The Down and Dirty of Decluttering [Video]

down and dirty of decluttering

Decluttering.  It’s a task we know we need to do to bring order to our homes, but it can be so hard!

So let’s find out how we can make it less overwhelming! In this video I share the Down and Dirty of Decluttering, including:

Do you need to declutter? What’s stopping you? How did these down and dirty decluttering tips and ideas help you to get started?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

All the Decluttering Tools You Need to Get the Clutter Gone!

Decluttering Tools

So you want to declutter.  That’s great! But do you have all the tools you need to get the job done?

Although decluttering may seem like a straight-forward task,  the more preparation you put into it, the more successful your decluttering efforts will be.  Before you start throwing out those items you no longer need, use or want, make sure you have the proper decluttering tools to get the job done right.

Essential decluttering tools

While there are several ways to approach your decluttering, there are a few essential tools you’ll want to have on hand as you start the process:

Time.  Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour, you will need to make time in your schedule to declutter.  Determine your best work time(s) and then make an appointment with yourself in your calendar for decluttering.  It may seem strange to do this, but when you schedule something, you are more likely to do it.

Bags, Bins, Baskets or Boxes.  To start, you’ll need some type of container to capture the items you are sorting through as you declutter.  You’ll likely discover some things you’ll want to keep and some you’ll want to throw away; you’ll also have items that you want to donate and other things you know belong somewhere else in your house.

To make the most of your time, have a container for each of your sorting categories where you are decluttering. The containers don’t have to be fancy – a trash bag, a bin, a basket or a box you have available around the house will work just fine.  But it will be easier to work and remove the items if they are contained in some way.

Decluttering labels/signage.  To make the sorting process easier, have labels or signs for each decluttering container (Keep, Trash, Shred, Donate, Recycle, Belongs Elsewhere).

These signs can help you avoid any confusion about which pile is for donations and which one is for discards. In addition, if someone else is helping you declutter, they’ll also know what to do with items and won’t need to ask you continuously, “Where do I put this?”

Don’t have signs of your own? Download my FREE printable category signs to add to your decluttering toolbox!  Click here to grab the decluttering signs!

The right questions.  As you sort through your stuff, you’ll need to ask yourself a variety of questions to determine whether or not you should keep something:

  • Do I like it or do I love it?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Can I get this in another form rather than keep this one?

Asking the right questions can make all the difference in your decluttering efforts.  Not sure which questions you should be asking? Check out the 13 Questions You Need to Cut Your Clutter to use as your guide.

Willingness to let go.  Your decluttering efforts won’t be any good if you aren’t willing to let stuff go.  Make sure you are mentally ready and prepared to release items that aren’t serving you any longer.  If you aren’t that’s okay.  Maybe you need to wait for a better time.

But if you’ve determined that now is the time to get rid of the things that are weighing you down, then be willing to do the hard work (both physically and mentally) and be willing to let go.

Motivation.  While you may know in your head you need to declutter, does your spirt and heart know that you need to?  That’s usually where our motivation stems from and if we don’t have the right motivation, nothing’s going to get done.

So how do you get the motivation you need? I suggest finding some type of visual that will encourage you to get moving.  Look on Pinterest or cut out some pictures from a magazine that depict how you want your decluttered space to look like. You could also write out a quote or your own mantra to inspire you. Then post that visual in a spot where it can serve as a reminder of what you are shooting for.

Each person’s motivation may be different, and that’s okay.  No matter what your motivation is or looks like, the important thing is that you have a burning desire within you that propels you to start, to do the work, and to persevere no matter how difficult the task may be.

Optional decluttering tools

Here are a few other things you might want to have on hand while you declutter to make the process a little more fun:

Music.  A great playlist of upbeat songs can make the task of decluttering more enjoyable.  Just make sure to include, “Let It Go” as one of the main tracks!

