Friday, 20 August 2010

How I Declutter + Advice

Experienced minimalists usually seem to advise starting in one particular room but that isn't how I've been doing it.  I am concentrating on our bedroom but the decluttering process often seems to require me to make decisions about other parts of the house so that I can find more logical places for what I will keep. I liken this to trying to do one of those little puzzles where the squares all have to be moved around to the right order to make the picture.  I also do what feels right on any particular day.  If I get stuck with the bedroom things and need time to make my decisions about what to get rid of I try to keep the momentum going by attempting something easier like excess flower pots in the garden.  When I come back to the bedroom at a later date often my mind has accepted that I need to lose a particular thing or else I find a decision I couldn't make has in fact been made at the back of my mind while I was working on other things.

I'm including a picture of my "glory hole" drawer where I used to stuff all sorts.  I used to have to squash everything down to close it, it was utter confusion inside.  It's very simple now with several very special items including a ball from my childhood.  I don't know if I will keep everything in there or not.  I view what I'm doing as a work in progress and I'm gaining confidence in working through stages of decluttering from initial skimming out of obviously superfluous stuff to the real nitty gritty sticky stuff!  From my experience so far this is the advice I would give to somebody starting out:

  •  Go with the flow and do what feels right at any given time.  If you have a rush of energy which enables you to get rid of ten bags of stuff then go with it and if it's only a few bits then that's still progress.
  • Try to keep the momentum going by doing a bit most days.
  • Always have a charity bag which you are filling and when there is a collection coming get psyched up to put it out.
  • If you can't let go of stuff then do some homework: look up some minimalist/simple living blogs and read them to get ideas.
  • Visualise your goal and see yourself working towards it.
  • Realise that the upset emotions are part of the process, don't let them stand in your way.
  • Really be careful about shopping, you don't want to bring in more stuff and ruin your dreams.

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