Decluttering is something we keep saying we need to do. Even when we do it, we still keep needing to do it. We hunt for better, faster ways to do it – and be done with it at last. Why is it such a big deal? Why do we keep trying to do it? And what is it that we keep trying to do? That’s the topic of today’s episode: How to declutter quickly and simply.
Let’s dig in.
So, what even is decluttering and why is it something that we keep trying to do and keep feeling like we never make any progress doing? Yeah, that’s right—you are not the only one.
How to declutter.
Decluttering is getting rid of clutter. So, before we can know how to declutter, we have to think about what clutter really is. Sometimes we just use it as a generic insult to stuff we don’t necessarily want or want to deal with. But clutter is referring to those things that are not where they belong, or they are some place where they don’t belong. And so, when we’re looking in a closet, in a cupboard, in a drawer, in a whole room, and we say, “It’s cluttered,” what we mean is that it’s full of stuff that does not belong there.
So, the process of decluttering, then, means going through the space and removing what does not belong. Organizing the space then is putting the things away well, strategically, smartly, in the place they do belong. But decluttering comes before organizing. And you really can’t organize a space that has not been decluttered because if the space has stuff that doesn’t belong there, it can’t be organized there. It needs to be removed so that the things that do belong can then be ordered and tidied well; so, decluttering means getting rid of the things that do not belong.
“You can’t organize a space
that has not been decluttered.”
We keep coming back to this project of decluttering because it’s a part of the process of actually stewarding or managing our resources well. Things tend toward disorder, things fall apart, new things come in, and the way that we use a space or the way that we need to use a space changes. So, the fact that you need to declutter doesn’t even mean necessarily that something is wrong, or you’ve failed in some way, it just means that the task before you is clear—declutter the space.
Of course, when we look around our home there are so many spaces that need to be decluttered (I mean, we are not even going to talk about kid bedrooms)! But we just need to be satisfied taking small steps forward, making a little bit of progress in a small amount of space; steadily, strategically, and consistently. And that’s what we’re going to do in this series where we are focusing on decluttering. We aren’t just going to talk about decluttering and we aren’t only going to pep talk decluttering (although we are going to do that as well), we are going to find ways to build decluttering as a habit in our life because our spaces are always going to need decluttering.
Explaining how to declutter your junk:
Overcome overwhelm, beat the boom and bust cycle, and learn to love what must be done.
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