A friend. While you may work better alone, it is nice to have someone else around to help ask the hard questions you may not ask yourself, to keep you focused, or to offer motivation when you want to quit.  Just make sure whoever is keeping you company is there to help and not hinder!

Snacks.  You can work up an appetite decluttering! Make sure to have some water and healthy snacks (maybe even a chocolate or two) on hand to keep your energy levels up. Taking a few minutes to munch on a snack or grab a drink of water can help you over the long run and insure that you reach the decluttering finish line!

So what’s in your decluttering toolbox?  Did you know you even needed one?

Before you pull out a drawer or open a cabinet, make sure you have the proper decluttering tools.  Because having the right tools can make all the difference in your decluttering efforts and your goal of getting organized.

 

180 Challenge logoLooking for more help with your decluttering efforts? Check out the 180 Challenge – a decluttering challenge that offers the focus and motivation you need to get rid of the things that have overtaken your home and overwhelm your life.  To sign up for this life-changing challenge, click here.

Looking Inward for Outer Order

LookingInwardforOuter Order

When you think of bringing order to your world,  you probably think of it in outer terms – what items you need to let go of, what containers you will use, and what your organized space will eventually look like.

While it’s true that getting organized primarily focuses on the outer components, it also requires us to look inward and ask ourselves some hard questions.  How we answer these questions can often dictate how quickly we will be able to move forward on our organizing journey and how truly successful we will be to complete and maintain the order we’ve created.

4 questions to test your heart & mind

Most questions we ask about getting organized follow the basics:

Although these are very important questions to ask, if we truly want to bring about lasting change, we first have to dig deep and ask ourselves the following:

What have I put as more important than getting organized?  

If an organized lifestyle is not a priority for you, then you will find other things more important to do and getting organized will inevitably get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list or not make it on there at all.

While that might sound a bit harsh, it’s true.  If something is truly important and valuable to you, nothing will stop you from making it a reality in your life.  You will schedule time and prioritize it on your calendar as a necessary activity. You will make sure it gets accomplished because it’s just that important.

So ask yourself, what you have put as more important – TV watching, web surfing, social media, may come to mind – and determine if organizing your order world is a priority for you right now.  It may be or it may not be.  Neither is necessarily wrong or right.

What matters most is that you know deep within whether it’s a priority for you or not and then act accordingly.

How have my thoughts influenced me?

Though you may not realize it, your thoughts about yourself and your ability to get organized play a major role in bringing about order.

While some people have a natural bent towards organization, there are others who struggle to overcome chaos and disorder.  They falsely believe that they are wired or created this way and that no amount of trying will ever change anything.  But that’s simply not true!

What many of us fail to realize is that our beliefs stem from our thoughts and our thoughts influence our actions.  If you believe and think that you will never be organized because you weren’t born that way, then you don’t allow yourself to act in an organized manner.  However, when we live with a mindset of, “I am and can be organized” then our actions start to follow that line of thinking and change can take place.

So ask yourself what thoughts have you been thinking regarding getting organized and how has that affected your actions and abilities to bring about the order you desire? Having a clear understanding of how your thoughts may be influencing you could very well be a game changer for you.

What excuses am I making?

Excuses can come in many forms, but they always come when we are faced with a challenge.  The key is to identify them early on so when they begin to creep in we can tackle them before they cause us to give in or give up.

Some of the excuses you may face in your efforts to get organized may include: fear, lack of knowledge, time, or something else completely unrelated.  First know that everyone makes excuses – you’re not alone!

Then honestly listen to the words or thoughts you may be saying to yourself.  When you recognize that you are offering an excuse rather than a valid reason, note it and determine what’s causing you to use that as an excuse.

Finally, commit to not let your excuse be a factor any longer and find ways to overcome. For example, if lack of knowledge is the excuse you’re using, then commit to reading books, blogs or articles that can teach you how to get organized.

Dealing with our excuses is not always easy and it may take awhile to realize what you’re actually verbalizing is an excuse. However,  once you’ve identified and understand how excuses are keeping your from an orderly life then you are one step closer to success.

