in Houston
After Decluttering

Method #4 – Attack storage areas

Clearing out a storage room, storage closet, basement, attic, or garage is a great place to start a decluttering project. Once that area is clear, you have room to move items from other rooms that you want to keep, but not necessarily in their current location.

Example: Removing all the items that weren’t being used in this basement opened up a ton of storage space. Items from other areas in the home could be moved here.

Basement in Houston before decluttering
Before Decluttering
Basement in Houston after decluttering and adding storage
After Decluttering

Method #5 – Set a timer

Feel like you’ll be working on decluttering FOREVER? Take the forever out of it. Set a time for whatever seems like a manageable time to you. Maybe it’s an hour, maybe 30 minutes, maybe 5 minutes. Again, once you get the decluttering juices going, you may decide you can handle working a bit more.

As always, organizing is not one-size fits all, so just pick what resonates with you

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