A common problem people face when decluttering is starting, getting overwhelmed, and giving up. With a little bit of preparation, you can avoid this and power through the decluttering confidently.
If you are wanting to declutter, before you start going through your house like a mad man, do these 4 things:
You should be clear on why you even want to do this. Do you want to be more intentional with the belongings you own, clear the clutter from your space and spend less time on housework? Maybe you have a baby coming and you want to simplify your house to focus more on snuggles with a newborn and less time on looking for things in piles of crap you didn't know you had.
Have a realistic vision for how you want your house to feel and let that drive you giving you more clarity of the bigger picture when you get stuck making little decisions. What is your intention? Are you just wanting to create a bit more space in your home or a particular area? Or beginning a process that will shift you to a new way of being?
What you don't want to do is sort everything you are keeping and getting rid of but not have a plan for what to do with it, resulting in the clutter that was scattered through your space, now in one big pile you don't know what to do with. You also don't want to throw it all away. Not just because most of it is still usable and that'd be a waste... But because there's no such place as away. Landfills create more problems for the
planet than they solve.
Know what stuff your local opp shop takes and find out other organisations that do rehoming and recycling of different items. If you are selling some things, set your self a date (maybe a week or two away) that if it doesn't sell by, you will give it away.
You don't want to start decluttering and mid-way through a purge session to get stuck because you don't have the supplies with you. Grab a caddy, bag, small tub, or some sort of vessel to create your decluttering kit. Note: If you are tackling a section that will take a couple of hours or more prepare a snack and a water bottle.
Inside, have garbage bags and several reusable bags for stuff you are parting with, and some extra bags for organising things. You'll also want some spray and wipes, and perhaps a measuring tape in case you need to take dimensions of anything to help with storage solutions.
This kind of ties into getting clear on your why, but it is important to be in the right mood for decluttering. Never declutter if you are feeling emotional as your decisions might be based on temporary emotions. Also know that you are creating a home for yourself, not to fit into an idea.
You don't want to purge things because you are trying to make your home a white canvas as you saw on Instagram and your goal is to chase the dragon of extreme minimalism. You also don't want to start decluttering but end up getting hella stuck because you are attached to ideas about your life that aren't real, whether that be an attachment to the past or a fantasy self or holding on to things for 'just in case'. You need to get in the mindset of creating a home that supports you and your actual life.
There you go! That's the four things you need to do before you start going through your stuff. I am so passionate about the impact of having a good relationship with all the belonging in your home can have so I want you to be set up for success before you start the process. If your reason for decluttering because you are preparing your home for a baby, you would probably benefit from the rest of my tips in my FREE Sustainable Pregnancy Guide