(Need some motivation to help you with your excuses? Here are 62 motivational quotes about excuses that might encourage you.)

What will getting organized do for me and my life?

When we think about getting organized we tend to focus on the process rather than the end result.  We often ask: what will it require for me to get organized? what steps do I need to follow? While those are important questions to ask, they aren’t the most important one.

Before you ever purchase a container or donate a piece of clothing, you need to ask yourself what getting organized will do for you and your life.  What will all the hard work allow you to have?  It’s not just about having a functional and pretty space; it’s about what that order allows you to feel, do and be.

With that understanding, not only will you be able to do the work, you also be motivated to keep going when it gets hard.  It’s the true finish line  beyond your immediate space. However, no one can answer that question for you.  You have to define and determine that yourself.  So don’t forget to ask it!

Looking inward can be uncomfortable, unusual and just plain hard.  But it’s a necessary component of the organizing process – one that often gets overlooked. Use these 4 questions to help you evaluate where your priorities, heart and mind are as you set off on the journey.

Because if you truly want to bring order to your outer world,  you have to start by looking inward.

How could looking inward make a difference in your quest to bring order to your world?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

 

5 Reasons You Need to Get Started Today

5 reasons you need to

Have you ever had a project that you wanted to complete but keep putting it off? Maybe you aren’t sure how to get started or you dread the task altogether.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Getting started is one of the major obstacles holding people back from the things they want to do.  While delaying the start may offer a temporary respite from the task, it will eventually cause more problems.

So that begs the question: Why is it so hard for us to get started?  Perhaps it’s fear, lack of motivation, uncertainty, or lack of knowledge.  Whatever the reason, it’s important that we get started and that we understand why we need to.

The importance of getting started

Starting is not really as hard as it seems.  While we imagine it to be some big, scary monster, it hardly ever is.  In fact, most people remark that once they get started, the reasons they had for not starting eventually melt away.

That’s why it’s so important for us to get started!  Taking action is vital to our progress if we want to accomplish anything.  Here are a few reasons why overcoming the starting line is so important:

Clarity comes with action.  While we may not be 100% certain of all the steps we are to take or the ultimate results of our action, once we start things in motion we gain clarity.

Movement opens our minds and our understanding to things that we may not have seen or understood before.  With time we can discover new meaning and new insights that would not have made themselves evident without us taking action.

Action begets action.  According to Isaac Newton’s Law of Inertia, an object at rest stays at rest, but an object in motion stays in motion.  When we choose not to take action on a project or goal we are at rest and we tend to stay there.  However, once the wheels of motion start turning, we find it much easier to keep moving.

Action, therefore, produces more action!

Action builds motivation.  While we may dread a particular task and abstain from doing until inspiration strikes, the truth is it hardly ever hits us.

In reality, motivation often comes on the heels of action.  Once we start seeing things actually moving, it excites us and triggers our brains to keep going.

If you want to get motivated, then you need to get moving!

Action boosts our confidence.  Fears, doubts and uncertainties are often the main culprits of our inactivity.  One way to push those pesky bandits out of the way is to get started on whatever it is we’re facing.

Each step we take in the direction of our goal or project not only causes the fears, doubts and uncertainties to be erased but it also builds confidence in ourselves and our abilities.  We realize that we can actually do the thing we’ve been avoiding and find the belief we need to keep going.

Action empowers us.  When we fret and ponder about a task rather than work towards it, we lose our power and become a victim to it.  However, when we boldly take a step in the direction of our dreams, we become more powerful than we could have ever imagined.

Action turns us from victims to victors, no matter how small the task.

Getting started is not always easy, but it is necessary.  Hopefully these 5 reasons have offered you new insight as to why it’s so important and encouraged you to get going.

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

What goals, projects or tasks have you avoided starting?

Which of these 5 reasons encourages you the most towards getting started?

Leave a comment below and let me know – I love hearing from you!